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Patriot League Tournament Odds, Preview, and Picks

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in College Basketball

Updated Mar 2, 2021 · 7:04 PM PST

The 2021 Patriot League Conference Tournament bracket.
  • The Patriot League Tournament tips off Wednesday, March 3rd and concludes Sunday, March 14th, with all games being played at campus sites
  • Top seed Navy is looking to get back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998
  • See the seeds, bracket, and full tournament preview, below

Like most seasons, the Patriot League will produce just one March Madness team this year, so if you want to get to the big dance you’re going to have to win the conference tournament.

The aforementioned tourney tips off Wednesday (March 3rd) and concludes Sunday, March 14th with each game being played on the higher seeds home court.

The Navy Midshipmen (15-2, 11-1 Patriot) will carry the top seed into the conference tournament, looking to bring home the trophy for the fourth time.

2021 Patriot League Tournament Odds

Team (Seed) Odds
Colgate Raiders (2) -225
Navy Midshipmen (1) +250
Army Black Knights (4) +750
American Eagles (5) +1400
Lafayette Leopards (3) +1800
Loyola Maryland Greyhounds (9) +2500
Bucknell Bison (6) +3300
Boston University Terriers (7) +5000
Holy Cross Crusaders (8) +12500
Lehigh Mountain Hawks (10) +20000

Odds as of March 2nd.

Only three programs finished the season with a winning record in the Patriot League, and half of the teams finished with five wins or less. For that reason, it’s tough to make an argument for anyone not named Navy, Colgate or Lafayette, and I wouldn’t venture past the Leopards if you’re looking for a longshot.

Buyer Beware

The case for Lafayette (9-5 Patriot) is that they can score. They rank second in the conference in points per game (77.2) and boast two of the Patriot’s top-seven scorers in Justin Jaworski and E.J. Stephens.

They’re third in the Patriot in three-point efficiency, second in assists and first in free-throw percentage. They won four of five down the stretch and hit the 80-point mark on six separate occasions.

The problem however, is two-fold. First their defense is soft. They rank eighth in points against, seventh in opponent field-goal percentage, and 10th in defensive rebounding. Second, they didn’t face either of the top-two seeds (Navy and Colgate) all season, and their best win is over a Loyola Maryland program that grades out at #217 in KenPom’s efficiency rankings.

The price tag will be tempting, but the chances of them ousting both the Raiders and Midshipmen are incredibly slim.

Nah Wave Navy

Navy checks in with the highest KenPom rating in the Patriot (142), but grade out much lower in the NET Rankings than Colgate (84 vs 9). They were red-hot down the stretch winning 14 of their final 15 games, and are seeking their first conference title since 1998.

That year was also the last time they made the NCAA Tournament, and if they want to get back to March Madness in 2021, they’ll need to rely heavily on their defense.

The Midshipmen rank first in the Patriot in points against and steals, fourth in opponent field-goal percentage, and are third at defending the three-point line. The offense is balanced, but not spectacular, led by Cam Davis and John Carter, their only two scorers who average in double figures per night.

The concern however, is a lack of quality wins on their resume. They’ve yet to face Colgate or Lafayette this season, and none of their conference victories were versus anyone ranked inside the top-196. They did face Maryland back in November, but were routed 82-52.

Yes, they’re playing very well at the moment, but the Raiders have been utterly dominant this season.

Cash In With Colgate

Colgate (11-1 Patriot) won 10 straight outings down the stretch, and average 8.5 more points than any other program in the Patriot. All but three of their 11 wins were by double-digits, and the ones that weren’t were by 7, 9 and 9 points respectively.

The Raiders made the NCAA Tournament the last time it was held in 2019, and a handful of players from that team still remain. Four players average in double figures, led by Senior guard Jordan Burns, the Patriot League player of the year.

They rank first in the conference in points per game, field-goal percentage, three-point percentage, assists and total rebounding. Defensively they’re no slouch, ranking second in points against and first in opponent field-goal percentage.

Colgate is strong at both ends of the floor, balanced on offense, and loaded with experience. Five of their top-eight rotational players are upperclassmen and the Raiders are 7-1 in their last eight meetings with top seeded Navy.

Pick: Colgate Radiers (-225)


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