March 12, 2013
Patriot League Men's Basketball Championship Central
Patriot League Men's Basketball Championship Preview
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The 2013 Patriot League Men's Basketball Championship is on the line when second-seed Lafayette visits top-seed Bucknell on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
Patriot League announcers Bob Socci and Chris Spatola will have the call from Sojka Pavilion.
Both teams come into the game on lenghty winning streaks, as Lafayette has run off seven in a row since beating Bucknell on Feb. 16 and the Bison have responded from that loss with a six-game run. Lafayette won at home against Holy Cross in the quarterfinals and Lehigh in the semifinals to reach the title game, while Bucknell claimed home contests against Navy in the quarterfinals and Army in the semifinals of the tournament.
Each squad has history on the line in the title matchup. Bucknell, which ties a League record with its 10th appearance, gain get sole possession of second all-time with a fourth title. Lafayette aims to match the Bison, Lehigh and Navy with three Patriot League titles.
The teams are meeting in the Patriot League Tournament for the sixth time, and third consecutive season. Bucknell holds a 4-1 advantage in tournament contests, and the teams are 1-1 in title games.
The winner of the Patriot League Championship receives the League's automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship.
Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_MBB
*Bucknell hosts Lafayette for the Patriot League Championship Wednesday.
*The game can be seen live on CBS Sports Network and will also be broadcast nationally on radio through Dial Global.
*The Bison go for their fourth Patriot League title, all since 2005.
*Lafayette shoots for its third crown and first since 2000.
*Bucknell holds a 4-1 advantage against Lafayette in the League tourney.
*The Bison have beaten the Leopards in postseason the last two seasons.
*The teams are split 1-1 in title contests, with Lafayette winning in 1999 and Bucknell defeating the Leopards in 2011.
*Bucknell is a perfect 14-0 against Lafayette at Sojka Pavilion.
*The teams split the season series, each winning at home.
*Lafayette has a seven-game win streak, while Bucknell has won six in a row.
*Home teams are 16-4 in the title game, with six wins in the last seven years.
*The No. 1 seed has won the League title 17 times, with the No. 2 claiming five.
*The No. 1 seed has an 8-5 advantage against the No. 2 in title contests.
*A victory would give Bucknell a Patriot League and school record 28 wins for the season.
*Lafayette goes for its first 20-win season since 2000.
*The winner earns the League's berth to the NCAA Division I Championship.
Patriot League Championship Notebook
CBS Sports Network To Broadcast Patriot League Championship
The Patriot League Men's Basketball Championship will feature national television coverage on CBS Sports Network for the second year in a row. Regular Patriot League announcers Bob Socci and Chris Spatola will be on the call. CBS Sports Network (CBSSN) is the 24-hour cable home of CBS Sports. It is available across the country through local cable, video and telco providers on Verizon FiOS Channel 94 and AT&T U-Verse Channel 643 (1643 in HD) and via satellite on DirecTV Channel 613 and Dish Network Channel 158. For more information on how to get CBS Sports Network, go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com
National Radio Broadcast Available on Dial Global, Too
In addition to the television coverage, Dial Global will produce a national radio broadcast of the League Championship. John Tautges and Kevin Grevey will have the radio call which will be available in on 141 total stations and in markets including Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Seattle, Miami and Denver. The game will also air on Sirius 91/ XM 91.
How They Got Here
Bucknell and Lafayette each held their home court to advance to the Patriot League Championship. Both teams cruised in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, with the top-seed Bison beating eighth-seed Navy 58-42 and the second-seed Leopards taking down seventh-seed Holy Cross 77-54. Both teams were tested more in the semifinals, but emerged with strong play late as Bucknell took down fourth-seed Army 78-70 and Lafayette beat third-seed and archrival Lehigh 82-69.
Bucknell Plays for Fourth Patriot League Title in 10th Appearance
Bucknell is trying to win its fourth Patriot League title, which would be one behind Holy Cross for the most in League history. The Bison have matched the Crusaders by making it to the League title contest for the 10th time. Bucknell is playing for the League Championship for the third year in a row and sixth in nine seasons. The Bison also made the game from 2005-07, and join Holy Cross as the only schools to go three consecutive times on two separate ocassions.
