The SCGD failed to steer you wrong again last night, as Maine won a thriller over Vermont that has created a logjam at the top of the America East standings. For tonight’s game, we have what should be another great contest, as Lehigh travels to Bucknell for a first place contest in the Patriot League (6:00 PM Eastern, CBS-Sports Network).
Lehigh and Bucknell both entered this season as the two teams to beat in the Patriot. Everyone remembers Lehigh’s thrilling win as a 15 seed over 2 seed Duke in last year’s NCAA tournament, a win that has been billed by some as the biggest tournament upset ever. Lehigh stood to have another thrilling season with most of their key players returning. However, that all went south when C.J. McCollum, Lehigh’s star first round NBA potential player, went down for the season against VCU last month. Lehigh has gone 4-0 without C.J., but none of those games have risen to the level of competition that Bucknell will give them.
As for Bucknell, what many people do not remember is that the Bison were the regular season Patriot League champions last season. In fact, Lehigh became the first team ever to win twice in the same season at Bucknell’s Sojka Pavillion when they upset the Bison in the conference championship game. The Bison are led by Mike Muscala who is averaging over 20 points and 11 rebounds per game. While Lehigh does still have a solid team without McCollum, led now by Gabe Knutson and Holden Greiner, Bucknell has revenge on their mind’s after last season and Lehigh has yet to prove they can win against NCAA tournament contenders without their star player.