Patriot League Tournament Support, Preview & Schedule
Buoyed by a 12-game winning streak, Colgate is once again atop the Patriot League. For the third straight regular season (the Navy won the top seed in divisional format last year), the Raiders won the Patriot League regular season title.
Behind them the league has a few storylines and as we know nothing ever goes to plan in this tournament, just ask Navy. Last season, the Midshipmen finished in first place but lost their quarter-final to Santi Aldama and the Loyola Greyhounds.
Navy had another strong season that included a season-opening victory at Virginia, finishing in second place in the league. The Mids have shown they have one of the best defenses in the country as they have held opponents to within 56 points in six of their last seven games.
To the north, Boston University has one of the best big men in the country. His name is Suk Mathon. The Terriers are still looking to avenge their stripped ticket to the 2020 NCAA Tournament and have all the pieces to do so. They are also one of two Patriot League teams to beat Colgate.
Next, Fran O’Hanlon. The coaching legend will retire after 27 years at Lafayette. In the second round, he could face Colgate. Go on from there and he potentially gets one last date with Lehigh.
Site: All Superior Seeds
All times Eastern
First round (Tuesday 1 Marchst), ESPN+
Game 1: No.9 Bucknell vs. No.8 Lafayette, 7 p.m.
Game 2: No.10 American vs. No.7 Holy Cross, 7 p.m.
Quarter-finals (Thursday 3 Marchrd), ESPN+
Game 3: Game 1 Winner vs. No.1 Colgate, 7 p.m.
Game 4: No.5 Army vs. No.4 Lehigh, 7 p.m.
Game 5: No. 6 Loyola (MD) vs. No. 3 Boston University, 7 p.m.
Game 6: Game 2 winner vs. No.2 Navy, 7 p.m.
Semi-finals (Sunday 6 Marchand), CBS Sports Network
Game 7: Winner of Game 3 vs Winner of Game 4, 2 p.m./4 p.m.
Game 8: Winner of Game 5 vs Winner of Game 6, 2 p.m./4 p.m.
Finals (Wednesday 9 Marchand), CBS Sports Network
Game 9: Game 7 Winner vs Game 8 Winner, 7:30 p.m.
Colgate (20-11, 16-2): Matt Langel made Colgate the monster that haunts the entire Patriot League. Claiming their third straight conference title in seasons that don’t involve splits, the Raiders went 66-18 since 2018 in the Patriot League. No matter who graduates, they continue to finish top of the league.
This season, the attack has been crazy, especially from 3 points. Ranked #5 in KenPom in 3-point percentage, all of their top eight producers rank above 35% behind the arch. They’ve hit double-digit 3s in four of their last five games and have scored 70 or more goals in 14 of their 18 Patriot League games.
All five Raiders starters average double-digit points, so you can’t go wrong picking someone to start on any given night. They beat Syracuse in the non-conference and barely lost to NC State and Pitt. If placed in the ACC Tournament, there’s a good chance the Raiders will make it to the semifinals.
The black horse
Navy (19-10, 12-6): Unlike Colgate, the Midshipmen are all defenders. In February, they only allowed more than 64 points once and that was to Colgate. Neither player is above and beyond in attack, but the injury bug has hit them at times. Greg Summers has played a total of four minutes in the last three games, but Sean Yoder has stepped up. In addition to the roundness of the team, they have the best CV of any team in the league. Opening the season with a victory at Virginia, they coupled it with a victory at Furman later in the month, holding one of the best mid-major offenses in the nation at just 66 points. When you look at it, Navy has the best resume in the league.
Boston University (20-11, 11-7): Joe James still has plenty of pieces from that 2020 NCAA Tournament squad that weren’t, and they’re looking to dance this year. One of those plays could be Patriot League Player of the Year Mathon. He’s had 16 double-doubles this season and ranks in the top 35 in both offensive and defensive ratings. He’s not even the team’s top scorer as Javante McCoy averages 17.1 PPG. The Terriers also have everyone’s favorite, Walter Whyte, who is averaging 12.7 PPG. Earlier this season, they eliminated Colgate. If that’s not impressive enough, they lost by one to Florida State, taking the Seminoles to overtime.
Army (15-15, 9-9): If it hadn’t been for a six-game losing streak in February, one of the original members of the NMTC could set up a quarter-final. Led by scoring machine Jalen Rucker, the Black Knights scored the most points this season against Colgate and Navy. This Navy game turned out to be the biggest comeback win in Patriot League history.
La Fayette (10-19, 7-11): O’Hanlon is retiring after 27 seasons in charge of Lafayette, so why not have one last run? They’ve played Colgate in both matchups this season, upset Rutgers and put on a disciplined offense. Neal Quinn’s seven-footer was dominant down low, scoring 14.6 points and averaging 7.4 rebounds per game. Expect a fight from this team.
Players to watch
Nelly Cummings, Colgate (14.6 PPG, 3 RPG, 3.4 APG, 38.4% FG%)
Tucker Richardson, Colgate (12.6 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 3.8 APG, 43.3% FG%)
Jack Ferguson, Colgate (11.9 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 41.8% FG%)
Ryan Moffatt, Colgate (10.3 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 52.9% FG%)
Keegan Records, Colgate (10.2 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 64.3% FG%)
John Carter Jr., Navy (12.9 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 39.8% FG%)
Javante McCoy, Boston University (17.1 PPG, 4 RPG, 3 APG, 49.5% FG%)
Suk Mathon, Boston University (15.1 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 52.9% FG%)
Evan Taylor, Lehigh (13.1 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 48.3% FG%)
Jalen Rucker, Army (16.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.1 APG, 40.1% FG%)
Cam Spencer, Loyola (MD) (18.6 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 3.2 APG, 46.5% FG%)
Jaylin Andrews, Loyola (MD) (13.8 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 40.2% FG%)
Neal Quinn, Lafayette (14.6 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 3.9 APG, 54.4% FG%)
Gerrale Gates, St. Croix (16.1 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 42.5% FG%)
Stacy Beckton Jr., American (13.4 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 43.4% FG%)
Andrew Funk, Bucknell (17.7 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 42.8% FG%)
Something tells me Lafayette will upset Colgate in what will be O’Hanlon’s last victory, and we will have an Army-Navy final. The Mids will emerge triumphant in their first NCAA Tournament bid since 1998 and will be a popular upset pick as they beat Virginia earlier this season.