Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament First Round Preview

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Lafayette's Seth Hinrichs
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG
Lafayette's Seth Hinrichs
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG

March 3, 2014

Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament First Round Preview Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The Patriot League becomes the first Division I conference to begin postseason play with a pair of first-round contests on Monday. No. 10 seed Navy visits No. 7 Colgate at 7 p.m. with No. 9 Lafayette at No. 8 Loyola Maryland at 7:30 p.m., with each game available on Patriot League Network.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_MBB
*The Patriot League Tournament opens up with the first-round games on Monday night.
*No. 10 Navy is at No. 7 Colgate at 7 p.m., with No. 9 Lafayette at No. 8 Loyola Maryland at 7:30 p.m.
*Both games can be seen on Patriot League Network.
*The Lafayette/Loyola winner will play at No. 1 Boston University in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
*The Navy/Colgate winner heads to No. 2 American for Wednesday's quarterfinals.
*The other quarterfinal contests have No. 5 Army at No. 4 Bucknell and No. 6 Lehigh at No. 3 Holy Cross.
*All of the quarterfinal games will also be shown on Patriot League Network.
*CBS Sports Network televises the semfiinals on Saturday (3:30/5:30 p.m.) and Championship on March 12 (7:30 p.m.).
*Boston University earned the top seed with a 68-64 win at Holy Cross Saturday to finish two games ahead of American.
*The Terriers won a regular-season title for the first time since 2004 in the America East.
*Bucknell's Cameron Ayers was named Patriot League Player of the Year on Monday.

Patriot League Notebook
Patriot League Tournament Begins with First Round on Monday
The Patriot League becomes the first Division I conference to begin postseason play with a pair of first-round contests on Monday. No. 10 seed Navy visits No. 7 Colgate at 7 p.m. with No. 9 Lafayette at No. 8 Loyola Maryland at 7:30 p.m., with each game available on Patriot League Network. The Raiders and Greyhounds earned the home games with wins on Saturday coupled with Lafayette's loss at Army. Both matchups were split during the regular season, with the home team posting a double-digit win in every contest. It is the first time the Patriot League Tournament features a first-round as the expanded event now includes 10 teams with Boston University and Loyola in their first season in the League.

Quarterfinals Coming on Wednesday
The League Tournament continues with the quarterfinal round on Wednesday. The No. 9/8 winner goes to No. 1 seed Boston University and No. 5 Army is at No. 4 Bucknell in the top half of the bracket, with the No. 10/7 winner at No. 2 American and No. 6 Lehigh at No. 3 Holy Cross in the bottom half. Each of the games will be seen on Patriot League Network, with three contests tipping at 7 p.m. and the American home game at 7:30 p.m. The semifinals are at the higher seeds in each bracket on Saturday at 3:30 and 5:30 p.m., with the Patriot League Championship on March 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the site of the higher seed. The bracket does not re-seed throughout the League tourney. The first round and quarterfinal games are on Patriot League Network, with both semifinals and the championship on CBS Sports Network.

All-League, Major Awards Announced Monday
American had a pair of major award winners on Monday, as senior center Tony Wroblicky became the first Eagle to be named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and Mike Brennan earned the Patriot League Coach of the Year honor in his first season. Bucknell senior guard Cameron Ayers was named Patriot League Player of the Year, while Lehigh freshman forward/center Tim Kempton claimed the Patriot League Rookie of the Year award. More on the major award winners is included in page six of the release, with the full All-Patriot League Team on page two.

Navy, Colgate Look to Stop League Tournament Losing Skids
One team will put an end to a losing streak in the Patriot League Tournament on Monday. Colgate has dropped five straight games, and lost its first game in four straight seasons, since beating the Mids in Annapolis in the 2009 quarterfinals. Navy's streak is much longer, as the Mids have lost a Division I high 13 consecutive Patriot League Tournament games beginning with the 2001 Championship contest. While Loyola plays its first Tournament game, Lafayette has gone the other way of late by making it to at least the semifinals of the League tourney in four consecutive seasons.

Boston University Earns Top Seed with Win at Holy Cross Saturday
The No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament came down to the final minutes of two games on Saturday, with Boston University stepping forward to earn the top spot with a 68-64 win at Holy Cross. The Terriers will be the No. 1 seed in their first Patriot League Tournament, and will host each game that they play. BU ended up winning the regular-season title by two games over American, which fell 56-51 at home to red-hot Bucknell as the Bison won their sixth straight game. The other three games all played a role in setting the seeds for the first round, with Colgate and Loyola earning the home games after road wins coupled with a Lafayette loss at Army. The Raiders won their third straight game with a 74-57 triumph at Lehigh to secure the seventh seed, while the Greyhounds will play as the eighth seed after a 67-65 win at Navy. Lafayette fell to the ninth seed and will have to go on the road in the first round after it fell 87-84 at Army.

