Okay, so what happened? In the past week, Duquesne Men's Basketball has gone from a possible NCAA Tournament bubble team to a National Invitational Tournament bubble team.
No, that's not to say that the 2007-08 season has nothing left to play for. In fact, far from it. But the Dukes do need some wins.
That starts tomorrow night at home against Saint Joseph's University. St. Joe's is currently tied for first place in the Atlantic Ten Conference. If the Dukes can find a way to beat the Hawks, it would offset the disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure University on Feb. 2 and put Duquesne back in a position to make another move up the Atlantic 10 standings.
More importantly though, it would give the Dukes a big push in the Ratings Percentage Index. A trip to the NCAA Tournament -- outside of winning the Atlantic 10 tournament -- is pretty much out of the picture now for Duquesne coming off back-to-back losses (St. Bonaventure and the University of Massachusetts on Jan. 30) and early-season losses against high-RPI teams.
But, an NIT bid is a realistic possibility. And for a team that has had 13 consecutive losing seasons, that is quite a lot to play for and would be quite a lot to be proud of.
Even if the Dukes lose to St. Joe's tomorrow, don't jump. They can still make up for that one too. But a win would sure be nice, and the Dukes can do it.
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