February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm #4714
The 6-day wait is nearly over. To borrow a phrase from another sport, “Play ball!”
At 5-2 with seven to go and trailing Bucknell by two with the league seemingly divided in two between winners and losers, every game BU, AU, LC and we play becomes a near must-see. I’m not suggesting that Army, HC, Colgate, or Navy couldn’t make a run to finish near the top of the standings – gaining the all-important home court advantage come February 29th – but it appears highly unlikely. For me, Patriot League All-access (scoreboard watching brought to a new level) is about to begin paying for itself in a big way. Here is what’s available in the days leading up to our rematch out in Lewisburg – all watchable without missing a minute of our games:
Army @ Bucknell, 7pm, Sat., 2/4 – three hours following the conclusion of our Holy Cross game.
Bucknell @ Colgate, 7pm, Wed., 2/8 – one day before we face off against America
Holy Cross @ Navy, ditto above
Lafayette @ Army, ditto above
American @ Holy Cross, 2pm, Sat., 2/11 – 5 hours before we tip-off against Colgate
Navy @ Army, ditto above but on CBS Sports Network
Army @ Colgate, 7pm, Wed., 2/15 – the day before we face Bucknell
Holy Cross @ Lafayette, ditto above
Navy @ American, ditto above
LEHIGH @ BUCKNELL, 7PM, THURSDAY, 2/16
After our rematch with The Bison most of the remaining league games are scheduled to take place at the same time we take the court. Of course, with the All-access package you can still catch all the action by switching back ‘n forth between contests. Assuming we get off to a good start or should Bucknell stumble early-on in Part II, one game to circle on the calendar would be BU @ AU on Thursday, 2/23 – a CBS Sports Network presentation.
As a fan, of course I think we can go 7-0 in Part II and catch Bucknell. Sadly, it’s out of our control. A more realistic 5-2 or 6-1 finish could net us nearly the same results, i.e., home playoff contest(s) at friendly Stabler Arena on 2/29 and – with a win – again on 3/3. How “friendly” has Stabler been? Only wins in 9 of our last 10 a 50-18 (.735) overall under Coach Reed.
What’s everyone thinking in terms of what’s needed to finish – dare I say 1st – or more realistically 2nd?
Just announced! There’ll be no admission fee charged for the Colgate game at 7pm on Saturday, Feb.11th. Nice show of fan appreciation Lehigh Athletics! With HC this Saturday and Lafayette on Saturday the 18th, we could be looking at a nice end of season attendance rally. To date, the number stands at 5,745. That’s 1,436/game and puts us ahead of both Army and Colgate but trailing all others. With this “free admission” announcement and knowing the importance of our other two home games (Holy Cross and Lafayette), we stand a good chance of catching Holy Cross (1,708 average) and American (1,874 average) by the end of play. Sounds trivial, I’m sure, to many out west of us, but a big leap forward for Lehigh.
http://www.lehighsports.com/sports/mbball/lehigh_vs_colgate_free_of_charge_as_part_of_fan_appreciation_night.aspxFebruary 2, 2012 at 7:19 pm #4717
My guess is Lehigh goes 5-2 in the second half with losses at Bucknell and at American. They could win the American game for sure, but I don’t see them winning at Bucknell. So, 6-1 could happen, but I would tend toward 5-2. Unfortunately for Lehigh, American has a scheduling advantage, in that they have Lehigh and Bucknell at home. Their road games are soft with games at Colgate, Holy Cross and Army. Also, Lehigh only has 3 left at home, while American has 4 left at home. So, all that being said, I would pick the top 3 as Bucknell (1), American (2) and Lehigh (3). The critical game left on the schedule is @ American on 2/9. That is for second place. I don’t see any way Bucknell loses 2 games the rest of the way, perhaps 1 (maybe @ American, or Lehigh at home), but I doubt that.February 2, 2012 at 8:45 pm #4722
Quote: “With HC this Saturday and Lafayette on Saturday the 18th, we could be looking at a nice end of season attendance rally. To date, the number stands at 5,745. That’s 1,436/game and puts us ahead of both Army and Colgate but trailing all others. With this “free admission” announcement and knowing the importance of our other two home games (Holy Cross and Lafayette), we stand a good chance of catching Holy Cross (1,708 average) and American (1,874 average) by the end of play.”
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Just to clarify, the attendance figures above are only for PL games. LU’s overall “official” attendance averages 1050, and there is no chance to overtake Holy Cross’s average – which currently is 1620 – and little chance that LU can catch AU in attendance. Even for league games, I think it’s not very likely that LU will catch either of those two unless the accounting gets even more creative.
As for LU catching Bucknell in the PL race, if LU were to go undefeated in the second half – and if BU also lost another game resulting in both teams going 12-2 – then the tiebreaker could be interesting. If BU’s other loss was to AU, then LU would prevail in a tie. However if BU lost at HC then BU would prevail due to a higher RPI. Unclear what would happen if BU’s other loss was to Army or LC. (And Bucknell would prevail if their other loss was to CU or Navy.)February 2, 2012 at 10:00 pm #4727
Thanks, 137. I was referring to PL games only and failed to make that clear.
As for playoff implications in case of a tie @ 12-2, it does get interesting. Here’s the PL guidance on the subject for those who want to ponder the outcome:
Patriot League Tie-Breaking Procedure/Selection Seeding
a. In the case of a two-way between teams in the final standings for regular season League play, the following process will be used until all ties are broken and the seeding process is completed (ties will be broken in rank order beginning with the highest seed):
i. Head-to-head competition – the higher seed will go to the team that has won the most League contests played against the other team involved in the tie
ii. If a tie still exists, a comparison of records will be made between the tied institutions starting at the highest possible seed and continuing through the lowest seed, if necessary.
iii. Sport specific tie-breaking procedure, if any (see Sport Specific regulations).February 3, 2012 at 12:00 am #4731
The “sport-specific” tiebreaker mentioned above is the RPI. If LU and BU were tied and the other tiebreaker didn’t break the tie, then it would apply. If the two teams both end up 12-2 in PL play, then BU would end up with a better RPI.February 3, 2012 at 4:34 am #4734
65 – no need to apologize for not specifically pointing out that 4 games was our PL home attendance, not overall. 137 just feels the need to negatively mention Lehigh attendance any time possible. It was quite clear what you meant considering it is pretty obvious LU had OOC home games. Maybe 137 can clarify this for me in one of his quotes, including snarky remarks.February 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm #4740
I didn’t think it was obvious, thus the post. I try to be objective. I think the majority on all the PL boards would agree with that. As for LU attendance, regualar LU posters have been lamenting the attendance in Stabler for years on this board and its predecessor.February 4, 2012 at 5:22 am #4749
While Lehigh has the skills to make a 7-0 run in the second half, it hasn’t shown the consistency nor the ability to make clutch plays in the last two minutes in a close game. So, a 6-1 or 5-2 is more realistic. Some need to elevate their games to take the pressure off of CJ for a shot at the title to be realistically considered. Given that, do the Mountain Hawks make the NIT if they cannot snatch the PL championship?February 4, 2012 at 1:34 pm #4753
One sure way to make the NIT is to win the “regular season” battle in the PL. Of course, the tournament winner goes to the NCAA’s. Coming in 2nd in either race may be good enough but that’s up to the NIT selection committee. Our best possible finish without getting into the NCAAs or winning the regular season battle would be 24-9.February 4, 2012 at 1:53 pm #4754
Sorry, make that 25-8 as the best possible finish without an auto invite to either national tournament………16-7 (now) + 7-0 (PL 2nd half)+ 2-1 (PL Tournament). Of course, one of our W’s was against a lower division team.
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