Terriers Posting Best Season in a Decade
Boston University is enjoying success both within and outside the Patriot League in its inaugural season in the conference. The Terriers have a 22-9 record overall, notching their highest regular-season win total since a 20-7 mark in the 2004-05 campaign. BU claimed a conference regular-season title for the first time since doing so in the America East in 2003-04.

Road Wins Separate the Standings
Boston University will not have to go on the road in the Patriot League Tournament, but that may not necessarily be a good thing. The Terriers finished 8-1 on the road in Patriot League play with their win at Holy Cross on Saturday, and coupled with Bucknell's victory the teams in the top half of the Patriot League finished 30-15 on the road overall in League play and 21-4 against the other five teams in the League. Each of the top five teams had winning road records, with American and Holy Cross at 6-3 and Army and Bucknell at 5-4. None of the other five Patriot League squads had even a .500 road record in League play, and those teams combined for a 10-35 away mark as home teams had a 50-40 edge in League action.

More League Trends
The Patriot League season produced very close games in 2014, as 50 were decided by single digits and 31 of those were within five points or less. There were 24 sweeps and 21 splits of season series, with Boston University leading the way with six season sweeps. Holy Cross had five, American and Army notched four, Bucknell had two and Lehigh, Colgate and Loyola Maryland each swept one opponent apiece.

Lehigh's McKnight Sets School Assist Record; Will BU's Watson Break Single-Season Mark?
The last two point guards at Lehigh have accounted for more than 1,100 assists, as Mackey McKnight on Wednesday surpassed the school record of 566 set by Marquis Hall (2007-10). McKnight's total of 575 is second in Patriot League history, just 24 behind all-time record holder Holy Cross' Jave Meads (2000-04). There could be another assist record to go down as Boston University's Maurice Watson Jr. is up to 206 for the season, just 19 away from the Patriot League record set by American's Andres Rodriguez in 2003-04. Both players are also in the top 10 in the Patriot League in scoring, and McKnight has passed 1,300 points for his career.

CBS Sports Network, Patriot League Network Cover the Season
CBS Sports Network televised 12 Patriot League games during the regular season, and will have three more in the League Tournament. CBSSN has both semifinals of the Patriot League Tournament on Saturday at 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. and the Patriot League Championship on March 12 at 7:30 p.m. Any game that is not shown on CBS Sports Network will be available with free online web streaming through Patriot League Network. PLN will have the coverage of the Patriot League Tournament in both the first round and quarterfinals.

Patriot League Tournament - First Round
No. 10 Navy Midshipmen (9-20, 4-14) at No. 7 Colgate Raiders (12-17, 6-12)
Cotterell Court; Hamilton, N.Y. - Monday, 7 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Navy and Colgate both try to break tournament losing skids when they meet in Hamilton on Monday.
*The first-round contest can be seen on Patriot League Network at 7 p.m.
*The Mids have lost a Division I-high 13 straight tournament contests, losing their first game in 12 straight years.
*The Raiders have dropped five consecutive League Tournament games, with their last win coming in 2009.
*Colgate's last victory was a 64-59 overtime victory at Navy in the quarterfinals in 2009.
*The Raiders went ahead 3-2 in Patriot League Tournament games against the Mids with the win.
*Colgate also beat Navy in the quarterfinals in 1993 and League Championship in 1995.
*Navy beat the Raiders in the League tourney in the Championship in 1994 and semifinals in 2000.
*The home team won in 1993, 1994 and 1995 before the teams played at a neutral site in 2000.
*The teams split the season series in 2014, with the home team winning decisively each time.
*The Raiders opened with a 14-0 lead and were up by double digits throughout in a 63-41 win on Jan. 18.
*The Mids returned the favor as they led from start to finish in a 71-61 home win over Colgate on Feb. 15.
*Colgate holds a 30-25 lead in the all-time series, winning five of six meetings in the last three years.
*The winner of Monday's game heads to No. 2 American in the quarterfinal round on Wednesday.