Lafayette Aims to Get Back on Top For First Time Since 2000
Lafayette is in the Patriot League Championship for the third time in the last four years, but still looking for its first title since completing repeat crowns in 1999 and 2000. Lafayette fell in the title game in 1998, 2010 and 2011. The Leopards look to join Bucknell, Lehigh and Navy as teams with three Patriot League titles.
Bucknell-Lafayette Patriot League Tournament History
Bucknell and Lafayette are meeting in the Patriot League Tournament for the sixth time, and the third in the championship game. The Bison have beaten the Leopards in the League tourney in each of the last two years, handing Lafayette a 72-57 loss in the Championship in 2011 and a 79-52 defeat in last year's semifinals. The Leopards beat the Bison 67-63 in the 1999 Patriot League Championship as the teams are tied 1-1 in title contests. Bucknell also beat Lafayette in quarterfinals in 1996 and 2005. The higher seed has won all five games between the schools, with four of those wins coming at home.
Top Two Seeds Match Up for 15th Time
It is the 15th time in 23 Patriot League seasons that the top two seeds will meet in the League Championship. The No. 1 seed has an 8-5 edge against the No. 2 seed (Lafayette and Navy were both No. 1 seeds in 2000). It is the second straight year and 13th in the last 17 seasons where the top two seeds in the League tourney face off in the final. No seed lower than No. 2 has ever won the League tourney, with the top seed holding 17 titles and the No. 2 seed winning it five times.
Home Sweet Home, Part I
Home court has been a key advantage in Patriot League Championship history. The home team holds a 16-4 mark in the title contest, with six wins in the last seven years. Bucknell does need to be aware of some history, however, as the Bison lost the title game at home against Lehigh last year and in 1993 versus Holy Cross, and won at Holy Cross in 2005.
Home Sweet Home, Part II
The history is even rosier for the Bison when looking at their home success this season and against Lafayette. Bucknell is 13-1 at home in 2013, and has won six straight at Sojka Pavilion since falling to Lehigh on Jan. 23. One of the wins was over Lafayette on Jan. 19, making the Bison a perfect 14-0 against the Leopards at Sojka. Bucknell has beaten Lafayette in the facility five times in the last three years, including League Tournament games in each of the past two seasons. The Bison are 16-3 at home in the League Tournament, though the mark in championship games is just 2-2.
Both Teams Red-Hot Entering Patriot League Championship
It seemed like a rather innocuous game when Bucknell visited Lafayette on Feb. 16, but that contest was the start of big things to come for both teams. Tony Johnson hit a game-winning shot with 4.5 seconds left to give Lafayette the victory that started the seven-game win streak the Leopards carry into the Patriot League Championship. For their part, the Bison had just one day off to rebound before posting a hard-fought 61-55 win at Lehigh to start their own six-game win streak coming into the title game.
The Season Series
Bucknel and Lafayette split their matchups in 2013, each winning on their own home floor. The Bison beat the Leopards 66-51 at Sojka Pavilion on Jan. 19 to run their mark over Lafayette to 14-0 at the arena. Lafayette responded by rallying from a double-digit deficit to win 63-62 on Johnson's dramatic shot at home on Feb. 16.
Bucknell Goes for More Patriot League History
It's been a history-making season for Bucknell, and the Bison can add another notch to the list on Wednesday. With a win over Lafayette, Bucknell would set a Patriot League and school record with 28 victories on the season. The Bison matched the mark set by the 2005-06 squad as well as last year's Lehigh team when they defeated Army on Saturday. Both of those teams required a win in the NCAA Tournament to reach their 27th victory. It adds to a list of achievements this season that included being the first team to earn three consecutive outright regular-season titles, first with at least 12 League victories in three straight seasons and second to garner the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament for three years in a row. Bucknell's five No. 1 seeds are the most in Patriot League annals. The Bison have a 37-5 League mark in their last three seasons, just one game behind their own mark from 2005-07 (38-4) as the best three-year stretch in League history. Bucknell also has a three-year school record with 78 wins, and the class of 2013 has the most wins in program history with 92. The Bison are one of seven Division I teams with at least 27 wins for the season, joining Duke, Memphis, Creighton, Middle Tennessee, Gonzaga and St. Mary's.
