What: #2 Colgate (19-12, 12-6 PL) at #1 Bucknell (24-9, 16-2 PL)
Where: Sojka Pavilion, Lewisburg, Pa.
When: Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
TV: CBS Sports Network (Jason Knapp, Pete Gillen, Cassie McKinney); Armed Forces Network (tape delay, March 8, 8 a.m. ET)
Internet: CBSSports.com and CBS Sports app
Local Radio: Eagle 107 (107.3 FM WEGH) (Doug Birdsong)
National Radio: Westwood One/SiriusXM 81 (John Sadak, Jon Crispin)
Listen Live: BucknellBison.com, Eagle107.com, westwoodonesports.com, TuneIn app
Live Stats: BucknellBison.com
Tickets: Bucknell's allotment is currently sold out. If Colgate returns any tickets from its allotment, they will be made available for purchase online on Wednesday.
Bucknell Probable Starters
G: Stephen Brown (14.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.3 apg)
G: Kimbal Mackenzie (8.2 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 2.4 apg)
F: Avi Toomer (4.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.1 apg)
F: Zach Thomas (20.7 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 2.2 apg)
C: Nana Foulland (15.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.8 bpg)
With a Win over Colgate, Bucknell Would ...
• ... win the Patriot League championship and earn its eighth NCAA Tournament bid.
• ... go to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments for the second time (2005, 2006).
• ... improve to 25-9 overall and 15-1 at home this season.
• ... reach the 25-win plateau for the sixth time in school history.
• ... win its eighth straight game; 18th in the last 19; 21st in the last 23; and 25th in its last 30.
• ... improve to 67-44 all-time against the Raiders.
• ... improve to 68-32 under Nathan Davis (this is Davis’ 100th game as Bucknell head coach).
• ... improve to 122-26 against Patriot League opponents at Sojka Pavilion.
• Bucknell is one victory away from an eighth NCAA Tournament bid. After wins over Loyola (83-78) and Boston University (90-59), the Bison have advanced to the Patriot League championship game for a record 12th time. Meanwhile Colgate is vying for its third Patriot League title and first since winning back-to-back in 1995 and 1996.
• Bucknell averages a league-high 81.1 points per game, but its two lowest point totals in Patriot League play both came in come-from-behind wins over Colgate. The Bison won 63-51 in Hamilton on Jan. 15, then made a miraculous comeback from eight down with 21 seconds remaining to win 65-64 at Sojka Pavilion on Feb. 12. In the two games against Colgate this season, Bucknell shot just 39.0% from the field and 26.1% from 3-point distance. The Bison were plagued by poor starts in both games, shooting a combined 14-for-41 (.341) overall and 2-for-19 (.105) from the arc in the first halves.
• Bucknell and Colgate are original members of the 28-year-old Patriot League, but this is only their sixth postseason meeting and the first since 2008. The two teams have never before met in the PL final.
• Bucknell finished 16-2 in Patriot League play and won the regular-season championship by four games over Colgate. The Bison are trying to become the first team since American in 2008 and 2009 to repeat as Patriot League Tournament champions.
• Since seeing its 10-game winning streak end in overtime at Lehigh on Feb. 5, Bucknell has won another seven in a row. The Bison captured the outright Patriot League title for the fourth year in a row and seventh time in the last eight years.
• Bucknell is 14-1 at home this season and 24-1 in its last 25 at home.
• Seniors Stephen Brown, Nana Foulland and Zach Thomas all earned First Team All-Patriot League honors, with Thomas garnering the Player of the Year award. This is the first time in league history that three players from the same team were named to the First Team. Some facts & figures on this senior class:
• This is the first class in Patriot League history to win four straight outright regular-season titles.
• This class has an 86-47 overall record and a 58-14 mark in Patriot League play. They have played in an NCAA Tournament and two NITs thus far.
• This is the second class in school history to feature three 1,000-point scorers. Foulland (1,735), Thomas (1,706) and Brown (1,267) have combined for 4,708 points and rank fourth, fifth, and 19th on Bucknell’s all-time scoring list.
• All three members of the class currently rank in the top eight in the Patriot League scoring race. They are averaging a combined 51.0 points per game and are accounting for 62.9% of the team’s points this season.
• Dating back to mid-December, the Bison have won 20 of their last 22 games, and they are 24-5 since starting the season with consecutive road losses at Monmouth, Arkansas, North Carolina and Maryland.
