Lafayette vs. Bucknell Pick
Two years ago, the Bucknell Bison knocked off the Lafayette Leopards in the Patriot League Final. Last year when these two met, Bucknell got the job done once again when these clubs met in the semis. Will the third time be the charm for the Leopards? We’ll find out on Wednesday night in NCAA basketball betting action, as these two battle it out for a bid in the NCAA Tournament.
Lafayette was beaten by the Army Black Knights on February 13th, and the season could have been in peril at that point. However, the Leopards have gone on a big time run since that point, scoring eight straight wins, including beating this Bucknell team, as well as the Lehigh Mountain Hawks once in the regular season and once here in the semifinals of the Patriot League Tournament. The offensive production has really been the different. Lafayette averaged 67.3 points per game over the course of its first 27 games this season. All of a sudden over the last six, the team has scored at least 77 in each of its games and has averaged 79.5 points per game in that stretch. The play of G Tony Johnson has made the difference. He has averaged 20.8 points per game in his last eight, a far cry from what he was averaging to start off the season, and this team is clearly going to go as he does here against Bucknell.
The Bison would hope to have a shot to get into the NCAA Tournament even if they lost this game, but that clearly isn’t going to happen. They do have an RPI of 52, which would be good enough to qualify, but there are just too many bad losses to excuse. That doesn’t take away anything that this team has done this year. F Mike Muscala is one of the top big men in the nation, and if the Bison do go dancing, he is going to be a man to watch out for. Muscala is averaging 19.0 points and 11.2 boards per game. He is a complete player as well, showing some outside range to go with over two blocks and almost three assists per game. G Cameron Ayers, G Bryson Johnson, and G Joe Willman are the other massive scorers for this team, and hardly anyone else contributes offensively. It’s tough to score on this team though, knowing that the Bison are allowing just 57.6 points per game on 37.7 percent shooting.
The Bison are the better team in this game, but we aren’t sure that they are going to cover this number. Lafayette is a much better team now than it was the first time it visited Bucknell this year, and it really showed in the second meeting in February. Take the points on Wednesday night, and don’t be shocked if there is a major upset to send the Leopards dancing. The third time’s the charm for Lafayette. Lafayette 69 – Bucknell 65