In just a few hours, No. 13 Johns Hopkins will take the field at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y., for its regular-season finale against Army. But the Blue Jays' bid for an appearance in its 42nd consecutive NCAA tournament suffered a blow via the Colonial Athletic Association tournament.
Towson upset No. 9 Penn State, 11-10, in Friday's conference tournament final at University Park, Pa. The win secured the Tigers' first CAA tournament championship since 2007, which was also the last time they appeared in the NCAA tournament.
Towson's victory damages Johns Hopkins' candidacy for one of the eight at-large berths because now Penn State will likely grab one of those coveted spots. The Nittany Lions are 12-4, were fifth in the most recent RPI, and own quality wins over Denver, Bucknell and Drexel – teams ranked ahead of the Blue Jays in RPI.
Johns Hopkins (8-5) still need to beat the Black Knights to strengthen their tournament profile. But the path to the postseason just got narrower.