• Zach Thomas is enjoying a monster senior year, averaging 20.7 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. Thomas, who was named to the Lou Henson Mid-Major Player of the Year Award mid-season watch list, is one of three Division I players currently leading his conference in both scoring and rebounding.
• Thomas earned seven Patriot League Player of the Week honors, giving Bucknell eight this season (Nana Foulland had the other). Thomas has a school-record 17 20-point games, including a record-tying four 30-point games, on the season. The seven Player of the Week honors ties the league record, previously set by Lehigh’s Tim Kempton last season. Thomas had a 38-point, 11-rebound, 7-assist gem at Stony Brook on Nov. 26 and a 36-point, 13-rebound effort at Lehigh. Thomas now ranks 36th nationally in scoring, 38th in rebounding, 12th in defensive rebounding, first in free throw attempts and first in made free throws (through Sunday’s games).
• Thomas has attempted 10 or more free throws in a game 13 times this season. Only counting his made free throws (6.9 per game), Thomas would be the 45th-leading scorer in the Patriot League. Thomas already has broken the school records for points and made and attempted free throws in a season.
• Colgate is back in the Patriot League championship game for the first time since 2008. That season, the third-seeded Raiders defeated Bucknell in the semifinals, then lost to American in the championship game. This year’s edition turned back seventh-seeded Lafayette 76-54 in the quarterfinals, then pulled away late from No. 6 Holy Cross in a 62-55 verdict in Sunday’s semis. Will Rayman leads Colgate in both scoring (14.6) and rebounding (6.6). Jordan Swopshire (12.1), Jordan Burns (11.7) and Sean O’Brien (11.0) also score in double figures. Colgate’s +2.2 turnover margin is the best in the league, paced by O’Brien, who ranks fourth in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.87).
Bucknell Patriot League Tournament History
• Bucknell has an all-time record of 38-22 (.633) in 28 Patriot League Tournaments. The Bison have reached the championship game a league-record 12 times, including wins in 2005, 2006, 2011, 2013 and 2017, and reached at least the semifinals in 21 of 28 years.
• This is Bucknell’s ninth appearance as the No. 1 seed. The Bison are 18-4 when playing as the top seed, with four titles.
• This will be Bucknell’s 20th consecutive Patriot League Tournament game played at home as the higher-seeded team. The last time the Bison played on the road for a PL Tournament game was in 2009, when they lost in the quarterfinals at second-seeded Holy Cross.
Bison PL Tourney Log
Year Seed Results
1991 4 def. Army 67-49; lost Fordham 82-76
1992 2 def. Army 74-55; def. Holy Cross 86-77; lost Fordham 70-65
1993 1 def. Lehigh 69-65; def. Colgate 75-73; lost Holy Cross 98-73
1994 5 lost Holy Cross 96-91
1995 2 lost Army 94-78
1996 4 def. Lafayette 56-55; lost Colgate 67-61
1997 2 def. Lehigh 84-54; def. Colgate 71-58; lost Navy 76-75
1998 3 def. Holy Cross 60-56; lost Navy 80-61
1999 3 def. Holy Cross 76-52; def. Lehigh 58-50; lost Lafayette 67-63
2000 3 lost Lehigh 73-62
2001 6 def. Colgate 75-68; lost Navy 88-64
2002 3 def. Army 70-59; lost Holy Cross 64-57
2003 5 def. Lehigh 52-47; lost Holy Cross 75-50
2004 4 def. Holy Cross 66-60; lost Lehigh 60-45
2005 2 def. Lafayette 70-34; def. American 53-35; def. Holy Cross 61-57
2006 1 def. Army 59-47; def. American 64-50; def. Holy Cross 74-59
2007 2 def. Navy 62-43; def. Army 68-47; lost Holy Cross 74-66
2008 7 def. Navy 87-86 (3OT); lost Colgate 54-40
2009 7 lost Holy Cross 75-56
2010 2 lost Holy Cross 67-64
2011 1 def. Army 78-51; def. Lehigh 66-64; def. Lafayette 72-57
2012 1 def. Navy 87-63; def. Lafayette 79-52; lost Lehigh 82-77
2013 1 def. Navy 58-42; def. Army 78-70; def. Lafayette 64-56
2014 4 lost Army 72-71
2015 1 def. Holy Cross 90-83 (OT); lost Lafayette 80-74
2016 1 lost Holy Cross 77-72 (2OT)
2017 1 def. Army 78-62; def. Navy 70-65; def. Lehigh 81-65
2018 1 def. Loyola 83-78; def. Boston U. 90-59; vs. Colgate championship games in bold.
