Patriot League (conference rank: 23rd)
Feb. 28, Mar. 2, 5, 8
All games at higher seeds.
kPOY: Tim Kempton, Lehigh
Regular season champ: Bucknell (preseason #189 / 3rd PL, current #78)
Overachiever: Bucknell
Underachiever: Lafayette (preseason #301, current #330)

My apologies to the Patriot League for this belated preview. (A couple of sources on reputable web sites had this tournament starting tomorrow.) Let’s pretend like it’s yesterday. Bucknell is the clear favorite having gone 15-3 and winning the league by three games. The Bison have the league’s best win with a November victory at #44 Vanderbilt. They easily led the conference in both offensive and defensive efficiency, the child of Bucknell’s excellent play and the parity in the middle of the league.

Lehigh is a bonafide challenger, though. Tim Kempton, Jr. is as experienced as you’ll see having been the focal point of the Mountain Hawks offense for the last four seasons. He has collected 29 game MVP’s over his career including 12 this season alone and he’s probably not finished. You can’t spell Kempton without kenpom so there’s that, too. Lehigh swept Bucknell this season so a rematch in the finals should be interesting.

Spoiler alert! Army and Loyola defended their home courts in first round games last night. That already makes this year’s tournament more conventional that last season’s when the road team went 5-4. Of course, four of those road wins were by Holy Cross in one of the more amazing conference tournament runs that has ever occurred. Last night’s results assure that no team will repeat that this season.

                      Qtrs Semis Final Champ
 1 Bucknell            100  92.3  79.7  62.7
 3 Lehigh              100  88.5  53.0  20.3
 2 Boston University   100  77.8  39.9  10.5
 4 Navy                100  63.9  11.4   3.2
 5 Holy Cross          100  36.1   6.6   1.9
 7 Loyola MD          83.7  20.9   3.8   0.5
 8 Army               76.6   6.5   2.0   0.4
 6 Colgate             100  11.5   3.3   0.4
 9 American           23.4   1.2   0.2   0.04
10 Lafayette          16.3   1.3   0.07  <.001