NCAA Basketball Pick: Lehigh vs. Bucknell Patriot League Final Preview
After a few days off, the Patriot League finale will take place in NCAA basketball betting action on Wednesday night, when the Bucknell Bison play host to the Lehigh Mountain Hawks for the right to go to March Madness.
The Mountain Hawks haven’t had any problems over the course of this tournament, blowing away both Colgate and American without any fuss or muss. Of course, this is a significantly different game on the road than at home, though we do know that the last time Lehigh came to Sojka Arena, it walked away with a bit of a surprising 56-53 victory. That was a particularly rare game for the Mountain Hawks, who are a tremendous offensive team at 76.0 points per game. The man of the hour is generally CJ McCollum. He is coming off of a double-double with 27 points and 10 boards against American, and he is averaging 21.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2.6 steals per game. There are a couple of other double digit scorers on this team, but in the end, it is going to be up to McCollum to take all of the big shots, especially if this one is close down the stretch.
Bucknell has had itself a good season, and the Patriot League final has been no exception. The team has absolutely ripped through the first two teams that it has faced over the course of the tourney, beating Navy by 24 and Lafayette by 27. This is a team that is severely different than Lehigh, and it seems odd that the Bison didn’t win a game in this series that was played in a very defensive manner. The regular season conference champs are allowing just 60.5 points per game and are allowing teams to shoot just 39.2 percent from the field. The good news is that Bucknell is also a solid offensive team in terms of efficiency, shooting 46.6 percent from the floor and 39.1 percent from beyond the arc, though the team is only scoring 68.8 points per game. The Bison have their own big man that can take over a game. He is averaging 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, and he is going to be the one that has to counter McCollum both offensively and defensively.
The Final Word: Bucknell is clearly the best team in this game, and knowing that it is going to be playing at home is going to be the utmost advantage. The hometown crowd is going to be storming the court in the end in this one, and though the Mountain Hawks have the potential to pull off the upset, we don’t see it happening.
Lehigh Mountain Hawks @ Bucknell Bison Pick: Bucknell Bison
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