The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Ticket Punched: Bucknell could be problematic for NCAA tournament opponents

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(USA Today Sports Images)

Bucknell is back on top of the Patriot League and dancing into the NCAA tournament once again after beating Lafayette 64-56 in championship game.

Where would the Bison be without big man Mike Muscala? Maybe in the same boat as preseason Patriot League favorite Lehigh, which lost its star, C.J. McCollom to a broken foot in the middle of the season and never quite recovered.

Muscala scored 20 points in the title game with 11 rebounds to lead his team to its second title in three seasons. Bucknell lost to Lehigh in the championship a year ago.

This season no team in the league has had an answer for Muscala, who was named tournament MVP after setting a Patriot League tournament record with 38 rebounds in three games.

The Bison upset Kansas in March Madness back in 2005. Perhaps this Bucknell team has something similar in store. Muscala and his teammates appear capable of causing problems for whomever they are matched up with early in the NCAA tournament.It's a veteran team with a solid mix of post-up and perimeter scoring options.

They lost to Penn State and Princeton before Christmas but have only suffered three setbacks since and all three came against quality opponents, Missouri, Lehigh and Lafayette. Bucknell enters the tournament a winner in 12 of its past 13 games.

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