Patriot League Tournament Wrap-up
Crusdaders Capture Patriot League Holy Grail…Again.
With an 18-14 record, a lock on first place throughout the regular season and players held over from their CAA days, American U. was the sensible pick to win the Patriot League Championship. But in DC on Friday, March 8, second-seed Holy Cross won their second-straight conference title with a 58-54 win over the newcomer Eagles. HC’s Tim Szatko scored 16 points and was named Tournament MVP. Turnovers do make a difference in the close games; Holy Cross only had four the whole game.
Patrick Doctor, the Patriot’s player of the year, struggled through multiple double teams but still managed to score 18 in the losing effort.
This is the first time since the 1948-49 seasons that Holy Cross has won back-to-back conference titles. Last year the Crusaders were a 15-seed that lost a gutsy battle to No. 2 Kentucky, 72-68, in Uniondale, NY.
Voted Most Patriotic:
The Patriot League All-Tournament Team:
Tim Szatko, forward, Holy Cross
Brian Wilson, guard, Holy Cross
Patrick Doctor, forward/center, American
Stephen Miles, guard, American
Boakai Lalugba, forward, Bucknell
A Second Chance for American?
American makes a good case for post-season play by strength of schedule alone. The Eagles challenged and lost to Maryland, the College of Charleston, Penn and Vanderbilt and beat Florida State (yes, the same team that beat Duke this year). But the Patriot’s low RPI, a win total under 20 and a loss in the conference tournament do not bode well for Jeff Jones’ club. The NIT is a distinct possibility, but do not expect to see AU hosting any first-round games.