March Madness 2012: The Lehigh Mountain Hawks are Dancing in the NCAA Tournament

We’ll be doing NCAA Tournament profiles for all automatic bid conference winners leading up to Selection Sunday, for links to others, see bottom of this post.

Conference: Patriot League (26-7)

Location: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Famous Alums: Lee Iacocca and Roger Penske

They’re Back! Lehigh has played in four previous tournaments, most recently in 2010, and have never won a game in the NCAA tournament.

Resume: They won 2 out of 3 from Bucknell, and lost by 9 points at both Michigan State and Iowa State.

Notable Player(s): The inside/outside combination of C.J. McCollum and Gabe Knutson, both juniors, will carry this team. McCollum had 29 points and Knutson had 23 in the Patriot final against Bucknell.

Team Style/Strengths: They’ll play up tempo, and rely on McCollum and Mackey McKnight to handle the ball. Don’t get into a foul shooting contest with Lehigh. They are 2nd in the country in FT% and both guards and primary interior scorers shoot over 75%.

All-Important Rankings: 101 (RPI), 88 (Pomeroy)

Projected Outlook/Seed: The Mountain Hawks are likely heading for a 15 seed, unless there are upsets in multiple remaining conference tournaments. Their competitive performances at Michigan State and Iowa State suggest that they won’t be a pushover.

[photo via US Presswire]

NCAA Tournament Automatic Berths:

Murray State
Loyola (Maryland)
St. Mary’s
Western Kentucky

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