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February 3 Power Rankings

4 February, 2008

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It’s tough to make heads or tales of a league where, midway through the league slate, all eight teams are within three games of each other. Here’s an attempt to sort through the current state of the chaos that has become the Patriot League regular season.

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1. Lehigh (11-10, 4-3 Patriot) 6 Despite getting blown out at Holy Cross this weekend, Lehigh gets the top spot by virtue of the four-game winning streak the preceded the loss in Worcester. The hot streak just happened to coincide with the return of the strong defensive play we saw in years past.
2. Lafayette (14-8, 5-2 Patriot) 3 The Leopards’ good fortune ran out at Lehigh, and though they thrashed Army mid-week, they were beaten at their own game by a hot-shooting American squad on Saturday. Still, Lafayette sits in first place after one trip through the league, and home court advantage is in sight.
3. Colgate (11-10, 3-4 Patriot) 2 The four-game losing streak was a real downer — especially the fact the four losses came by a combined 16 points — but Colgate won twice this week to get back in the race. With five of their final eight at home, the Raiders have a chance to close out the regular season strong.
4. American (12-10, 4-3 Patriot) 3 After winning three of four to open league play, American suffered back-to-back disappointing home losses to fall back to .500. However, Saturday’s impressive domination of Lafayette in Easton showed why the Eagles are as much of a threat as anyone to win the league this year.
5. Holy Cross (11-9, 2-5 Patriot) 1 Saturday’s big win over Lehigh was doubly great for the Crusaders, as Ralph Willard re-gained the services of Eric Meister and Pat Doherty. Despite the 0-4 start, a suddenly healthy Holy Cross is just three games back, and home court advantage isn’t out of the question.
6. Army (10-11, 3-4 Patriot) 7 Jarell Brown’s 21-point effort while battling back spasms in the win at Bucknell was one of the guttier individual performances you’ll see. If it weren’t for Wednesday’s 25-point home loss to Lafayette, Army would be feeling ecstatic after winning in Annapolis and Lewisburg.
7. Navy (10-12, 3-4 Patriot) 5 Alternating wins and losses in league play has illustrated the Midshipmen’s problems with consistency from game to game. This past week was the perfect example, as Navy won at American for the first time in 17 years, then proceeded to lose to Colgate in Annapolis.
8. Bucknell (9-12, 4-3 Patriot) 8 It was a very rough week for the Bucknell program, with Pat Flannery’s hospitalization and health concerns and the loss to Lehigh snapping the league home winning streak. Things went from bad to worse on Sunday, as Army’s easy win further eroded the aura of Sojka.

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