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NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheet: Getting to know Bucknell

Bryce Scott

Bucknell’s Bryson Johnson (12) looks for room to pass around Lafayette’s Zach Rufer (21) and other defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game for the Patriot League men’s tournament title, Wednesday, March 13, 2013, in Lewisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Ralph Wilson)


Read through the rest of the Cheat Sheets here.

Conference: Patriot

Coach: Dave Paulsen

Record: 28-5

Rankings and Ratings:

- Kenpom: 61
- RPI: 55
- AP/USA Today: N/A

Seeding?: Our Dave Ommen had Bucknell as a No. 13 seed in Wednesday’s bracket projection, but they might end up being everyone’s 12-over-5 upset.

Names you need to know: Mike Muscala (19.0 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 2.4 apg, 2.5 bpg), Cameron Ayers (12.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg), Joe Willman (10.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg)

Stats you need to know: You better be able to execute in the half court against Bucknell, on both ends of the floor. They have the second lowest turnover percentage in the country on both ends of the floor.

Tendencies: Obviously, on the offensive end of the floor, Bucknell wants to feed the ball into their big man and NBA prospect Muscala. They surround him with shooters to give him space to operate. Defensively, the Bison don’t gamble for steals; they are going to make you make tough shots to beat them, and they good at clearing the defensive glass.

Big wins, bad losses: The Bison picked up a couple of solid wins in non-conference play, beating Purdue, New Mexico State and La Salle. Their only bad loss this season? Lafayette, who caught fire the last month of the season.

How’d they get here?: Bucknell won the Patriot League outright before rolling through the Patriot League tournament. They knocked off Lafayette in the title game.

Outlook: Yes, Bucknell can win a game. They might even be able to make it to the Sweet 16, depending on what kind of matchups they get. Muscala will be able to matchup with any big man in the country, and with a veteran group around him, the Bison aren’t going to be intimidated and are going to be able to execute.

How do I know you?: Bucknell had a couple of good tournament runs in the last decade. They upset Kansas as a No. 14 seed in 2005 and then beat Arkansas as a No. 9 seed a year later.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.