Patriot League Tournament Preview
The three teams at the top of the league are the ones to watch. Colgate has quietly been very good this year behind the Bucknell hype and Lehigh is a legitimate contender for the tournament title.
2018 Champion: Bucknell
1-seed Colgate Raiders 21-10 (13-5)
Colgate is one of the better offensive teams in the league and the highest rated in KenPom overall. Rapolas Ivanauskas is the star of this team who can score from anywhere on the floor and rebounds well. The Raiders need to play better defense to win the league but they can score with just about anyone.
2-seed Bucknell Bison 19-11 (13-5)
This team has been getting the hype for most of the season and it’s because they play an exciting, up-tempo game. They are solid on both ends of the floor and Kimbal Mackenzie is Mr. Everything.
3-seed Lehigh Mountain Hawks 19-10 (12-6)
The Mountain Hawks boast the best offense in the league and have four players who score 13+ points per game. They shoot the 3 as a team really well at 43.4%. If they can limit their turnovers and keep shooting the ball well, they can win this tournament easily.
4-seed American Eagles 15-14 (9-9)
One of the most patriotic teams in the Patriot League, the American Eagles have a really good player named Sa’eed Nelson. Nelson can do it all on both ends scoring 19.5 points grabbing 5.7 rebounds dishing 5.3 assists and stealing the ball 2.4 times a game. He has to be at his best AND limit his turnovers to give his team a chance to win. Any additional help he can get would be huge.
5-seed Navy Midshipmen 11-18 (8-10)
Annapolis has one of the least efficient offenses in America. They don’t shoot the 3 well (31.8%) and have turnover issues (14.1 per game). They battle on the glass and that’s where they can make up the ground. Winning the glass battle and limiting turnovers will keep Navy in most games.
6-seed Army Black Knights 13-18 (8-10)
The academies have both played similarly this season, not good from outside (31.9%) but are aggressive on the glass. Army is another poor team offensively, but they do play pretty good defense and like to play with pace. Matt Wilson can lead this team to wins, they just need to get him the ball in a good position to score.
7-seed Lafayette Leopards 10-19 (7-11)
It would take a ton for any of these teams to win the league. Lafayette is atrocious defensively and they don’t rebound the ball particularly well. Jaworski and Petrie and the keys to winning the tournament, they need to be lights out.
8-seed Boston Terriers 14-17 (7-11)
The Terriers play pretty good offense scoring 72.4 points per game. Max Mahoney is one of the better big men in the league and shoots an impressive 62.4% from the field. He needs to be at his best and Scanlon or McCoy need to help out as well.
9-seed Loyola (MD) Greyhounds 11-20 (7-11)
This Greyhounds team has a very good junior named Andrew Kostecka who scores the ball well (21.5 ppg) and plays strong defensive forcing turnovers (2.7 steals). He can’t do it all himself. he needs some help from his teammates and a better effort overall on the glass.
10-seed Holy Cross Crusaders 15-16 (6-12)
Holy Cross plays one of the slowest tempos in the entire country at 344th overall. This is Bill Carmody basketball. The Crusaders have four guys in double figures nightly and just really need to make the most of their possessions. They play the style that can win or lose them any game depending on offensive efficiency.
Loyola (MD) over Boston
Holy Cross over Lafayette
Colgate over Loyola (MD)
Navy over American
Lehigh over Army
Bucknell over Holy Cross
Colgate over Navy
Lehigh over Bucknell
Lehigh over Colgate