This is what Glenn Thiel likes about the Colonial Athletic Association.
This is what the Penn State men's lacrosse coach was optimistic about when his team joined the CAA: Despite the regular-season record, an NCAA tournament bid was still within reach.
All the team would have to do is make the conference tournament to have a chance.
Such is the situation the Nittany Lions find themselves in tonight, needing a win in their regular season-finale -- on Senior Night -- to give the team a chance at finishing fourth in the conference and extending the season to Wednesday.
There's already so much riding on this game for the Lions, so it would only figure that last game would come against the team currently holding the last tournament spot -- Delaware.
"The guys are very excited," senior midfielder Chris Hogan said. "Excited that we still have a chance to get to the CAA tournament."
Right now, Towson has already clinched the tournament's top seed and the regular-season title. After that, Massachusetts, Drexel and Delaware are all tied at 2-2 in the conference, with Penn State and Hofstra tied at 1-3. The Lions need a win tonight plus a Hofstra win at Towson to seal the final spot.
If it clinches the spot, Penn State books a trip back to Towson as the No. 4 seed and a rematch with the Tigers.
All the speculation and scenarios, however, are all moot with a loss.
"It's the start of the playoffs for us," Thiel said.
Delaware is playing for something as well. The Fighting Blue Hens will clinch the No. 2 seed in the conference with a win, regardless of what happens in the other conference game between Drexel and UMass.
But if there is anything going for the Lions, it's the confidence the team has going into the showdown, mostly based off the upset win of Hofstra two weeks ago.
Defender Matt Bernier, who has been ruled out for tonight's game with a knee injury, said the team had confidence heading into last week's game that it hadn't had in a while.
There is precedent for Penn State playing well at the end of the year as well, noticed by last year's strong finish and the season-ending win at Georgetown. That game didn't mean anything, but this one does.
And despite not playing, Bernier has confidence in his teammates.
"If we play the way we know we can, we can beat anybody," Bernier said.
"That in-game confidence is really gonna help us out next game because it is a playoff game."