Patriot League Tournament 2013 Championship: Game preview for Bucknell vs. Lafayette

Jamie Squire

The winner of Wednesday night's Patriot League Championship game will head to the NCAA Tournament next week.

The Patriot League's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament will be up for grabs on Wednesday night as Bucknell and Lafayette take the floor.

The Bucknell Bison are the tournament's top-seeded team. They defeated Navy in the quarterfinals, then won a hard-fought battle over Army, 78-70. As for the Lafayette Leopards, they won convincingly over Holy Cross and Lehigh to reach the title game.

In the regular season, Bucknell and Lafayette split their two meetings. In the first game, the Bison won at home by 15 points. Lafayette got their revenge the second time around though, winning a thriller, 63-62, at home.

Bucknell is led by senior center Mike Muscala. One of the toughest players in the country to guard, the 6'11 big man averaged 19 points and 11 rebounds a game this past season. Muscala is also a 55-percent shooter from behind the 3-point arc. Slowing him down is an absolute must for Lafayette if they hope to pull the upset.

The Leopards rely on three players to do the bulk of their scoring. Seth Hinrichs is the team's leading scorer at 14.7 points a game, while Tony Johnson and Dan Trist both average right around 13. The Leopards are one of the better shooting teams in the nation, hitting 46 percent of their field goal attempts and 38 percent of their shots from deep.

According to Kenpom's efficiency rankings, the Bison should win this game convincingly. Bucknell is ranked 61st in the country, while Lafayette is 161st due to a bad defense.

Tipoff for Wednesday's championship game is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. It will be televised by CBS Sports Network.

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