Championship Week: Patriot League

Chris BrooksCorrespondent IMarch 2, 2009


The Patriot League tournament kicks off on Mar. 4.

The eight-team tournament takes place at the higher seeds' home all the way to the championship game. American University, the top-seed, will look to defend their league title.

The first quarterfinal takes place in D.C., as the No. 1 American Eagles (21-7, 13-1 Patriot) will host the No. 8 Lafeyette Leopards (8-21, 4-10 Patriot) at Bender Arena at 7:30 p.m. The Eagles were victorious in both games in the regular season versus the Leopards. American was tested in the regular-season finale in Lafeyette, but ultimately won 75-68 in overtime.

The No. 4 Army Black Knights (10-18, 6-8 Patriot) host the No. 5 Lehigh Mountain Hawks (15-13, 5-9 Patriot) at 7 p.m. The teams split the season series. Lehigh fell in overtime on the road, but the Mountain Hawks cruised by 20 at home against Army.

The No. 3 Navy Midshipmen (19-10, 8-6 Patriot) will host the No. 6 Colgate Raiders (9-19, 5-9 Patriot) at 7 p.m. Navy swept the season series, winning by 11 and 13 in both contests. Navy should roll in this one on to the semis.

Finally, the No. 2 Holy Cross Crusaders (16-13, 11-3 Patriot) will host the No. 7 Bucknell Bison (7-22, 4-10 Patriot) at 7 p.m. The teams split the season series, but the Crusaders won by 12 points at home, which should go to their favor.

The semis and finals will also take place at the higher seeds.

In my mind, American should win this tournament again this season.

If Holy Cross does make the conference championship game, they may be the only team that could beat them at Bender. American's only flaw in the Patriot schedule was a 71-62 defeat to HC. For AU, they went perfect at home in conference play.

The championship will be Mar. 13 and will be televised on ESPN2. The tip-off time will be announced later, depending on who hosts the title game.