The Patriot Conference tournament has already begun, with the #8 Holy Cross Crusaders and #7 Navy Midshipmen advancing onto the second round. It’s a curious position for the Crusaders to be in, given the expectations within the conference and especially after beating the #25 ranked Harvard Crimson to open the season. They could be a dark horse in this tournament, however they have to play the conference leader to advance. With that, the second round begins today with four matchups; #8 Holy Cross Crusaders at #1 Bucknell Bison, #5 Boston University Terriers at #4 Lafayette Leopards, #6 American Eagles at #3 Lehigh Mountain Hawks and #7 Navy Midshipmen at #2 Colgate Raiders.
The Bucknell Bison will have home court advantage throughout the tournament, which has been helpful throughout conference play, going 8-1. The one defeat was to the #2 Colgate Raiders whom actually swept them in conference play, but struggled to beat the bottom dwellers of the conference. As for the prediction, it’s tough given how competitive the Patriot conference is this year. I wouldn’t venture to say any of these teams are dominant, so it’s fair game in my opinion. However, I’m going to predict that the #3 Lehigh Mountain Hawks win the Patriot conference tournament. Their young guards Kahron Ross and Austin Price, as well as center Tim Kempton have created a formidable trio and show a promising future for the Mountain Hawks. Let’s not forget too, they have shown flashes of what they can do, like defeating the Arizona St. Sun Devils and Depaul Blue Demons on the road. The Mountain Hawks also whipped the Bucknell Bison on February 28th, so I think they are more than capable of running the tables.