How to Get the Game
• The Bucknell-Colgate game will be televised on CBS Sports Network, with Jason Knapp (play-by-play), Pete Gillen (color) and Cassie McKinney (sideline) calling the action. The game will also stream via CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports app, with authentication from a cable or satellite TV provider.
• The game can be heard in the Susquehanna Valley on the radio on Eagle 107 (WEGH 107.3 FM), with Doug Birdsong handling the play-by-play. The pregame show begins 30 minutes before tip-off.
• The audio feed is available online free of charge on personal computers via BucknellBison.com and Eagle107.com. To listen on iPhone and Android devices, download the official Bucknell Athletics app.
• The Patriot League championship game will also air on national radio through Westwood One. In addition to radio stations across the country, the game can be accessed through Westwood One Channels via the TuneIn mobile app; it will stream online free of charge at westwoodonesports.com; and it will air on Sirius/XM 81. John Sadak and Jon Crispin will call the action for Westwood One.
• Live statistics can be accessed via BucknellBison.com.
• Follow @Bucknell_MBB for in-game updates on Twitter.
Last Time Out
• Stephen Brown scored 19 of his game-high 26 points in the first half, and Bucknell advanced to the Patriot League Tournament Championship game with a resounding 90-59 win over Boston University on Sunday afternoon at Sojka Pavilion.
• Bucknell dominated fifth-seeded Boston University right from the opening tap. Kimbal Mackenzie finished a layup five seconds into the game, and the Bison never let up from there. They led 15-2 after seven minutes, 46-23 at the half, and by as many as 35 in the second half.
• Brown finished one point shy of his career high while shooting 9-for-14 from the field and 7-for-7 from the foul line. His 26 points came in just 24 minutes of action. Nana Foulland added 14 points, eight rebounds and two blocks, and Mackenzie added 11 points. Nate Sestina played a strong 17 minutes off the bench with seven points, eight rebounds and a career-high five assists, and John Meeks hit all three of his shots for seven points.
• Patriot League Player of the Year Zach Thomas finished with six points and six rebounds while playing with a protective mask after injuring his nose in the team’s quarterfinal win against Loyola on Thursday.
• Bucknell shot 58.9% for the game, including 65.2% in the second half, and received eight three pointers from eight different players. The eight players making a three tied a school record. All 13 players who took the court for the Bison scored and added at least one rebound or assist.
• Boston University received 14 points, five rebounds and five assists from Tyler Scanlon and 10 points apiece from Walter Whyte and Sukhmail Mathon. Leading scorer Max Mahoney was in foul trouble all night, and the Bison limited him to two points in seven minutes before he fouled out with 11:32 remaining in the game.
Bucknell vs. Colgate
• This will be the 111th all-time meeting between Bucknell and Colgate in a series that dates back to 1920. The Bison have a 66-44 series lead. The only other opponents that Bucknell has played at least 100 times are Lehigh (171), Lafayette (165), Gettysburg (126) and Penn State (103).
• As Patriot League rivals, Bucknell has won 45 of the 62 meetings, including 23 of 28 in Lewisburg.
• Bucknell is 15-6 in its last 21 games in Hamilton.
• Bucknell entered the 2014-15 season with a 10-game series winning streak over Colgate, but the Raiders swept the Bison for the first time since 1997-98, and then they repeated the feat in 2015-16 to run their win streak over Bucknell to four games. The Bison responded with a season sweep last year, winning 83-69 in Hamilton and 75-58 in Lewisburg.
• On Jan. 15, Zach Thomas recorded 17 points and 15 rebounds, Nana Foulland also had a double-double with 13 points and 11 boards, and Bucknell rallied from nine points down to beat Colgate 63-51 in a defensive struggle at Cotterell Court. The Bison held the Raiders to 27.1% shooting on its home floor and limited dangerous scorers Will Rayman and Jordan Burns to a combined 1-for-22 shooting. Bucknell also controlled the glass, outrebounding the Raiders 48-33. In the rematch in Lewisburg, this happened:
Bison Stage Comeback for the Ages against Colgate
• Kimbal Mackenzie drilled a three-pointer at the buzzer, capping a dramatic 65-64 comeback victory for the Bison over Colgate on Feb. 12 at Sojka Pavilion. Trailing 64-56, the Bison scored nine straight points in the final 21 seconds, punctuated by Mackenzie’s three right in front of the Bison bench.
