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2015 NCAA Tournament: Lafayette Draws 16 Seed, Villanova in First Round

The Patriot League champions braved one of the most bizarre tournaments in America and have drawn a tough matchup in the first round.

Fran says onward, so onward we shall go.
Fran says onward, so onward we shall go.
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Fran O'Hanlon and the Lafayette Leopards entered the Patriot League Conference Tournament as the No. 4 seed and managed to braze the Thunderdome of that bracket, but it will be a very different test for the Patriot League's representative as they face No. 1 seed Villanova on Thursday afternoon in the East Region Round of 64 in Pittsburgh, Penn.

The Leopards enter the postseason with a 20-12 record after posting a 9-9 record in Patriot League play. They are in the midst of a 6-1 stretch dating back to Feb. 18 win over Holy Cross with the one loss coming Colgate.

Nick Lindner led the way for Lafayette as they pushed through the Patriot League tournament, averaging 21.5 points while posting a 25-8 assist-to-turnover ratio. This isn't a one-man show, however. Standing with Lindner are a trio of experienced NCAA Tournament-caliber players in Dan Trist (17.3 ppg, 6.7 rbg), Seth Hinrichs (13.1, 5.8) and Joey Ptasinski (12.8, 40 percent 3PT).

Villanova enters the tournament ranked third in the RPI and will represent the Leopards third top 50 RPI opponent of the season. Lafayette lost to Kansas, 96-69, and West Virginia, 83-56, earlier this season.