For Colgate's Kyle Roemer, that's just the way he likes it. The Raiders'
junior captain has propelled his
team into its first league title game since 1996.The winner of Friday's Colgate vs.American game gets a berth in the NCAA Tournament, which comes with the national attention not often lavished on Patriot League schools.
"I've been here three years and we've been trying to put this program on the map," said Roemer
, who arrived on campus in 2004 as Colgate's
first scholarship player."Now our chance is here and I'm enjoying it.
"I don't think it's about not letting pressure getting to you, I think it's thriving under the pressure and enjoying it.I really enjoy that feeling." Roemer, a second-team All-Patriot League pick this year, has led Colgate to an 18-13 record, including six straight wins - the team's longest win streak since the 1996-97 season.
That was the final year of the Adonal Foyle era, which produced two NCAA Tournament berths. Colgate
was 10-19 each of the last two seasons, though Roemer
did not play last year following ankle surgery.The 6-foot-3, 216-pound guard from Martinez, Calif., is averaging a team-best 16.2 points and 1.35 steals per game this season.
So far, Kyle
is playing his
best basketball with everything on the line." Roemer
scored a career-high 32 points in Colgate's
quarterfinal win over Lafayette, then followed up with 25 points in a 54-40 win over Bucknell
in the semifinals.But against American, Roemer's defense will be tested.
...However, the Eagles' home is likely to play host to a couple hundred rowdy Colgate supporters - fans who Roemer says have pushed the Raiders to new heights this season.
"The biggest thing about our run as been the student body and how supportive they have been," said Roemer
, whose team enjoyed playing in front of a rare capacity crowd of 1,301 fans in the Raiders' semifinal game against Bucknell