Holy Cross to Play Brown in 2014 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament on Monday

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Holy Cross' Dave Dudzinski
Holy Cross' Dave Dudzinski

March 17, 2014

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CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The Patriot League's postseason play begins Monday when Holy Cross visits Brown in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. The game will be streamed through the CollegeInsider.com website.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PL_MBB
*The Crusaders are in the postseason for the first time since 2007.
*Holy Cross goes for its first postseason win since a 78-73 victory at Notre Dame in the NIT first round in 2005.
*They are the second Patriot League team to play in the CIT after American fell in the first round to Buffalo in 2012.
*The Patriot League and Ivy League match up in a postseason game for the first time.
*American (NCAA) and Boston University (NIT) begin their postseason play later in the week.
*The No. 15 seed Eagles take on No. 2 Wisconsin in the NCAA West Region on Thursday at 12:40 p.m.
*The contest in Milwaukee can be seen on TruTV.
*Boston University hosts Illinois in the first round of the NIT on Wednesday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
*The Patriot League last won games in both the NCAA and NIT in 2012 when Lehigh and Bucknell earned victories.

Patriot League Postseason Notebook
Three Patriot League Teams in the Postseason
The Patriot League features three teams in the postseason for just the second time in League history, with the other instance coming in 2012. Holy Cross becomes the League's second squad to compete in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament when it visits Brown on Monday at 7 p.m., Boston University opens the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) at home against Illinois on Wednesday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 and American takes on No. 12/15 Wisconsin in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Milwaukee on Thursday at 12:40 p.m. on TruTV. The last time the Patriot League had three teams in the postseason, Lehigh recorded a 75-70 upset of Duke in the second round of the NCAA Tournament and Bucknell won 65-54 at Arizona in the first round of the NIT in 2012.

American Wins 2014 Patriot League Championship
American won with strong defense and good shooting all season, so it was fitting that the Eagles used that exact blueprint to roll to a 55-36 victory over Boston University in the Patriot League Men's Basketball Championship on Wednesday at Agganis Arena. American led from start to finish in the decisive victory. The Eagles scored the first four points, and later went on an 8-0 run to build a 16-7 lead with 8:12 to play in the first half. Darius Gardner scored the team's last eight points of the period for a 24-16 lead at the break. BU got within six early in the second half, but the Terriers would get no closer. American held the lead between seven and 12 points until closing the game with an 11-2 run in the final 3:34 to pull away for the 19-point win. American held the Terriers to the lowest point total in Patriot League Championship game history, 10 points fewer than the previous mark of 46 that Colgate scored against the Eagles in 2008. The Eagles limited BU to 16-of-52 (30.8%) from the field and just 1-of-17 from three-point range in the game. American, which was picked ninth in the preseason, also became the first team to limit all three of its League Tournament opponents to 50 points or less. Gardner led the Eagles with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting and dished out four assists, and was named Patriot League Tournament Most Valuable Player. American shot 19-of-34 (55.9%) from the field in the game.

Patriot League History in NCAA Tournament
Patriot League squads are a combined 3-22 in the NCAA Tournament, with each of the wins coming in the Round of 64 where the League has a 3-18 record. Bucknell beat Kansas 64-63 in 2005 and Arkansas 59-55 in 2006 before Lehigh became one of only seven No. 15 seeds in NCAA Tournament history to beat a No. 2 when it knocked off Duke 75-70 in 2012.

Patriot League History in NIT
The Patriot League has made three appearances in the National Invitation Tournament, and earned a win in the first round each time. Fordham knocked off South Florida 76-66 in the League's inagural season in 1991, while Holy Cross won 78-73 at Notre Dame in 2005 and Bucknell posted a 65-54 win at Arizona in 2012. Each Patriot League squad went on to lose its second-round contest. Boston University will play the second NIT home game for a Patriot League team, and first since Masssachusetts won at Fordham in the second round in 1991.

American, BU Each Go for First Win in Tournaments
American dropped both of its NCAA Tournament contests when the Eagles went in consecutive seasons in 2008 and 2009. American hung tough until the final minutes in both games, but fell 72-57 as a No. 15 seed to No. 2 Tennessee in 2008 and 80-67 as a No. 14 seed against No. 3 Villanova in 2009. American was within a point of Tennessee with six minutes left, and led Villanova by 14 in the second half before the Wildcats rallied late. Boston University is 0-5 in the NIT, dropping games in 1980 and 1986 before losing in three straight seasons from 2003-05.

