As fate, and the college basketball schedulers, would have it, Robert Morris' celebrated 59-57 victory over Kentucky in the NIT last season will have a sequel.
The Wildcats released their non-conference schedule Wednesday, one which included a home game Nov. 17 against the Colonials as a part of the Keightley Classic. The tournament also includes Texas-Arlington, Eastern Michigan and Cleveland State. As it was explained to me, Robert Morris will get two road games (one of them obviously being at Kentucky) and a home game as a part of this arrangement.
This was something that was in the works for the last couple of weeks. When I was at a practice a couple of weeks ago, Toole got a call from Calipari gauging his interest in participating in the tournament. Obviously, this threatens Toole's unblemished record against one of the game's most recognizable coaches, but it's a little tough for a school of RMU's stature to turn down the pay day that would come with this kind of a game.
It probably goes without saying that next season's game will feature two teams that bear little resemblence to the ones that walked off the Sewall Center court back in March. While Robert Morris retains all but three players from the 2012-13 Colonials team, Kentucky will be entirely overhauled -- in the best sense of the word.
The Wildcats lose center Nerlens Noel and guard Archie Goodwin to the NBA, but they bring back forward Alex Poythress, center Willie Cauley-Stein and forward Kyle Wiltjer to go along with what is thought to be the greatest recruiting class in college basketball history. Four of ESPN's top 10 recruits have committed to Kentucky and there's still a possibility that the school could lure Andrew Wiggins -- the top-ranked player that some have dubbed as the best high school prospect since LeBron James -- as the Wildcats are among the final four teams he's considering.
While Robert Morris will always have that one night in Moon Township where it surprised much of the college basketball world, it seems like this sequel, as far as the Colonials are concerned, resembles "The Hangover Part II" more than "The Godfather Part II." I'm not saying that Robert Morris is not going to win, but....yeah, it's probably not going to win.