Lafayette Shoots For Some Marks of its Own
Lafayette last won the Patriot League title in 2000, and a victory on Wednesday would take care of that drought and also a couple of other standards last set that season. The Leopards are trying to win an eighth-straight game and post a 20-win season for the first time since the 2000 campaign. Lafayette's 10-4 Patriot League record and No. 2 seed were also its best since that year.
Muscala Adds Another Accomplishment to Lengthy List
Bucknell senior center Mike Muscala seems to make history every game. After becoming the school's all-time leading scorer on Wednesday, Muscala became the first Bucknell player and fifth Patriot Leaguer to cross the 2,000-point mark on Saturday. He has career totals of 2,007 points and 1,072 rebounds, which is just 31 from the record held by Colgate's Adonal Foyle (1994-97). Muscala is averaging 18.0 points and 13.5 rebounds in the Patriot League Tournament, and would set a Tournament record with five rebounds in the title game. Muscala was the first student-athlete to win the Patriot League Player, Defensive Player and Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards. He also has a chance to become the first to win both the Player and Tournament Most Valuable Player awards in two different seasons after also doing so as a sophomore in 2011. Muscala is one of 30 finalists for the Naismith Men's College Player of the Year Award presented by AT&T and also recognized as one of 25 players up for the Lou Henson Award, given by CollegeInsider.com to the Mid-Major Player of the Year. He leads the nation with 21 double-doubles.
Lafayette's Johnson On Remarkable Run
Lafayette's seven-game win streak has featured plenty of areas of success, but nothing has been more important than the play of Tony Johnson. The senior guard got the streak started when he hit consecutive game-winning shots in the final five seconds against Bucknell (Feb. 16) and Holy Cross (Feb. 20) and has averaged 21.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists during Lafayette's run while making 52-of-81 shots, 12-of-22 three-pointers and 32-of-36 free throws during that span. He leads the Patriot League in field goal percentage (55.7%) as well as steals (1.9) and assist/turnover ratio (2.1) while also averaging 13.4 points and 4.8 assists per contest.
O'Hanlon, Paulsen to Appear on Tim Brando Show
Both of the Patriot League Championship head coaches will be on the Tim Brando Show on CBS Sports Network on Wednesday to discuss the title matchup. Lafayette's Fran O'Hanlon, who will set a record with 32 games coached in the Patriot League Tournament, and Bucknell's Dave Paulsen will be on the show which runs on Wednesday from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. with an encore immediately following. The Tim Brand Show is also available on SiriusXM College Sports Nation 91 radio.
Patriot League Championship
No. 2 Lafayette Leopards (19-14, 10-4) at No. 1 Bucknell Bison (27-5, 12-2)
Sojka Pavilion; Lewisburg, Pa. - Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
TV: CBS Sports Network (Bob Socci, Chris Spatola)
Series: Lafayette, 86-67
Streak: Lafayette, One Win Last Meeting: Lafayette 63, Bucknell 62 (2.16.13)
Last Bucknell Win: 66-51 (1.19.13) Last Five Games: Bucknell, 4-1
Patriot League Tournament History (Bucknell, 4-1)
1996 Quarterfinals: No. 4 Bucknell 56, No. 5 Lafayette 55 (OT) (March 2 at Holy Cross)
1999 Championship: No. 1 Lafayette 67, No. 3 Bucknell 63 (March 5 at Lafayette)
2005 Quarterfinals: No. 2 Bucknell 70, No. 7 Lafayette 34 (March 4 at Bucknell)
2011 Championship: No. 1 Bucknell 72, No. 6 Lafayette 57 (March 11 at Bucknell)
2012 Semifinals: No. 1 Bucknell 79, No. 5 Lafayette 52 (March 3 at Bucknell)
*Bucknell and Lafayette face off for the Patriot League Men's Basketball Championship on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
*The game can be seen on CBS Sports Network, with Bob Socci and Chris Spatola on the call.