Eagles, Terriers Used to Success
American and Boston University are each accustomed to the success they have found this season. The Eagles have reached the 20-win mark for the third time in four seasons and fifth in the last seven years, and have only once ever finished below the top half in the Patriot League standings. The Terriers are 24-10 in their first season in the Patriot League, one win away from the school record set in 1996-97 and good for their third 20-win campaign in the last five years.

Some History on the Side of the Eagles
American faces a daunting task to win as a No. 15 seed, but some recent history says the Eagles can get it done. Americanwas the No. 2 seed in the Patriot League Tournament, and the last two squads to make the NCAA Tournament as the No. 2 seed in the League went on to win a Round of 64 game. Bucknell's win over Kansas in 2005 and Lehigh's victory over Duke in 2012 came after each squad won the League title game on the road as a No. 2 seed. And while Lehigh's win was one of only seven for the No. 15 seed over the No. 2, three of those outcomes have come in the last two seasons.

Beating the Big Ten
The Patriot League will face a pair of Big Ten opponents in the postseason this season, which is one more than the conferences had ever faced off before. The only prior matchup between the Patriot League and Big Ten in the postseason also came against Wisconsin as the Badgers beat Bucknell 71-62 in the Round of 32 in 2005. But while there is little postseason track record to go on, Patriot League teams have recorded a win against the Big Ten in each of the last three seasons as Lafayette won at Penn State in 2011-2012, Bucknell at Purdue in 2012-13 and the Bison again at Penn State this season. Colgate has the most recent matchup against the postseason foes, falling to Illinois in 2012-13 and Wisconsin in 2011-12. Patriot League teams are 0-2 all-time against the Illini and 0-3 against the Badgers.

A First Against the Ivy League
Patriot League teams are familiar with facing opponents from the Ivy League, including 13 matchups in the 2013-14 season. But Holy Cross' visit to Brown on Monday will be the first time that the two like-minded conferences face off in the postseason. Holy Cross has a 43-17 all-time lead against the Bears, with seven wins in the last eight meetings.

Three 20-Win Teams?
A win by Holy Cross would give the Patriot League three 20-win teams for the second time in League history. The only previous instance came in 2012, one of the most memorable seasons in League annals as Lehigh (27-8), Bucknell (25-10) and American (20-12) all topped the mark and made the postseason with the Mountain Hawks winning an NCAA Tournament game and the Bison claiming an NIT victory.

CollegeInsider.com Tournament - First Round

Holy Cross Crusaders (19-13, 12-6) at Brown Bears (15-13, 7-7 Ivy League)
Pizzitola Sports Center; Providence, R.I. - Monday, 7 p.m.
Coverage: Video (College Insider) | Audio | Live Stats
*Holy Cross plays a postseason game for the first time since 2007 when it visits Brown in the CIT First Round on Monday.
*The game will be streamed through the CollegeInsider.com website.
*The Crusaders are going for their first postseason win since a first-round victory in the NIT at Notre Dame in 2005.
*They are the second Patriot League team to play in the CIT after American fell in the first round to Buffalo in 2012.
*Holy Cross has a 43-17 lead in the all-time series with Brown as the teams meet for the first time since 2009.
*Holy Cross has won seven of the last eight meetings, and the last four at the Pizzitola Center.
*Each team faced the other league's champion in 2013-14, with Holy Cross losing to Harvard and Brown beating American.
*The Patriot League and Ivy League match up in a postseason game for the first time.

HOLY CROSS The Crusaders let a 10-point second-half lead get away as they fell to American 57-46 in the semifinals of the Patriot League Tournament on March 8...Holy Cross held a 39-29 advantage with 16 minutes to play, but made only one field goal over the next 14 minutes as American took control with a 20-2 run...Holy Cross never got closer than six again as the Eagles closed with a 28-7 stretch after the Crusaders had led by 10...Dave Dudzinski led the Crusaders with 22 points, while Malcolm Miller and Anthony Thompson each added 10...The rest of the team combined for four points on 2-of-15 shooting... Holy Cross has a chance to post 20 wins in a season for the first time since winning 25 games in 2006-07, and also earn its first postseason victory since 2005.