March Madness is here! As some of the power 5 conference teams finish up their regular season, postseason play begins for some of the mid-majors. Today, a few of our writers will be giving their thoughts on the Patriot League Conference Tournament.
#10 Holy Cross at #7 Bucknell
#9 Loyola Maryland at #8 Lehigh
#8/9 Winner at #1 Colgate
#7/10 Winner at #2 American
#6 Navy at #3 Boston University
#5 Lafayette at #4 Army
Who will win the Patriot League Conference Tournament?
Aram: #1 Colgate (23-8, 14-4 in the Patriot League)
Colgate is the best team in this conference and I love betting on teams that don’t really have bad losses in conference. Since their loss to Auburn in November, each loss they’ve had has been under 5 points or has gone into OT. Jordan Burns is arguably the best player in this conference and is the perfect example of a guard who can have a big March.
Pat: #1 Colgate (23-8, 14-4 in the Patriot League)
It’s tough to go against the Raiders to take home the Patriot League title. Colgate won the league last year and a lot of that team is back and ready for a repeat. Colgate has a pick your poison offense with five players averaging double figures, and most of the league is not equipped to deal with that kind of firepower.
Which team is a Dark Horse Candidate to take home the title?
Aram: #5 Lafayette (18-11, 10-8 in the Patriot League)
Justin Jaworski was a historically great shooter last season and while he is still lethal from deep, he wasn’t the same in conference play this year. In the month of February, he was back up to 40% from behind the 3 point line. Since Jaworski is now out for the year, Leo O’Boyle has taken a much bigger role, averaging just under 17 points per game over the last three games of the season. This Lafayette team that has been a lot better since they took a beating in their out of conference loss to Rutgers. The loss of Jaworski will be tough, but the other players on this Lafayette team have stepped up in a big way.
Pat: #7 Bucknell (12-19, 8-10 in the Patriot League)
The Bison are the 7th seed and a real long shot to win it all, but they have several capable shooters and can really fill it up when they get hot.
Who is one player that NBA teams should keep an eye on?
Aram: Sa’eed Nelson, Senior G – American
Sa’eed Nelson is one of the best scorers in the Patriot League. I know his shot hasn’t been all that great this year, but I believe it is better than the 21% from 3-point range suggests. Above all, he is a terrific finisher in the lane. Sa’eed is patient and can finish with either hand. Although opponents feel safe giving him some space, he can still get to the rim at will because of his great first step. Remember this name because he certainly has a good chance of playing some professional ball somewhere after his senior season ends.
Pat: Jordan Burns, Junior G – Colgate
Jordan Burns is the heart and soul of this Colgate team and does it all for the Raiders. Despite having the ball in his hands a lot he doesn’t turn it over much and shoots the rock at a high percentage. Burns’ talent level and efficiency will catch the eyes of scouts if Colgate can get to the tournament and make some noise.