Tournaments at a glance

March 06, 2004|By Kent Baker

Men

Patriot League

Site: Show Place Arena, Upper Marlboro When: Today (quarterfinals), tomorrow (semifinals), March 14 (championship game played at site of higher seed) 2003 champion: Holy Cross 2004 favorite: Lehigh. The Mountain Hawks shared the regular-season title with American, getting the No. 1 seed by virtue of two wins over the Eagles. Lehigh features the best guard tandem in the league in Austen Rowland (Pallotti) and freshman Jose Olivero. Dark horse: Bucknell. A team made up mostly of freshmen and sophomores, Bucknell has a potentially dominating center in 6-foot-11 Chris McNaughton from Germany. The Bison won seven straight before losing their final two. Player to watch: Rowland, Lehigh. The Delaware transfer tore up the league in his senior season, leading all players in scoring (18.7 ppg) and averaging nearly three three-pointers a game. Outlook: Navy gave outgoing coach Don DeVoe two road victories to end the regular season, including a shocking upset of Lafayette, after going winless in the league. But, as the lowest seed, the Midshipmen must play Lehigh in the opening round.

Northeast Conference

Site: Spiro Sports Center, Staten Island, N.Y. When: Today (quarterfinals), tomorrow (semifinals), Wednesday (championship game played at site of higher seed) 2003 champion: Wagner 2004 favorite: Monmouth. In a league in which the top eight teams finished within four games of each other, a narrow edge goes to the Hawks. Monmouth tied with St. Francis (N.Y.) at the top but swept their season series. Dark horse: Fairleigh Dickinson. An overachieving team that was picked to finish in the bottom half, FDU went 10-3 at home and gained the third seed. Gordon Klaiber (16.9 ppg) is the Knights' leading man. Player to watch: Ron Robinson, Central Connecticut. The athletic forward has become the key after the departure of Corsley Edwards (Lake Clifton). Robinson was second in the NEC in scoring (18.4 ppg) and rebounding (9.5 rpg). Outlook: Mount St. Mary's has been playing must-win games for two weeks and has passed the test, taking three straight to qualify at the last minute. The victims included Monmouth in the finale, and a rematch is set in the opening round.

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