NCAA Bracket 2012: How Lehigh Basketball Got To March Madness

Mar 7, 2012; Lewisburg, PA, USA;The Lehigh Mountain Hawks celebrate after defeating the Bucknell Bison 82-77 in the finals of the 2012 Patriot League Conference Tournament at Sojka Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-US PRESSWIRE

Lehigh finds itself in the NCAA Tournament after winning the Patriot League Tournament to capture an automatic bid.

The Lehigh Mountain Hawks are dancing after rattling off eight straight wins to close the season and earning the Patriot League automatic bid. They closed out the Patriot League Tournament on Wednesday, downing Bucknell, 82-77, to punch a ticket to the Big Dance.

Lehigh's journey to March Madness was typical of a smaller conference team, with a couple of losses to major conference foes dotting the non-conference slate and a strong showing throughout the conference schedule. The Mountain Hawks' 11-3 conference record was good for second in the Patriot League, eventually earning them a date with Bucknell in the conference finals.

Losses to Saint John's and Iowa State served as a crash landing to open the season for Lehigh, but the team rebounded with six straight wins before falling to Cornell in overtime. A nine-point loss to Michigan State also stands out as a good loss for Lehigh, if there is such a thing.

All told, Lehigh is a typical double-digit seed in the NCAA Tournament, with hopes of pulling off an upset in the tournament. The Mountain Hawks were given the No. 15 seed in the South Region and have a near-impossible date with Duke to open the NCAA Tournament.

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