What-to-know tourney previews: Patriot League

Bucknell is one of the best teams to come out of the Patriot in a decade. (Getty Images)

PATRIOT LEAGUE CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT BRACKET

1. Will C.J. McCollum return for Lehigh

The Mountain Hawks star and likely first-round pick in June's NBA Draft has been out since early January due to a broken left foot. Coach Brett Reed still hasn't said for certain whether McCollum will be able to play in the conference tourney. Lehigh opens Wednesday against Colgate in the quarterfinals. 

2. Can Bucknell get back to the NCAA tourney? 

The Bison were upset by Lehigh (which went to the NCAAs) last season in the league tourney, but went two seasons ago -- and are led by senior big man Mike Muscala (17.1 ppg, 11 rpg). Coach Dave Paulsen has more than just Muscala, though. Cameron Ayers, Bryson Johnson and Joe Willman all average in double figures. 

3. Does anyone except Lehigh really have a shot against Bucknell? 

Maybe Lafayette. Fran O'Hanlon's club was the only team, other than the Mountain Hawks, to knock off the Bison in league play. Senior guard Tony Johnson is capable -- and he provided the heroics with the game-winner with six seconds left. The Leopards go in with the No. 2 seed. 


Schedule: March 6 (quarterfinals), March 9 (semifinals) and March 13 (title game) -- all games at site of higher seed.

Title game: 7:30 p.m., March 13 on CBS Sports Network (at highest remaining seed).

THREE BEST PLAYERS  

  • Mike Muscala (Bucknell)
  • Tony Johnson (Lafayette) 
  • Ella Ellis (Army)

Conference RPI: 18
KenPom.com rating:
17
Sagarin rating:
20

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