The Lehigh Mountain Hawks and the Bucknell Bison are one win away from an automatic march madness betting bid but only one can win tonight at the Sojka Pavilion in Lewisburg when they play the Patriot League Men’s Basketball Tournament championship game, and fans who like to bet on March madness will be paying close attention.
Lehigh Mountain Hawks +5 (-110) 146 (-110) +180
Bucknell Bison -5 (-110) 146 (-110) -220
Lehigh defeated the Boston University Terriers 91-88 in overtime in the Patriot League conference semifinals on Sunday to advance to their second consecutive championship game and fourth in the last eight seasons. Tim Kempton posted 31 points – including a tie-breaking trey with 1:22 left in the second OT – and 13 rebounds, Austin Price scored 23 points, and Brandon Alston added 18. Lehigh and Bucknell will rekindle their rivalry and will play each other in the Patriot League Tournament for the first time since the 2012 championship game, when the Mountain Hawks took the win 82-77. Both Lehigh and Bucknell have been in constant contention close to the top of the league. In the past eight seasons, the Mountain Hawks have earned Patriot League Quarterfinal home field advantage on seven occasions, making it to the semis six times and to the title game four time – and winning it in 2010 and 2012. People who like to bet on March madness might want to know that Lehigh is are 1-3 ATS versus the spread and 2-2 against the total this season.
The Bison are the favorites to win the Patriot League Men’s Basketball Tournament championship game and receive the automatic march madness betting bid. Bucknell beat Navy 70-65 in the semifinals on Sunday. Zach Thomas scored 22 points and Nana Foulland had 18, including the go-ahead free throw shots with 1:24 left. The Bison won the Patriot League regular season championship outright – and the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament – for the third season in a row and sixth time in the past seven years. Bucknell became only the second school to win 15 league games, and finished the year with a three-game advantage over Boston University and Lehigh. Should the Bison prevail tonight, they would claim the 2017 Patriot League Tournament title for the first time since 2013 and advance to the march madness betting tournament for the seventh time in their history; win their sixth straight game and improve to 26-8 overall and 15-2 at home this season; break the program’s record for home wins in a season (they previously won 14 home games in 1992-93, 2005-06, 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13); win as many as 26 games in a season for the third time (they had 28 wins in 2012-13 and 27 in 2005-06); break a three-game series losing streak to Lehigh; and improve to 155-52 all-time at Sojka Pavilion, including a 111-25 record versus Patriot League teams. People who like to bet on March madness might be interested to know that Bucknell is 7-3 against the spread and 5-4-1 versus the total this season.