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Rapid Reaction: Robert Morris 81, North Florida 77

Written by Megan Ryan on .

Just a quick one tonight, folks. Some of us have to get up at 6 a.m. to catch a flight to Charlotte.

Turning point: Back-to-back 3-pointers from Pryor and Jones with about nine minutes to go in the game. The scores put Robert Morris within one point of North Florida for the first time since early in the first half. And it also marked the moment when the Colonials actually started making their shots, especially 3s. It was the time when everything started going right for Robert Morris instead of cringingly wrong, so all good stuff.

Game ball: Tough one, but I have to give this to freshman forward Elijah Minnie. Dude, as North Florida coach Matthew Driscoll would call him, scored a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 10 rebounds while also having a block, a steal and an assist. His 6-foot-8 frame was sometimes the only thing that stood out for the Colonials in the first half, and a lot of his plays were clutch. He's another guy who often goes under the radar in favor of Reed, Pryor and Jones, but he's a great player. Nice kid, too.

What it means: Honestly, kind of a lot. Robert Morris hadn't won an NCAA tournament game since 1983 and are now 2-7 in eight appearances. The Northeast conference hadn't won a game since 2008. It was another comeback win, similar to the NEC championship game against St. Francis (N.Y.) recently, and showed maturity. It takes a mature team to overcome being down by so much and still pull out a win, and Robert Morris hadn't been a very mature team until about the last month. But the Colonials are playing their best right now, and it's a good time to be doing it.

What's next: DUKE!!!!!!! No. 1 seed and just all-over historic, storied, quintessential team. It's a quick turnaround to Charlotte on Friday (for me, mostly, haha), but it's bound to be a fun one. Robert Morris has a history of big game near-upsets, from nearly beating No. 2 seed Villanova in its last tournament appearance in 2010 to actually beating Kentucky in the NIT a few years back. So I'm expecting another fun one. Yeah, the Colonials are obviously the extreme underdogs, but it's March Madness, man. Who knows what'll happen. And if they do go out, it's going to be a great way to go.

Random shoutout: To Ospreys junior guard Beau Beech. He scored a game-high 28 points including six 3s and has just a very clean shot. At 6-foot-8 with a shot like that, he's a fantastic player. His name also sounds like a famous person's name, so he has that going for him if the NBA ever takes an interest.

That's all I got. Check in with me on Twitter as I travel to Charlotte. And look out for me on national TV, as I apparently was in the background of Toole's postgame interview this game. #embarrassing

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