Location: Easton, PA
Conference: Patriot League
Coach: Fran O'Hanlon
Record: 20-12 (9-9)
Kenpom ranking: 195
Good wins (Kenpom ranking): Princeton (150) Robert Morris (173)
Bad losses (Kenpom ranking): Loyola MD (312) Navy (267) Holy Cross (243)
Tournament appearances: 4 (most recent: 2000)
Best result: No tournament wins
NBA alumni: None
Best name: Monty Boykins
Famous alumni: Cubs manager Joe Maddon, IBM pioneer Thomas Watson
It looked like the Leopards would continue a 15-year-old tournament drought -- and then point guard Nick Lindner came along. Lafayette went 9-9 in the Patriot League and had just an 8.7 chance of winning the league's tournament per Ken Pomeroy. But Lindner nearly doubled his season average, scoring 23 points or more in all three Pat League tournament games, powering the Leopards to their first dance since 2000.
Style of play: Does a leopard hit shots?
Nothing springs an upset like an underdog drilling a ton of threes, and Lafayette can do that in a jiffy: The Leopards shoot 41.4 percent from deep, the second-best rate in the nation. The problem is they're an absolute sieve defensively -- their 113.0 points allowed per 100 possessions is 337th best of the 351 teams in college hoops, by far the worst in the tourney.
Key player: The Aussie Patriot
At 6'9, Dan Trist was more apt for hoops than more traditional Australian sports, and found his way to the Lehigh Valley from Sydney. The 6'9 senior has steadily grown more productive for the Leopards, managing to pull off the rare feat of shooting more shots and hitting a higher percentage in all four of his seasons. He averages 17.3 points per game shooting a really efficient 58 percent clip.
The Penultimate Amateurs
Lafayette was prominently featured in "The Last Amateurs," a book on the 1999-2000 Patriot League season, when a younger Fran O'Hanlon led the Leopards to their second NCAA in two years. The premise was the Pat League, which didn't offer athletic scholarships, was the last true bastion of amateur athletics. Fortunately for hard-working athletes and unfortunately for crotchety old men, the league phased in scholarships, with Lafayette awarding them in 2006.