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Jeff Eisenberg

Patriot League tournament: Top seed Lehigh will be tested

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Conference tournament play began Tuesday, kicking off a 12-day mad scramble for NCAA tournament berths. Up next in our conference tournament previews is the Patriot League, another wide-open league that doesn't appear to have produced a team strong enough to win an NCAA tournament game.

Patriot League Tournament

Date: March 3, 7, 12

Site: at higher seed

No. 1 Lehigh vs. No. 8 Army
No. 4 American vs. No. 5 Navy
No. 3 Lafayette vs. No. 6 Colgate
No. 2 Bucknell vs. No. 7 Holy Cross

Favorite: Lehigh (19-10, 10-4)

Contenders: Bucknell (14-16, 9-5), Lafayette (17-12, 8-6)

Did you know: History is on Lehigh's side: The top seed has made the championship game in all 19 Patriot League Tournaments, winning 15 times.

Outlook: Even though Lehigh is the top seed and Army finished last in the league, this first round matchup could be more perilous than you'd think at first glance. Army has ousted Lehigh in the quarterfinals the past three years, though none of those Mountain Hawks teams were as strong as this one. Assuming Lehigh survives its quarterfinal, its next two games won't be easy either. Lehigh split with second-seeded Bucknell and third-seeded Lafayette in the regular season and got swept by fifth-seeded Navy.

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