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Old 02-24-2013, 12:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Week to go, and the tournament is shaping up

After this afternoon's games, there are two PL games left, and the standings are:
Bucknell 10-2- clinched tie for regular season title, need one win this week for #1 seed
Lafayette 8-4- the Lehigh sweep gives them the tiebreaker; #1 seed still possible
Lehigh 8-4- finish with 2 at home; game with Army could decide #3/#4
Army 7-5- The Black Knights have won 4 straight in-PL for the 1st time ever
Colgate 5-7- The Red Raiders could still get a #4 seed by beating Army
American 5-7- lost last week to Army & Navy; tough finish on the road-Bucknell, Lafayette
Holy Cross 3-9- lost 3 straight, 2 on last-second shots, but 8/9 since a 2-1 PL start
Navy 2-10- beat American last week to break a 7 game losing streak

My guesses at end-of-season honors:
COTY- Fran O'Hanlon, Lafayette
POY- Mike Muscala, Bucknell
ROY- Kyle Wilson, Army

Going into this final week of games, the tournament seems to be shaping up in line with the current standings. March 2nd Army@Lehigh may determine #3/4. No one wants to play Army right now. American may have a tough time holding onto #5/6 this week, playing at Bucknell and Lafayette but HC would need a turn in their luck. Bucknell/Navy will likely play twice in succession, Saturday in Annapolis, and then again in Lewisburg to open the PL tourney.

Performance of the weekend's PL games- Tony Johnson, Lafayette (29 pts:10-12 FG, 5-5 3pt, 4-4 FT)
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Week to go, and the tournament is shaping up

Looks like its Bucknell's tournament. Last year's stumble should be good motivation this year. Also, the bottom 4 teams appear to be opening round fodder for the top 4 - can't see any upsets there.
Too bad Lehigh is coming back to earth after the injury....no chance for 2 NCAA bids in the PL.....

Bucknell looks like a 13th seed in the NCAA if they take care of business.
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Week to go, and the tournament is shaping up

Does Lehigh have a shot at the NIT if they lose in the PL tourney? Obviously Bucknell would get the automatic NIT if they happen to lose.

And do other PL schools have any history in participating in the CBI and CIT?
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Week to go, and the tournament is shaping up

Lehigh still has an RPI around 90, depending on who is doing the math, but this will drift downward, even with wins between now and the finish of the PL tournament, as the money conference weaker sisters get RPI bumps from their seasons and tournaments. That would make them borderline for the NIT, depending on how many conference favorites get upset in their tournaments and the possible decision to put CJ McCullum back onto the court. While his return seems unlikely due to any risk to his first-round draft status, CJ's boot cast may come off today and the NIT/CBI/CIT are three weeks away. His presence would make LU much more for any selection committee.

The Mountain Hawks have an uphill climb. They have 4 PL losses now: Bucknell, Colgate and Lafayette (2x). A Lehigh home loss to Army this week might sink any NIT chance. If they do lose, the Bucknell-Lehigh match-up in Sojka could be in the semifinal, not the long-anticipated final. Lehigh has won their last three in Lewisburg, but have looked vulnerable in the PL return round, losing three in a row.

American was in the 2012 CIT, losing at home to Buffalo before a less-than-impressive crowd. Bucknell has played in Gazelle Group pre-season tournaments in the past two years and would be a handsome 'get' for the CBI this year, but the Bison would have to crumple to not get an NIT berth. It appears as though two of their next three are against the Midshipmen of Navy, a tougher 'out' than the few last years, but the softest path to the PL semifinals. I doubt even an unlikely upset at home in the semis would knock them out of the NIT.

Although no one wants to play the fearless frosh-heavy Black Knights right now, I would prefer (and would predict) Bucknell-Army and Lehigh-Lafayette as the semi pairings. For Bucknell, the possible semifinals and finals will be played during Spring Break, blunting student attendance for the games. Local demand is such that the games will likely still sell out. This week's final home game against American is being broadcast in central and NE PA. Lafayette sold more than 3300 tix for LU@LC this week, and the final match in that grudge war will likely be regionally hot as well.

Last edited by BucBisonAtLarge; 02-25-2013 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Week to go, and the tournament is shaping up

Quote:
Originally Posted by BucBisonAtLarge View Post
Although no one wants to play the fearless frosh-heavy Black Knights right now.
I would love to play Army right now. We got their number. We had every chance to sweep them and choked it away two weeks ago.

