For the fifth-straight season, Colgate has won a regular season title (won the eastern division in 2021) in the Patriot League.
It was never in doubt, opening league play with an 11-0 record and finishing with a six-game lead on the next team in the standings, Navy.
At times, it almost looked boring for the Raiders. They’ll look to continue their success with three wins in March and their fourth NCAA Tournament bid since 2019.
Note: All games take place at the higher seed and all times are Eastern.
First Round (Tuesday, Feb. 28), ESPN+
Game 1: No. 9 Holy Cross vs. No. 8 Loyola (MD), 7 p.m.
Game 2: No. 10 Bucknell vs. No. 7 American, 7 p.m.
Quarterfinals (Thursday, Mar. 2), ESPN+
Game 3: No. 5 Boston University vs. No. 4 Army, 6 p.m.
Game 4: Game 1 Winner vs. No. 1 Colgate, 7 p.m.
Game 5: No. 6 Lafayette vs. No. 3 Lehigh, 7 p.m.
Game 6: Game 2 Winner vs. No. 2 Navy, 7 p.m.
Semifinals (Sunday, Mar. 5), CBSSN
Game 7: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner, 2/4 p.m.
Game 8: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner, 2/4 p.m.
Finals: (Wednesday, Mar. 8), CBSSN
Game 9: Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner, 7:30 p.m.
Colgate (23-8, 17-1): The Raiders' reign of terror has continued, finishing conference play with 10 wins by double digits and an impressive 17-1 record.
It’s through the offense that Matt Langel has found success, as Colgate finished the season as the top 3-point shooting and effective field goal percentage team in the country.
Along with all of this, Colgate holds home-court advantage throughout the conference tournament. The Raiders have not lost a Patriot League game in front of its home crowd since before the pandemic started.
Navy (18-12, 11-7): Navy has a 10-2 record since MLK Day, proving that the Midshipmen are playing some of their best basketball as of late.
On the floor, their defense is the difference. Navy consistently forces some of the longest possessions in the nation, which led to their Patriot-League-leading defensive efficiency numbers.
The only problem is they’ve lost nine straight games to Colgate.
The Long Shots
Army (16-15, 10-8): One of the original members of the Never Made the Tournament Club, Army is one win away from clinching consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 1979. Their young backcourt has rallied this team, ranking second in the Patriot League in effective field goal percentage.
American (15-14, 7-11): American has shown signs of promise, handing Colgate its only loss in league play. But after a 7-5 start, the Eagles have struggled, dropping six straight games. They’ll need the size of Johnny O’Neil and Matt Rogers to translate into some more upset victories.
Bucknell (12-19, 5-13): If Andre Screen can return for the Bison, I think they have a chance to make the title game. Xander Rice has played as an all-league guard and the 7-foot-1-inch frame of Screen is a tough thing to combat.
Players to Watch
Tucker Richardson, Colgate (14.1 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 5.2 APG, 45.3% FG)
Keegan Records, Colgate (12.5 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 65.9% FG%)
Oliver Lynch-Daniels, Colgate (11.8 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 50.8% FG%)
Braeden Smith, Colgate (11.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 4.5 APG, 49.4% FG%)
Ryan Moffatt, Colgate (10.1 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 51.7% FG%)
Daniel Deaver, Navy (13.5 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 53.3% FG%)
Tyler Nelson, Navy (12.6 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 45.1% FG)
Keith Higgins Jr,, Lehigh (14.9 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 48.1% FG)
Ethan Taylor, Lehigh (14.2 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 42.4% FG)
Tyler Whitney-Sidney, Lehigh (13.4 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 47.5% FG%)
Jalen Rucker, Army (15.8 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.5 APG, 44.2% FG%)
Ethan Roberts, Army (12.7 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 49.1% FG%)
Walter Whyte, Boston University (14.7 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 42.9% FG%)
Leo O’Boyle, Lafayette (11.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 43.1% FG%)
Matt Rogers, American (13.7 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 62.8% FG%)
Johnny O’Neil, American (10.8 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 43.9% FG)
Kenneth Jones, Loyola (MD) (11.5 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 3.5 APG, 47.6% FG%)
Gerrale Gates, Holy Cross (16.3 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 47.7% FG%)
Will Batchelder, Holy Cross (12.2 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 40.8% FG%)
Xander Rice, Bucknell (14.0 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 3.7 APG, 42.3% FG%)
Alex Timmerman, Bucknell (11.5 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 51.9% FG%)
Andre Screen, Bucknell (11.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 62.9% FG%)
Colgate takes care of business and makes its fourth NCAA Tournament since 2019. Once again, they’ll be a popular upset pick in the Big Dance.