*The Bison are 3-6 in the title game and trying to move one behind all-time leader Holy Cross with a fourth League title.
*Lafayette has a 2-3 mark in the championship, and aims to tie Bucknell, Lehigh and Navy with three League titles.
*Bucknell is hosting the title game for the third year in a row, and in its sixth in nine seasons and record-tying 10th all-time.
*Lafayette is in the championship for the third time in four seasons, and searching for its first title since 2000.
*Bucknell has a 4-1 advantage in Patriot League Tournament games against Lafayette, with wins in the last two seasons.
*The Bison beat the Leopards 72-57 in the 2011 Championship and 79-52 in last year's semifinal matchup.
*Lafayette defeated Bucknell 67-63 in the 1999 Championship as the teams are 1-1 head-to-head in title contests.
*The teams split the season series, with Bucknell winning 66-51 at home on Jan. 19 and Lafayette 63-62 at home on Feb. 16.
*Tony Johnson hit a game-winning shot with 4.5 seconds left for Lafayette's win, which started its seven-game win streak.
*Bucknell had won the previous eight contests between the schools, and has won six consecutive games since that defeat.
*The Bison are a perfect 14-0 against the Leopards at Sojka Pavilion, with three Patriot League Tournament wins.
*Bucknell is 13-1 at home this season, while Lafayette stands 5-11 on the road but has won three straight away from home.
*It is the 14th time the No. 1 seed faces No. 2 in the title game, with the top seed holding an 8-5 edge in the contests.
LAFAYETTE Lafayette made its third Patriot League title game in the last four years with an 82-69 win at home against third-seed Lehigh in a semifinal contest on Saturday...The Leopards also won their seventh straight game, their longest streak since 2004...Senior guard Tony Johnson was magnificent again for the Leopards, finishing with 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists to lead the team in all areas...The Leopards made 28-of-30 free throws in the game and held a 35-25 edge on the boards...The score was tied early in the second half, but Lafayette put up runs of 7-0 and 10-0 to go up by double digits...Lehigh got as close as five in the final minutes, but the Leopards made all of their 14 free throws in the last five minutes to seal the win...A victory on Wednesday would give Lafayette its first eight-game win streak and first 20-win season since 2000, the last time the Leopards won the Patriot League title.
BUCKNELL Down by two points with under five minutes to play, top-seed Bucknell turned to its veterans and went on a 10-1 run to push past fourth-seed Army 78-70 in a League Tournament semifinal contest on Saturday...The Bison won their 27th game, tying the Patriot League and school record...Bucknell was led as usual by senior center Mike Muscala, as the Naismith Award candidate put up 21 points and 14 rebounds for his second straight double-double in the League Tournament...He had five points and three boards in a critical stretch as Bucknell went on the late run to earn the victory...Bucknell held a small lead for nearly the entire game, but Army rallied to go up 61-59 with 4:52 to go...With the shot clock winding down on the next possession, Bryson Johnson put Bucknell back in front for good with a three-pointer with 4:15 to go...Cameron Ayers followed with a coast-to-coast layup for a three-point lead, and Muscala hit five consecutive free throws to complete the 10-1 run and give Bucknell a 69-62 advantage with 1:48 to play...Army would get no closer than five points the rest of the way as the Bison went on to the 78-70 win... Muscala had 21 points and became the fifth player in Patriot League history to go over 2,000 points in his career...He also pulled down 14 rebounds, including 13 on the defensive end...Ayers finished with 19 points, while Johnson scored 12...The No. 1 seed remains perfect in making it to the Patriot League Championship in each of the League's 23 seasons.