PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan)- Robert Morris Men’s Basketball Coach Andy Toole joined “The Cook and Poni Show” on Tuesday as his team prepares for a shot at punching their ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
The Colonials will host Mount St. Mary’s tonight in the NEC Conference title game at the Sewall Center with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament at stake.
“There is something to having that energy in your own building, but it guarantees you nothing. We still have to go out and compete,” Toole said.
It will be the third time in four years that the Colonials are in the title game. They fell to Mount St. Mary’s at home last year in the semi-finals.
“Hopefully, we learned from the experience last year,” Toole said. “Last year, they caused us to take bad shots. We have to do a better job of taking advantage of opportunities to shoot when we want, not when they want us to.”
The Colonials, despite losing in the NEC semis last year, had an invite to the NIT which saw them upset Kentucky at the Sewell Center. But, Toole admits a win tonight would mean even more.
“It’s your goal to play in the NCAA Tournament. It’s a lifelong memory that nobody can take away from you. It gives you great pride to be a part of something that the whole world watches,” Toole said. “it would mean everything to these guys to be in the NCAA Tournament and be a conference champion.”
The Colonials are 40 minutes away from that NCAA bid, which would be their first since losing a 73-70 OT thriller to Villanova in 2010.
Toole tells the guys that there is always a special place in his heart for every team he has ever coached, but this group has really overcome so much this year.
“No matter what happens tonight, I am proud to be the coach of these guys,” Toole said.
The game will tip tonight at 7 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN2.
Listen to the full interview here: