Braeden Smith, Colgate Raiders, Patriot League Tournament

CBB Review prepares you for every conference tournament leading up to Selection Sunday. Up next: The Patriot League Tournament.

The Patriot League Tournament begins on Tuesday, and the focus is on Colgate, which will be going for its fourth NCAA Tournament bid in the last five years. But there’s other great competition too.

2023 Patriot League Conference Awards

Player of the Year: Tucker Richardson, Colgate

Freshman of the Year: Braeden Smith, Colgate

Transfer of the Year: Joe Octave, Holy Cross

Coach of the Year: Matt Langel, Colgate

First Team:

  • G: Jalen Rucker, Army (15.8 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.5 APG)
  • G: Tucker Richardson, Colgate (14.1 PPG, 5.2 APG, 4.9 RPG, 2.1 SPG)
  • G: Evan Taylor, Lehigh (14.2 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.1 APG, 42.3 3P%)
  • F: Keegan Records, Colgate (12.5 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 1.2 APG, 1.1 BPG)
  • F: Daniel Deaver, Navy (13.5 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 2.8 APG)

Second Team:

  • G: Keith Higgins, Lehigh (14.9 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.8 APG, 41.6 3P%)
  • G: Walter Whyte, Boston U (14.7 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 0.9 APG)
  • F: Gerrale Gates, Holy Cross (16.3 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.6 SPG)
  • F: Tyler Nelson, Navy (12.6 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 1.7 APG, 37.2 3P%)
  • F: Matt Rogers, American (13.7 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.7 APG,

Patriot League Tournament Simulation

First Round – Tuesday, Feb. 28

7. American (15-16, 8-10) vs. 10. Bucknell (12-19, 5-13) – 7 p.m. on ESPN+

Let’s leave this right here – no team from the first day of the Patriot League Tournament is going to shock any of the top dogs, especially Colgate. But every game must be played, and that includes games between teams both below .500. American got blown out at Bucknell by 22 points earlier in February. The Bisons also swept the season series. Even though it’s hard to beat a team three times, that trend is difficult to ignore.

Mat’s pick: 10. Bucknell

8. Loyola (MD) (12-19, 7-11) vs. 9. Holy Cross (10-21, 7-11) – 7 p.m. on ESPN+

Both teams are sub-300 in the country in scoring, so don’t expect a high-scoring contest. For what it’s worth, they did combine for 158 points in a Loyola (MD) win earlier this month. But when the teams squared off in January, only 118 points were scored in a Crusaders’ win. But when it gets down to it, the Greyhounds have topped the 80-point mark in three of their last five games. In a game where scoring is crucial, give me Loyola (MD).

Mat’s pick: 8. Loyola (MD)

Quarterfinals – Thursday, Mar. 2

4. Army (16-15, 10-8) vs. 5. Boston U (15-16, 8-10) – 6 p.m. on ESPN+

Jalen Rucker is one of the best scorers in the Patriot League and has a great matchup in the quarterfinals. In two games against the Terriers this season, Rucker had 29 and 24 points. Those were his second and third-highest scoring outings of the season. Only one ended in a win, but Boston U has not been able to prove that they can keep Rucker off the scoreboard.

Mat’s pick: 4. Army

1. Colgate (23-8, 17-1) vs. 8. Loyola (MD) – 7 p.m. on ESPN+

Shooting it at 40.6% from deep as a team, no one in college basketball has a better three-point percentage than Colgate. How is Loyola (MD) at defending the three? Well, not too good. They rank 319th in opponent-3P%. The Greyhounds have some game from behind the arc too, but it won’t matter.

Mat’s pick: 1. Colgate

3. Lehigh (16-13, 11-7) vs. 6. Lafayette (9-22, 7-11) – 7 p.m. on ESPN+

You’ve gotta hand it to both of those teams. Lehigh started out at 5-8, and finished the season a very respectable 11-5. Meanwhile, Lafayette began 2-14. Yes, you’re reading that right. Somehow, they’ve finished the season winning 7 of their last 15 games. While that’s much better than the first 16 games, the Leopards have lost their last four and are 3-16 on the road this year.

Mat’s pick: 3. Lehigh

2. Navy (18-12, 11-7) vs. 10. Bucknell (12-19, 5-13) – 7 p.m. on ESPN+

This might not be David Robinson’s Navy Midshipmen, but forward play has been the story for their season. Navy finished the season ranked first in the Patriot League in RPG and third in BPG. They’re also capable of scoring the basketball, something that Bucknell struggled to do in both games versus Navy in the regular season.

Mat’s pick: 2. Navy

Semifinals – Sunday, Mar. 5

1. Colgate vs. 4. Army – 2/4 p.m. on CBSSN

Can Army give Colgate a scare? The Raiders only lost one conference game all season, and believe it or not, it was to American. In the 17 Patriot League wins, only four have been by five points or less. Those were against American, Army, Lafayette, and Navy. For what it’s worth, Colgate doesn’t blow every team out, but something tells me this has a chance to be very close. I’m still going with Matt Langel’s squad.

Mat’s pick: 1. Colgate

2. Navy vs. 3. Lehigh – 2/4 p.m. on CBSSN

The teams split the season series, so there’s no telling who has the upper hand in the 2v3 seed matchup. In Lehigh’s win, the Midshipmen still outrebounded Lehigh by five. Other than that, the other team stats were practically even across the board. When Navy won by 11 on February 15, they won the battle on the glass by nine. Rebounding is going to be key when playing Navy and there’s little room for error.

Mat’s pick: 2. Navy

Championship – Wednesday, Mar. 5

1. Colgate vs. 2. Navy – 7:30 p.m. on CBSSN

Another simulation with the top two teams in the conference. I swear, I don’t love taking chalk, but it’s difficult not to in some of these mid-major conferences. Navy lost both meetings with Colgate this season, but on Feb. 25, it was only by four points. The Midshipmen took Tucker Richardson out of the game, as the sharpshooter only went 3-for-12 from the field. Doing it again will be a challenge.

Mat’s pick: 1. Colgate