• Mackenzie started the run by scoring on a put-back jumper in the paint and drawing a foul. He converted the free throw, and the Bison defense forced a Colgate turnover on the inbounds play. Mackenzie had his ensuing 3-point attempt blocked, but he grabbed his own miss and fed Nana Foulland for a layup. The Raiders were called for a flagrant foul on the play, leading to two free throw attempts for Foulland and possession of the ball for the Bison. Foulland split a pair at the line, cutting the Colgate lead to 64-62 with 11 seconds remaining.
• After a Bison timeout, all five players touched the ball. Zach Thomas looked inside to Foulland, who kicked the ball out to Stephen Brown at the top of the key. Brown swung the ball to Bruce Moore, who then passed to Mackenzie in the corner. The ball was deflected on the way, but Mackenzie made a nice one-handed catch on the short hop, and with a defender flying out at him, he swished the game-winner. Mackenzie was immediately swarmed by his teammates on the bench, and they were soon joined by the students storming the court.
Patriot League Success
• Bucknell is 281-117 (.706) all-time in Patriot League regular-season games, the best record of any league team. The Bison finished at least .500 in PL play for the 24th time in 28 Patriot League seasons.
• Bucknell won three straight outright Patriot League regular-season titles from 2011-13, becoming the first team in league history to accomplish that feat. The Bison are now the first to win four in a row, and they have claimed seven of the last eight.
• Since the start of the 2010-11 season, Bucknell is 106-26 (.803) in Patriot League play.
• Bucknell has won 12 Patriot League regular-season titles in 28 years. No other team has more than five.
• Bucknell is making its ninth Patriot League Tournament appearance as the No. 1 seed.
• Bucknell won Patriot League Tournament titles in 2005, 2006, 2011, 2013 and 2017. The Bison have made it to the semifinals 21 times and to the championship game 11 times in the 28-year history of the league.
• The Bison are the only team to go unbeaten in league play in a season (14-0 in 2006).
Numbers Worth Noting
• Stephen Brown has scored in double figures in 19 straight games and is 45-for-50 from the foul line in his last 12 games. Brown is averaging 17.4 ppg in his last 12 games.
• Kimbal Mackenzie is 24-for-24 from the foul line this season and has made 33 straight dating back to last year. The school record is 39, by Bo Heiden in 1986-87.
• Zach Thomas has scored in double figures in 82 of his 88 career starts, including all but two this season.
• Nana Foulland has a blocked shot in 18 straight games and has scored in double figures in 17 straight.
• Bucknell is 25-3 in the month of January and 16-6 in February under head coach Nathan Davis.
• The Bison are 16-2 this season, 38-3 over the last two seasons, and 52-7 in the Davis era when leading at the half.
• Bucknell is averaging 43.0 points in the second halves of games this season, the 14th-best figure in the country. That figure jumps to 45.2 ppg at home, which ranks 11th in the nation.
• Bucknell leads the Patriot League in scoring offense at 81.1 points per game (39th nationally). The Bison are scoring 1.10 and allowing 0.99 points per possession on the season.
• The Bison are 17-2 when scoring 80 or more points, but 7-7 when scoring fewer than 80. The team’s lone losses when scoring 80 were a 93-81 setback at North Carolina on Nov. 15 and a 92-89 overtime loss at Lehigh on Feb. 5.
• Stephen Brown averaged 15.4 ppg in Patriot League play. The senior is taking more shots than at any other point in his career. Brown is averaging 10.9 FGA per game this season, more than two attempts above his previous career high of 8.6 last year.
• Nate Sestina has been productive off the bench for the Bison. He is averaging 6.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, but when pro-rated for 40 minutes he is tallying 16.8 ppg and 10.4 rpg.
• Bucknell is shooting 49.5% from the field at home this season and 45.2% on the road, even though it has shot better from the 3-point arc on the road (34.7% compared to 32.8% at Sojka Pavilion).
• The Bison now lead the nation in free-throw attempts and rank second in made FTs (through Sunday’s games). 30.2% of Bucknell’s offensive plays have resulted in free throws, which is the fifth-highest rate in the country.
• According to the Hollinger Player Efficiency Rating formula at ESPN.com, Zach Thomas ranks 38th out of all Division I players with a score of 26.84. PER measures the aggregate of a player’s statistical efficiency.