Patriot League Tournament Preview

Written by: Joe Ryan

Twitter: @joeywingspan

Twitter:  @wingspansports  (follow for all your Sports needs by clicking the @wingspansports handle given there) (we’ll follow back, you won’t regret it)

College Basketball Conference Tournament season is here! March Madness has begun and were still in the final days of February.

It’s crazy that the regular season is actually already over for some conferences, but here we are.

The Atlantic Sun kicked us off with the Conference Tournament season, but the Patriot League follows right behind.

Lets take a look at how the regular season fared in the Patriot League.

SCHOOL CONF CPCT. OVERALL PCT. HOME AWAY NEUTRAL STREAK
Bucknell !* 16-2 0.889 22-9 0.710 12-1 10-8 0-0 W5
Colgate * 12-6 0.667 17-12 0.586 11-3 6-9 0-0 W3
Navy * 11-7 0.611 20-11 0.645 9-5 9-5 2-1 W1
Lehigh * 11-7 0.611 16-13 0.552 9-5 7-8 0-0 W8
Boston University 10-8 0.556 14-15 0.483 6-7 8-8 0-0 W2
Holy Cross 8-10 0.444 11-18 0.379 6-7 5-9 0-2 L1
Lafayette 7-11 0.389 9-20 0.310 7-6 2-14 0-0 L2
Loyola Maryland 6-12 0.333 8-21 0.276 7-6 1-15 0-0 L5
Army West Point 6-12 0.333 13-16 0.448 6-5 5-11 2-0 L6
American 3-15 0.167 6-23 0.207 4-8 2-15 0-0 L3

! Clinched regular-season title
* Clinched home court for quarterfinal round

The Favorites

Bucknell was awarded the regular season title as they finished 16-2 in the conference, basically dominating the entire conference. Bucknell’s only two losses in conference came against Lehigh and Boston University, two teams that finished ahead of the conference.

Bucknell is the favorite to win this tournament and secure a bid in the NCAA tournament as they have 2 of the top 4 scorers in the conference. Zach Tomas averages 21 a game and Nana Foulland averages 15.6 point per game for Bucknell. 2 guys who can get you a bucket at any given point.

But, are there teams that can upset Bucknell and steal a bid?

Of course, welcome to march.

The Dark Horse

A team I like to keep an eye on is Lehigh. Lehigh is a school who is made for March, has experience, can score the ball and knows how to win big games. Brett Reed is still coaching at Lehigh and we all know how he has fared in big games (Cc: Duke).

Lehigh can score the ball as a team as they average 77.7 points per game, and that’s good for second in the Patriot League, behind no other than, Bucknell. Lehigh also leads the conference in 3 point field goal percentage, so if the shots are falling, they’ll be a tough out. But the 2 big things I like to keep an eye on? Free Throws and Winning.

Lehigh leads the Patriot League in free throw percentage and that pays dividends in March. If you can hit your free throws, your going to win ball games.

Also, Lehigh was only 1 of 2 teams to beat Bucknell, so they know how to get it done and you better believe they are not scares of Bucknell or the moment.

Another Team to keep an Eye on:

Colgate.

Colgate has done a tremendous job this year in the Patriot League finishing 2nd in the conference. Colgate plays very good defense, only allowing 70 points per game and their offense can put up good numbers.

Colgate plays scrappy, gritty basketball, but they need to take care of the ball. If they’re going to win this tournament they can’t turnover the ball like they do and they need to rely on their defense.

Predictions

Round 1:

(8) Loyola MD over (9) Army

(7) Lafayette over (10) American

 

Round 2:

(1) Bucknell over (8) Loyola MD

(4) Lehigh over (5) American

(6) Holy Cross over (3) Navy

(2) Colgate over (7) Lafayette

 

Round 3:

(4) Lehigh over (1) Bucknell

(2) Colgate over (6) Holy Cross

 

Championship:

(4) Lehigh over (2) Colgate

 

I really like this Lehigh team and I think they’re going to end up with the Conference Tournament and the big to the Big Dance.

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