We are getting to that time of year where each game takes on added significance, and we start to see who has a shot at getting to the National Tournament to pick the best in the nation. The Patriot League, based on last years RPI will get an automatic bid to NCAA tournament. The honor goes the Patriot League tournament winner. There are seven teams in the League, and the four with the best record and, surviving tie breakers will play a four team two day tournament, the winner to move onto the big dance. The are two things now for certain, Boston University is definitely in and Colgate is out, based on Boston’s 4-0 record and Colgate’s 0-4 record in the league.
Here are the league standings and the corresponding League records with the teams each league member will play in coming weeks:
Boston University 4-0 needs to play Lehigh and Bucknell
American U 3-1 needs to play Lafayette and Bucknell
Lafayette 2-1 needs to play American, Holy Cross, and Colgate
Bucknell 2-1 needs to play Holy Cross, Boston, and American
Holy Cross 1-2 needs to play Bucknell, Lafayette and Lehigh
Lehigh 0-3 needs to play Boston,Colgate, Holy Cross
Colgate 0-4 needs to play Lehigh and Lafayette
So if you believe that Boston has locked in the home field, think again. If Bucknell runs the table, the first tie breaker is head to head competition. Bucknell would win the regular season and host. If Bucknell losses one of their three games they will not host but would make it in. If Lafayette ran the table and Boston lost one, Lafayette loses the tie breaker and could not host. Boston would have to lose to Lehigh and Bucknell and Lafayette would need to run the table for the Leopards to host. To lock in their place in the tournament all Lafayette needs to do is win two of the last three. Bucknell will have two tough final games against American and Boston. Winning both would be remarkable.
Holy Cross needs to continue to win. Should they lose to either Bucknell or Lafayette, they are probably out. Lehigh plays Boston this weekend and even if they run the table are unlikely to make it in having lost to Bucknell and Lafayette. Colgate has no way in but could act as a spoiler to Lafayette should Lafayette lose to Holy Cross and American. Will Bucknell win against an improved and inspired Holy Cross team, helping the Leopards out??
We haven’t even talked about seeds…maybe next week!!??
So this weekend’s games will be closely watched and in all likelihood the field will be narrowed by the end of day. Interesting question is on the table for this weekend. What upset will spoil everyone’s calculations!