Cinderella stories are one of the best traits of March. As always, there will most likely be another cinderella in the 2020-21 NCAA Tournament. The 13-1 Colgate Raiders could be a possible cinderella to keep an eye on. The Raiders are heavy favorites in the Patriot League Tournament Championship this Sunday. Led by a fluid offense, Colgate is one win away from dancing into March Madness.
Offensive Fire Power
Without a doubt, Colgate’s success can be attributed to their offensive fire power. They have been dominate this season ranked third with an average scoring margin of +18.1 points. Behind only the Gonzaga Bulldogs, the Raiders pour in 86.4 points per contest. Ranked second, Colgate makes 31.5 shots per game. Their lead scorer is Jordan Burns who averages 17.1 points.
Colgate as a team is very efficient as well. They shoot a reliable 49.7% from the floor and have an effective field goal percentage of 56.6%, both of which rank top ten in the land. Also, the Raiders are deadly from outside shooting 38.7% from three. Colgate’s lead three point shooters are Jack Ferguson and Oliver Lynch-Daniels. Ferguson shoots an astounding 49.2% from deep and Lynch-Daniels is at an impressive mark of 47.1%.
Furthermore, Colgate continually gets great looks at the rim due to great passing. Ranked eighth, the Raiders average 17.4 assists per contest. By passing effectively, Colgate also takes care of the ball ranking 10th with only 10.2 turnovers per game. Since a turnover is rare for Colgate, they are second averaging 1.706 assists for every turnover. On the offensive end, the Raiders can hurt defenses in every way.
What to Make of Colgate
Colgate is tough to gauge when comparing them to the rest of the country. While the Raiders are a good team, their strength of schedule is extremely weak ranking 316th in the country. Considering their schedule, several national rankings are all over the place when ranking Colgate. For example, Kenpom has them at 83, but the NCAA’s NET Rankings has Colgate at the shocking-mark of eight.
In addition, Kenpom ranks the Raider offense as 56th in the country. Yet, all of their offensive statistics are so impressive. Their schedule is one of the weakest in the country, but they have won most of their games in a dominate fashion. Clearly, Colgate has some dangerous offensive weapons, they still could catch fire at the right time and pull off a big upset.
No matter what, Colgate will be a major underdog in any matchup. They are mostly projected as a No.14 seed and a No.13 seed projection can be seen here and there. In the Round of 64, the Raiders will immediately be tasked with beating one of the better teams in the country.
From 2013 to 2016, there was a 14 seed win in every NCAA Tournament. In 2015 there was even two 14 seed upsets. However, since 2016 there has not been one 14 seed win. This could be a good or bad sign. Could this mean 14 seeds winning is not likely anymore or is it only a matter of time before it happens again? Colgate has the offensive ability to beat a No.3 seed if they get a favorable matchup. If the Raiders find a way to pull off a massive upset in the Round of 64, then there is no reason they could not win a Round of 32 game against a 6 or 11 seed.
All stats courtesy of ESPN, Kenpom, NCAA and Team Rankings.