No. 9 Lafayette Leopards (10-19, 6-12) at No. 8 Loyola Greyhounds (11-18, 6-12)
Reitz Arena; Baltimore, Md. - Monday, 7:30 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Loyola Maryland plays its first Patriot League Tournament game at home when it welcomes Lafayette on Monday.
*The first-round contest will tip off at 7:30 p.m. and be shown on Patriot League Network.
*The teams split the season series, with each winning decisively on its home court.
*Loyola took over in the second half to pull away for a 77-63 win over Lafayette on Jan. 13 at Reitz Arena.
*The Leopards led by as many as 24 points to cruise to a 61-44 victory in Easton on Feb. 12.
*The all-time series between the teams is tied 2-2 as they had not played since 1962 before this season.
*Lafayette has made it to at least the semifinals of the Patriot League Tournament in four consecutive seasons.
*The Leopards have won three road games in the League tourney in the last three years.
*The winner of Monday's game visits No. 1 Boston University in the quarterfinal round on Wednesday.

Team Notebooks
AMERICAN The Eagles saw plenty of rewards for their outstanding season on Monday when they captured two individual awards and four All-Patriot League honors...Senior center Tony Wroblicky led the way as the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-League selection, while Mike Brennan was named Patriot League Coach of the Year in his first season...Jesse Reed and Darius Gardner each earned second-team All-League honors, and John Schoof was on the third team...The Eagles finished second in the Patriot League at 13-5, but have lost five of eight after a 10-0 start...American enters the Patriot League Tournament after falling 56-51 at home against Bucknell on Saturday...American will open the Patriot League Tournament at home against either Navy or Colgate in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

ARMY Army snapped a two-game losing skid with an 87-84 win over Lafayette on Saturday...The Black Knights used a 27-9 stretch in the first half to turn a seven-point deficit into an 11-point lead, and held off Lafayette the rest of the way....Kyle Wilson led Army with 28 points, while Kevin Ferguson had 17 points and Dylan Cox and Tanner Omlid added 11...Wilson leads all players in both overall and League only games with 18.2 points per game, which helped him earn a unanimous first-team All-League selection on Monday...Omlid was selected to the All-Rookie Team...Ferguson earned the final Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week award of the season after averaging 18.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.0 blocks in two games last week...Ferguson has cracked the Patriot League single-season top 10 with 73 blocks...Army opens the Patriot League Tournament with a quarterfinal game at Bucknell on Wednesday...The teams split the season series, with each squad winning at home.

BOSTON UNIVERSITY Boston University held off Holy Cross 68-64 to claim the outright Patriot League regular-season title in its first season in the conference on Saturday...The Terriers are a regular-season champ and No. 1 seed for the first time since doing it in the America East in 2004...As the No. 1 seed, BU has secured a berth to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) if it does not win the Patriot League Tournament...Boston University had three players earn Patriot League honors on Monday as Maurice Watson Jr. was a first-team selection, D.J. Irving made the second team and Cedric Hankerson made the All-Rookie squad..Watson averages 13.4 points per game while ranking in the top 10 nationally and leading the Patriot League with 6.6 assists per contest...His 206 assists are the third-highest single-season total in League history, and 19 away from the record...Irving went over 1,400 career points while leading the team with 15 on Saturday...The Terriers beat every team at least once in their first Patriot League season, and swept six of the other nine schools...Two of those sweeps were against Lafayette and Loyola Maryland, one of whom BU will host in a quarterfinal Wednesday.

BUCKNELL Bucknell remained red-hot going into the Patriot League Tournament by winning 56-51 at American for its sixth straight victory on Saturday...The Bison dominated the glass with a 45-26 advantage in the game, and have a +86 rebound margin in the six-game win streak to bring their season total to a +3.4 rebound margin per game...Senior guard Cameron Ayers was named Patriot League Player of the Year on Monday...Ayers also earned his third consecutive All-Patriot League honor, becoming the 19th player in League history to be named to the squad in three seasons or more...Chris Hass earned third-team All-Patriot League honors...Bucknell went 11-7 in Patriot League play, and has finished .500 or better in 20 of 24 League seasons...The Bison defeated every team in the Patriot League at least once during the season...They will open the Patriot League Tournament at home against Army on Wednesday in the quarterfinals...Bucknell has not lost a quarterfinal game since 2010, and has an 8-1 record and two titles in the last three League Tournaments.

COLGATE Colgate had its third-straight convincing victory and earned a first-round home game in the Patriot League Tournament with a 74-57 win at Lehigh on Saturday...The Raiders have won by 24, 17 and 17 points in their three-game win streak...Colgate took control early with a 15-0 run to build a 24-9 lead, and carried a 42-26 advantage into the half...The Raiders held a double-digit lead throughout the second half as they cruised to a 17-point win...Damon Sherman-Newsome led Colgate with a career-high 28 points and made 5-of-9 three-pointers, while Austin Tillotson (15), Ethan Jacobs (11) and Luke Roh (10) also finished in double figures...Murphy Burnatowski represented Colgate on the All-Patriot League Team with a second-team selection for the second year in a row...Burnatowksi is fourth in the Patriot League with 14.5 points per game...Colgate opens the Patriot League Tournament with a first-round game at home against Navy on Monday...The Raiders play a League Tournament game at home for the first time since 2008, and face Navy in the postseason for the first time since winning in Annapolis in the quarterfinals in 2009.

