It's no accident that the Lamar Cardinals have rattled off five straight wins, all of them coming since first-year head coach Pat Knight ripped them during a post-game press conference following a regular season loss to Stephen F. Austin.
But Lamar isn't playing strictly off motivation, rather it's the talent that attracted Knight to the job in the first place that is putting in work. Knight said he took the job, which only plays $150,000 a year plus incentives, because he believed the squad could win right away.
Well, the Southland Conference tournament championship is wrapped up, so now it's time to see how far they can go in the NCAA Tournament. If they beat the Vermont Catamounts on Wednesday - which after seeing the Cardinals play four times this season, I'm pretty sure they will - Lamar will go head-to-head with the North Carolina Tar Heels.
That's probably where the Cardinals run will end, but the drama of seeing Mike James, the kid from the Pat Knight video who was interrupted and told he had "no clue" what it takes to win, shoot long three-pointers and Osas Ebomwonyi's defensive prowess matching up with Tyler Zeller, is going to be well worth the watch, even if we know how the story ends.