Staff: Colgate Raiders
Convention: Patriot League
First Spherical Opponent: Wisconsin (Friday, 9:50 p.m. ET)
DraftKings Sportsbook odds: Colgate +7.5, Colgate +6000 to achieve Elite Eight
What You Must Know
For the third time in as a few years (excluding 2020), the Colgate Raiders are headed to the NCAA event after rolling by the Patriot League and gobbling up the convention’s automated bid.
Listed below are three issues it is advisable know concerning the Raiders earlier than deciding whether or not or to not pull the set off on a 14/3 upset of Wisconsin.
1. They will mild up the scoreboard
Historical past tells us that offensive-minded groups one-bid leagues are way more more likely to pull first spherical upsets than groups which have gotten to the Massive Dance primarily with their protection. That’s excellent news for a Colgate crew that ranks second within the nation in three-point capturing (40.1 p.c), eighth in assists per recreation (17.2), and eleventh in efficient subject aim share (59.9 p.c). Of their three Patriot League event video games, the Raiders scored 91, 81 and 74 factors.
2. They’re scorching
Each crew from a one-bid league goes to be driving a profitable streak of some type into March Insanity (effectively, besides Jacksonville State I assume … develop up, NCAA … let Bellarmine play), however the Raiders have been significantly scorching. Colgate has gained its final 15 contests, hasn’t been overwhelmed since a 4-point loss at Boston U. on Jan. 28, which can also be its solely setback since all the best way again on Jan. 4.
Eleven of Colgate’s 15 wins on this streak have come by double figures. The Raiders have been particularly dominant within the Patriot League event, profitable their three video games by 28, 20 and 16 factors, respectively.
3. They’ve already proven they’ll slay an enormous
Colgate performed an especially difficult non-conference schedule, practically pulling upsets of each NC State (77-74) and Pittsburgh (71-68). The ACC crew who wasn’t fairly as lucky in opposition to the Raiders was Syracuse, who bought blown away by Matt Langel’s squad, 100-85 again on Nov. 20.
Whereas Syracuse isn’t practically the crew Wisconsin is, Colgate will doubtless attempt to make the most of the identical recreation plan in opposition to the Badgers they they rode to victory in opposition to the Orange: Take a bunch of threes, make a bunch of threes. The Raiders launched a complete of 43 pictures from past the arc in opposition to Syracuse, and linked on 18 of these. Jack Ferguson and Nelly Cummings each went 6-of-13 from deep to steer the surface onslaught.
Why They Can Advance
Any crew that shoots the ball in addition to Colgate does goes to have an opportunity in nearly any recreation it performs. What separates the Raiders from different mid/low main groups on this event which have the flexibility to attain is that Colgate additionally occurs to have a pair of bigs (6’11 Jeff Woodward and 6’10 Keegan Data) who ought to be capable to preserve Wisconsin from dominating on the glass.
However the largest cause Colgate has a shot at advancing is who they’re enjoying. After a string of slim victories, Wisconsin enters the NCAA event coming off back-to-back losses to Nebraska at residence in its common season finale and Michigan State in its first recreation of the Massive Ten event.
Maybe extra troubling than that’s the truth that, because the chart under exhibits, the Badgers will be inclined for taking (and never making) a complete lot of unhealthy pictures.
: We ranked each NCAA event crew utilizing ShotQuality’s shot choice and shot making metrics.
5 groups rank within the high 10% of the NCAA in each classes:
Colgate (14) pic.twitter.com/CfkdSv1vHX
— ShotQuality (@Shot_Quality) March 14, 2022
A crew that may get from deep in opposition to anybody in opposition to a crew that’s liable to prolonged droughts and lapses of poor judgment on offense is the right recipe for a closer-than-expected 3/14 recreation.
What Previous Cinderella They Remind Us Of
The 2018-19 Colgate Raiders.
So technically Colgate wasn’t a Cinderella three years in the past, however their statistical profile from that season is eerily much like their present one. That Raiders crew shot the three at an almost 40 p.c clip, had practically an an identical file as this yr’s group, and entered the NCAA event with a prolonged profitable streak that had been capped by a dominant run within the Patriot League event.
Colgate was a 15-seed that yr, however they pushed second-seeded Tennessee to absolutely the brink earlier than in the end falling within the last minute, 77-70. Don’t be shocked in any respect if this yr’s Raiders put an identical scare into one other energy convention opponent that has aspirations of enjoying deep into March.