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2019 NCAA tournament preview: Colgate

Colgate Raiders: 24-10, 13-5 in the Patriot League

Head coach: Matt Langel (8th season)

Players to watch: Rapolas Ivanauskas (16.4 PPG, 43.4 3P%); Jordan Burns (15.8 PPG, 5.8 APG); Will Rayman (13.1 PPG, 43.2 3P%)

Season recap: On Wednesday evening, Colgate secured its third-ever NCAA tournament bid, beating Bucknell 94-80 in the Patriot League tournament final. While the Raiders certainly lack big-game experience, Colgate is not a lower seed to scoff at.

The skillful trio of Ivanauskas, Burns and Rayman lead the Raiders’ efficient offense, which ranks in the top 15 nationally in effective field goal percentage and 3-point percentage. Against the Bison, this three-man attack combined for 67 points on 10-of-19 from beyond the arc. 

Colgate played just three games against power-conference opponents and dropped each of these contests, falling 77-56 to Syracuse, 76-65 to Penn State, and 68-54 to Pittsburgh. 

How they make a run: As a low seed, the Raiders pull off a historic upset a la UMBC in 2018 in order to advance in the tournament, copying the Retrievers’ recipe of 3-point shooting, with five players averaging one or more 3-pointers made per game.

How they falter: Colgate’s opening-round opponent's superior size and athleticism proves to be too much for the Raiders, who are run out of the building early. Colgate fails to bring home its first-ever win in the NCAA tournament, disappointing all 4,000-plus residents of Hamilton, N.Y.


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