Another rainy day in Kingston, RI, as the students file back to school and here we are with the Runnin' Rams sitting at 15-3. Panic time!
Are you kidding me?
All I've heard for the past few days since the Rams lost to Xavier is the usual "Baron can't coach in the A-10," or "Here we go again, book your NIT tickets." Wake up people.
The Rams are 15-3. One early season loss on the road to a probable NCAA tournament team. One road loss to a sure-fire NCAA tourney team, and one loss to then No. 19 Temple.
Will you explain to me how we are supposed to be panicking?
Yes, losses like the one on Saturday are certainly disheartening to Rhody fans, but to be bailing on this team after losing a game in a building they have NEVER WON A GAME IN, ever, is a bit ridiculous.
Yes, URI has never won in the Cintas Center since it opened its doors 10 years ago.
It is also worth noting that Xavier now has won 19 straight at home, the seventh longest active streak in the NCAA, and 27 straight conference home games.
I really don't understand where these make-or-break expectations about Saturday's game came from.
While some cite Jim Baron's team's late season woes of the past few years, the bottom line was URI couldn't put the ball in the hoop. You are not going to beat a good Xavier team by shooting 40 percent from the field and 60 percent from the line. Never mind hitting only two three-pointers and getting out-rebounded 36-25.
Other than the terrible numbers, believe it or not, URI actually controlled the tempo and game for most of the 40 minutes. That being said, Rhode Island did not play anywhere near their best basketball.
As far as the impending "Baron Skid" as I saw one blogger post, you have got to be kidding me.
A loss to a top 40 team on the road after blowing out two lesser foes is not the "BS" as we will call it.
The "BS" happens when your ranked Rams team goes into unranked 9-7 St. Louis to get beat down and then follow with five straight losses down the road.
Or when you're one home win away from an almost certain at-large bid and all you need to do is beat two teams that you just beat the week before. Win one at home and you're in. They couldn't even do that.
That's the BS.
All of that being said, this Dayton game is looming large on Tuesday for the Rams, who are seeking their first signature win among the Atlantic 10's elite teams.
Even with a loss to Dayton on Tuesday, URI will have another chance at an important quality A-10 win when they see Temple in Philadelphia in a few weeks.
Win or lose either of those games, if Rhode Island can play smart and not lose any bad games, they'll finish 24-5 going into Atlantic 10 conference play and a chance at possible revenge against some of the A-10 elite.
Regardless, pop a Xanex and relax, there's plenty of basketball left before we need to even look at the panic button.
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