Location: Various Campus Sites
The Patriot League tournament whets our post-season appetite and marks the official beginning of March Madness. One of the smaller mid-major conferences, the Patriot Conference begins conference tournament play today (March 3) with Navy visiting Colgate and Lafayette traveling to Loyola.
Predicted Champ: (after the jump)Boston
This appears to be Boston University’s tournament to lose. Coach Joe Jones never even played in a conference tourney game during his seven years as head coach at Columbia, and never won a conference tourney game in the past two seasons at BU while in the America East Conference. The Terriers switched to the Patriot League this season, and will have home-court advantage as the number one seed, hopefully the 10th time is the charm. BU does not block many shots but makes a lot of threes, so if teams hope to beat them then it will have to be aggressive down low and opponents will have to find a way to stop the three ball.
American – American ( 17-12, 13-5 Patriot) handed Boston University their worst loss of the season on January 22, beating the Terrier by 30. That win came in the middle of an 11-game win stream, their longest of the season. The Eagles have lost five of their last eight games heading into the tournament but if they can put together their mid-season magic, they could have a chance to win the automatic birth into the Big Dance.
Bucknell (16-13, 11-7) comes into the tournament as hot as any team in the Patriot. They have reeled off six consecutive wins heading into their March 5 tournament opener against Army, who they beat by 12 on February 15.
Projected Tournament MOP: Maurice Watson, Boston
All Tournament Team:
G – Maurice Watson, Boston (13.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 6.6 apg)
G – Kyle Wilson, Army (18.2 ppg)
G – Cameron Ayers, Bucknell (15.5 ppg, 4.4 apg)
F – Dave Dudzinski, Holy Cross (15.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg)
F – Tony Wroblicky, American (12.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg)