The Bucknell Bison are the No. 14 seed in the West Region of the NCAA Tournament, and they'll meet third-seeded Connecticut in the first round. There's a good argument to be made that Bucknell is the hottest team on the 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket. The Bison have lost only twice since Dec. 1, going 22-2 over that span. In fact, only four teams in the country have as good a record since Christmas as Bucknell (Belmont, Oakland, Long Island and Utah State). They've won 10 straight games including their 3rd ever Patriot League tournament title.
Bucknell hasn't been to the tournament since the mid 2000s, but in those years they earned a reputation as upset specialists. Their first round defeat of No. 3 seed Kansas in 2005 is still considered one of the great tournament upsets of the past decade. The following year they upset Arkansas. But can they be giant killers this season?
Record: 25-8, 13-1 in the Patriot leauge
Key win: Jan. 2 over Richmond 62-61; Bucknell went on the road to 24 win A-10 squad Richmond and won as Mike Muscala hit a turnaround 16 foot buzzer beater. Jan. 12 over American University, 75-60; American lost only three Patriot League games all year and two were to Bucknell. The Bison went on the road and crushed American in a major signal of intent Mike Muscala had 33 Pts, 10 Reb and 5 blocks.
Key loss: Jan. 29 vs. Army 90-70. Bucknell lost only once since the start of January and that was in a blowout away to the worst team in the Patriot leauge.
Player(s) to watch: Sophomore big man Mike Muscala was name Patriot League Player Of the Year. He's just the third sophomore in league history to win the honor. Muscala averaged 14.8 ppg and 7.5 rebounds per game, he leads the team in both categories. 6-4 guard Bryan Cohen is also a player to watch after winning his second straight Patriot League defensive player of the year award.