2013 Cinderella Casting: Patriot League Auto Bid

March 15, 2013

The major conference tournaments are in full swing now, and there is actually a break between when the last ticket to the tournament was punched (Wednesday night) and the next auto bid will secured (Saturday).

So enjoy the break but take a deep breath, because a ton of tourney spots will be secured starting tomorrow afternoon. I just hope that I can keep up.

For now, let’s take a look at another team from a small conference that knows they’ll be dancing.


Automatic Bid: Bucknell

Projected Seed: 13 or 14

Probability of being a Cinderella: Decent

The Bison are making their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2011, but this is a team that has the ability to do major damage in the Big Dance. Not many teams from a small conference have a dominant big man, but Bucknell is an exception. Senior center Mike Muscala is 6’11” and will give almost any team in the nation problems in the post. Muscala is averaging a double-double this year (19 PPG, 11.2 RPG) and is also second on the team in assists, averaging 2.3 per game.

Nothing about the Bison jumps out at you on paper (except maybe Muscala’s size), but the team’s five losses this season have come by a combined 17 points. Bucknell is capable of controlling the tempo of the game, as evident in their close 66-64 loss on the road to Missouri, and will keep things close enough to give them a chance near the end of the game. Normally the chances for a small conference team to do damage in the NCAA Tournament depend on seeding, but the Bison could keep things interesting against almost any team it is matched up against. Don’t expect Dan Paulsen’s team to be an easy out.

– K. Becks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *