Bucknell Men's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Bucknell Bison

Patriot League (25-9, 16, 2)

With five starters returning to a team that reached the NCAA Tournament last year, the expectations were high for Bucknell heading into the 2017-2018 season. And the Bison lived up to those expectations by cruising to a 16-2 mark in Patriot League play, another regular season title and a tournament title.
Big Wins: 11/22 Ball State (87-83), 12/2 Vermont (81-77), 12/19 at Richmond (86-78)
Bad Losses: 11/11 at Monmouth (78-79), 1/2 Boston U (79-84), 2/5 at Lehigh (89-92)
Coach: Nathan Davis
Why They Can Surprise:
The Bison dominated the Patriot League thanks to the play of their frontcourt. Zach Thomas, a 6-7 senior, leads the team with 20.3 points and 9.2 rebounds. He is a dynamic scorer who can consistently knock down three-pointers and finish in the paint. Nana Foulland, a 6-10 senior, is the interior threat on both ends of the floor. He can block shots, help out on the glass and do plenty of scoring in the paint. With Bruce Moore and Nate Sestina providing some depth, this is a Bison team that has the size and depth to compete with teams that are traditionally bigger and strong in the paint.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Everybody on the Bucknell team besides Foulland is at least a threat to shoot from long range. However, this squad only connects on 34.3 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc. Stephen Brown is the prime scorer on the perimeter, averaging 14.9 points per game. He will need to make some shots if Bucknell is going to make things interesting in the NCAA Tournament. And if they are going to pull off an upset, players like Kimbal Mackenzie, Avi Toomer and Jimmy Sotos need to make some big plays on both ends of the floor too.
Probable Starters:
Kimbal Mackenzie, Junior, Guard, 8.2 ppg, 2.3 apg
Stephen Brown, Senior, Guard, 14.9 ppg, 4.3 apg
Avi Toomer, Sophomore, Guard, 4.9 ppg, 1.1 apg
Zach Thomas, Senior, Forward, 20.3 ppg, 2.2 apg, 9.2 rpg
Nana Foulland, Senior, Center, 15.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.8 bpg
Key Role Players:
Jimmy Sotos, Freshman, Guard, 4.8 ppg, 2.0 apg
Nate Jones, Junior, Guard, 2.2 ppg
Bruce Moore, Sophomore, Forward, 5.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg
Nate Sestina, Junior, Forward/Center, 6.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 81.1 (39th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 73.4 (203, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.1 (59, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.6 (91, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.8 (162, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.9 (239, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.0(144, 4)
Rebound Margin: 7.8 (162, 6)
Assists Per Game: 14.4 (121, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.8 (159, 4)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2017    NCAA Round of 64 loss to West Virginia
2016    NIT     First Round loss to Monmouth
2015    NIT     First Round loss to Temple
2013    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Butler
2012    NIT     First Round win over Arizona
2012    NIT     Second Round loss to Nevada
2011    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Connecticut
2006    NCAA Round of 64 win over Arkansas
2006    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Memphis
2005    NCAA Round of 64 win over Kansas
2005    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Wisconsin
*all team stats through 3/4