HOLY CROSS The Crusaders have won 11 of 14 games as they head to the Patriot League Tournament, though they fell 68-64 at home against Boston University on Saturday...Dave Dudzinski led the way with 20 points in that game, and on Monday he was named a first-team All-Patriot League selection...Dudzinski finished third in the Patriot League with 15.3 points per game and had a League-high 7.5 rebounds per contest, and had nearly identical numbers in League action with 14.1 points and 7.5 rebounds per game...Malcolm Miller was named to the third-team All-Patriot League squad, while Anthony Thompson was an All-Rookie selection...Holy Cross tries to win its first Patriot League Tournament game since 2010 when it hosts Lehigh on Wednesday in the quarterfinals...The Crusaders are facing the Mountain Hawks in the League tourney for the first time since 2006.

LAFAYETTE Lafayette fell to the No. 9 seed in the Patriot League Tournament with an 87-84 loss at Army on Saturday...The Leopards had a chance to tie in the final seconds, but Seth Hinrichs was off the mark from three-point range... Four players topped 15 points for Lafayette as Hinrichs scored 19, Dan Trist had 17 and Joey Ptasinski and Nick Lindner each finished with 16...Hinrichs earned a third-team All-Patriot League honor on Monday, making the All-Patriot League squad for the second year in a row...Lindner was named to the Patriot League All-Rookie squad...The Leopards lost their final two games after winning six of seven...Part of that win streak was a 61-44 victory over Loyola at home on Feb. 12, and the Leopards will now visit the Greyhounds in a first round game of the Patriot League Tournament on Monday.

LEHIGH Lehigh continued to stumble with a 74-57 loss at home against Colgate on Saturday, but the Mountain Hawks managed to hold on to a first-round bye and earn the No. 6 seed in the Patriot League Tournament...Tim Kempton had his sixth double-double of the year with 14 points and 14 rebounds in the loss, and was named Patriot League Rookie of the Year on Monday...Kempton is the only freshman in the top 10 in scoring with 13.2 points per game, and is third in the Patriot League with 7.0 rebounds per contest...Mackey McKnight was a second-team All-Patriot League pick for the second year in a row after averaging 13.3 points and ranking in the top 15 nationally with 6.1 assists per game... McKnight has set a school record and stands second in Patriot League history with 575 career assists...The Mountain Hawks will open the Patriot League Tournament at Holy Cross on Wednesday after getting swept by the Crusaders in the regular season...Lehigh is facing Holy Cross in the postseason for the first time since 2006.

LOYOLA MARYLAND Tyler Hubbard made a pair of free throws with 4.4 seconds left to give Loyola a 67-65 win at Navy on Saturday...With the win, the Greyhounds passed Lafayette to earn the No. 8 seed and host the Leopards in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament on Monday...Loyola trailed for 30 straight minutes until going ahead 60-58 with 4:48 left, and never fell behind again...Navy tied the score on three separate occasions down the stretch, including at 65-65 on a layup by Worth Smith just moments before Hubbard was fouled...R.J. Williams sealed the win with a steal in the final seconds....Franz Rassman led Loyola with 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting...Loyola snapped a six-game losing streak as they played their eighth straight game without Dylon Cormier, who was leading the Patriot League with 21.2 points per game at the time of his injury against Army on Feb. 1...Cormier was named a third-team All-Patriot League selection on Monday.

NAVY Navy had a tough loss to finish the regular season as Loyola scored with less than five seconds to play for a 67-65 win in Annapolis on Saturday...The Mids led most of the way, but fell behind with five minutes to play...Navy came back to tie the score three times, including on Worth Smith's layup with five seconds left, but never took the lead again... Smith led the Mids with 19 points, while Brandon Venturini added 15 and Thurgood Wynn scored 11...Navy had a 38-30 rebounding edge, including 20 offensive boards, but made just 10-of-19 free throws...The Mids open the Patriot League Tournament at Colgate on Monday, facing the Raiders in the postseason for the first time since 2009...Navy has the nation's longest conference tournament losing streak at 13 games, and has dropped its first League Tournament contest in each of the last 12 years.