When St. Francis College and Robert Morris University meet tonight for the Northeast Conference Championship in downtown Brooklyn, they’ll share the court – and little else.
Sure, the Terriers and Colonials, seeded first and second respectively, have their similarities: Tough, defensive minded, offensively disciplined, their whole equaling more than the sum of their parts. The teams’ histories, locations and coaches, however, couldn’t be more different.
St. Francis is one of just five original Division 1 programs that hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament, centrally located in sprawling Brooklyn, on a “campus” consisting of a single building, housing its home court, classes and everything else.
Robert Morris has an NEC record seven NCAA appearances, located in the league’s sticks in Moon Twp., a Pittsburgh suburb, on a 230-acre campus.
Terriers coach Glenn Braica, 51, was an assistant there for 15 years – think about that - twice reaching the NEC Final without a win. After becoming Norm Roberts’ St. John’s assistant, the Brooklyn native returned in 2010, taking over a program that hadn’t exceeded 11 wins the previous five seasons.