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Colgate at Bucknell, 7:00 PM Eastern, free streaming at patriotleague.org
Parity. noun. The quality or state of being equal or equivalent. Example: the 2015 Patriot League men’s basketball standings.
Entering play today, two games separate third place in the Patriot League from tenth. An amazing six teams are tied for fourth with identical 4-5 conference records. Halfway through the conference season and we can honestly say that anyone can win this conference, and regardless of who captures the regular season title, it may also be anyone’s game in the conference tournament (though with all games being played at the home court of the higher seeded team, there will at least be a reward for the regular season title). Tonight’s UTR Game of the Day is the battle for first place between the only two teams that have done anything to try to separate themselves from the rest of the field so far as the Colgate Red Raiders travel to Lewisburg, PA to take on the Bison of Bucknell.
Bucknell enters today’s game with a 7-2 record in Patriot League play and a 12-10 mark overall. They have been the hottest team in the league the past few weeks, having run off five straight victories. Nana Fouland and Chris Hass have led the way for the Bison, with Hass having scored 23 or more points in three of his last four games. Bucknell can open up a two game lead in the conference standings if they get the home win tonight, though they will fall back into a first place tie, and will have been swept on the season by Colgate, should they fall. In other words, a Colgate win will keep the Patriot League’s parity intact.
Colgate enters the game at at 6-3 in conference yet only 9-13 overall. The Red Raiders lost 10 of their 13 non-conference games, and one of the three wins was against non-D1 SUNY Morrisville. Whether the Red Raiders being only one game out of first place in this conference after such a rough start to their season is a sign of a turnaround by this team or of the weakness of this conference is something that has yet to be determined. What we do know is that, with the Patriot League being the definition of parity so far this season, Colgate has a good of a chance as anyone in the conference to represent the league during March Madness.