“Boy With A Coin”, by Iron and Wine from the Shepherd’s Dog album
Released September 25, 2007 via Sub Pop Records
Nana Foulland wasn’t fooling around on Wednesday night. He was definitely the spark as the Bucknell Bison broken open a tight 35-34 halftime lead into a cool 8 for 12 shooting from the floor in a convincing 81-65 victory to earn their fifth trip to the Big Dance and first since 2013.
Remember back in 2005 when Bucknell was a 14 seed and knocked off Kansas? The following year, they managed to knock off Arkansas–so they are definitely tournament worthy. Even though Tim Kempton had some nifty inside moves around the basket, his game high of 22 points and 17 rebounds was not enough. In the end, Lehigh was ice cold from long distance hitting on only 4 of 14 attempts from deep. Even worse, their free throw shooting was not as great, going only 7 of 15 from the charity stripe. Even though the Mountain Hawks came into this game winners of six straight and managed to beat Bucknell twice during the regular season, it simply came apart when things mattered most.
Going forward for Bucknell, their case study is like many mid major teams before them. Simply, whomever Bucknell faces in the first round is going to be a challenge. Zero turnovers by their crafty point guard Kimbal MacKenzie will be huge. Hailing from Canada, at first glance–he might look like yoru favorite lumberjack on those Brawny paper towel ads. Bucknell committed only five turnovers during the entire game and that will play a huge part if they wish to be included in the Sweet 16. And rebounding will also be a key factor, as they won that battle on Wednesday night 38-33.
Outside of that, the only upsets of note across the other conference tournaments was Texas over Texas Tech 61-52 at the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City and Missouri upended Auburn 86-83 in overtime at the SEC Tournament.
The next automatic bid will be early Saturday afternoon in the America East Conference, part of 14 games that will decide who will join the other 12 schools as automatic qualifiers.
Between now and then, my blog will take a much needed breather (unless any major upsets cross on your favorite sports network on cable television and the social media wires).
But before I go for the time being, please look for some special surprises that will be entering your inbox just so you can enjoy what I call the most fun time of the year.
Please have a good night and stay warm, everybody.