This is the week that Bucknell’s talented roster will finally be put to the test. The Bison finished atop the Patriot League with a 15-3 conference record and have an extremely talented squad this year.
They are led by Patriot League Player of the Year Nana Foulland, who has put up ridiculous numbers: 14.8 points and 7.9 assists per game. Zach Thomas was named to Patriot League first team, Stephen Brown made second team and was named to the all-defensive team, and Kimbal Mackenzie has also shined recently. To top it off, Head Coach Nathan Davis was also named Coach of the Year for the Patriot League.
Lehigh has been the most successful team when it comes to winning the automatic birth. C.J. McCollum led them to a win in 2012 and Tim Kempton could could look to follow suit. Some think the senior was well deserving of the Player of the Year award as he finished with 20 points per game and 10.1 assists per game. They are the only team to have beaten Bucknell twice this season (Loyola Maryland did so once).
The conference is known for its strong three-point shooting. Lehigh guard Kyle Leufroy and Bucknell forward Zach Thomas both shoot 42% behind the arc for the Mountain Hawks.
Teams who are seeded higher will get home court advantage throughout the tournament. Rankings were determined by conference record.
How to watch
(9) American at (8) Army, 7 PM ET
(10) Lafayette at (7) Loyola-Maryland, 7 PM ET
Quarterfinals TBA, CBS Network
Semifinals on March 5th, CBS Network
Finals on March 8th, CBS Network
3 Things to Watch
Can Lehigh stay hot when it really matters?
It’s clear that the Mountain Hawks have some ugly losses on the season including two defeats at the hands of Loyola (Md). If Kahron Ross, Leufroy and Austin Price can either stay hot around the perimeter or drive and dish to Kempton, most teams will have trouble with the Mountain Hawks. However, if they turn the ball over frequently and can’t get the ball to Kempton, their four game winning streak will come to a close.
Will Colgate’s potential be maximized ASAP?
The Raiders have two dynamic players in sophomore Malcolm Regisford and Rookie of the Year Will Rayman. Their best win this year came against BU but the Raiders could seal the deal for a promising future if they can take Lehigh down in their first round matchup?
Can the senior Terriers rise up?
BU has quite the dynamic duo in seniors Eric Fanning and Justin Alston. Fanning is averaging 15.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game while Alston carries the team with 12.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. They are yet to win games against Bucknell and Lehigh, but if Alston keeps up his remarkable 56% FG percentage, the Terriers could make a run at the whole thing.
Bucknell over Lehigh in a close one.