They really, really struggle against our defense for some reason.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Week to go, and the tournament is shaping up

Quote:
Originally Posted by BucBisonAtLarge View Post
Lehigh still has an RPI around 90, depending on who is doing the math, but this will drift downward, even with wins between now and the finish of the PL tournament, as the money conference weaker sisters get RPI bumps from their seasons and tournaments. That would make them borderline for the NIT, depending on how many conference favorites get upset in their tournaments and the possible decision to put CJ McCullum back onto the court. While his return seems unlikely due to any risk to his first-round draft status, CJ's boot cast may come off today and the NIT/CBI/CIT are three weeks away. His presence would make LU much more for any selection committee.

The Mountain Hawks have an uphill climb. They have 4 PL losses now: Bucknell, Colgate and Lafayette (2x). A Lehigh home loss to Army this week might sink any NIT chance. If they do lose, the Bucknell-Lehigh match-up in Sojka could be in the semifinal, not the long-anticipated final. Lehigh has won their last three in Lewisburg, but have looked vulnerable in the PL return round, losing three in a row.

American was in the 2012 CIT, losing at home to Buffalo before a less-than-impressive crowd. Bucknell has played in Gazelle Group pre-season tournaments in the past two years and would be a handsome 'get' for the CBI this year, but the Bison would have to crumple to not get an NIT berth. It appears as though two of their next three are against the Midshipmen of Navy, a tougher 'out' than the few last years, but the softest path to the PL semifinals. I doubt even an unlikely upset at home in the semis would knock them out of the NIT.

Although no one wants to play the fearless frosh-heavy Black Knights right now, I would prefer (and would predict) Bucknell-Army and Lehigh-Lafayette as the semi pairings. For Bucknell, the possible semifinals and finals will be played during Spring Break, blunting student attendance for the games. Local demand is such that the games will likely still sell out. This week's final home game against American is being broadcast in central and NE PA. Lafayette sold more than 3300 tix for LU@LC this week, and the final match in that grudge war will likely be regionally hot as well.
Cool, thanks for the info
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Week to go, and the tournament is shaping up

I was pretty disappointed to see AU drop that pair of games this week. They were tied with Army for the final home quarterfinal spot back at 5-5. I was hoping to find a way into an AU home quarterfinal on 3/6. It would have been my Patriot League "debut".
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Week to go, and the tournament is shaping up

I would put HC and AU in the "Huh?" under-performance category. The HC fans are after Milan Brown's job. American has never finished below .500 in the League, but unless they stop the Bison Wednesday in Lewisburg, they will have those eight losses for the first time, facing a tough road call in Easton against Lafayette on Saturday. Bender is a tough place for anyone else to win, but it looks like the Eagles will be traveling.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Week to go, and the tournament is shaping up

The Wednesday winners:
Bucknell
Lafayette
Lehigh
Army

The top four beat the bottom four, with only the Army-Holy Cross game being close to close. The seeding for the tournament now looks like this (courtesy of PL website):

"Bucknell: The Bison have clinched the No. 1 seed and home court advantage in each round of the League tourney
Lafayette: The Leopards will be the No. 2 seed with a win over American. If they lose, Lafayette would drop to the No. 3 seed.
Lehigh: The Mountain Hawks can move to the No. 2 seed with a win over Army and Lafayette loss to American. Lehigh would be the No. 3 seed if Lafayette wins, regardless of its result against the Black Knights. The Mountain Hawks would fall to No. 4 with a loss to Army and a Lafayette loss to American.
Army: The Black Knights can jump to the No. 2 seed with a win and a Lafayette loss to American. Army is the No. 4 seed if it loses to Lehigh or Lafayette beats American.
American: The Eagles will be the No. 5 seed in the Patriot League Tournament if they beat Lafayette or Colgate loses at Holy Cross. They fall to the No. 6 with a loss and a Colgate win.
Colgate: The Raiders can move up to the No. 5 spot with a win at Holy Cross and an American loss to Lafayette, but would be No. 6 if they lose or American wins.
Holy Cross: The Crusaders are locked into the No. 7 seed.
Navy: The Mids will be the No. 8 seed. "

Bucknell, in winning its 3rd straight outright PL regular season title, guaranteed at least the NIT berth. Lehigh buried Navy, and hosts the suddenly respectable Army Saturday. The Black Knights (15-13) will finish the regular season above .500, first ever winning PL season, their first non-losing season since 1984-85 and own the longest current win streak in the League (5 games).

Last edited by BucBisonAtLarge; 02-28-2013 at 09:18 AM.
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