Bucknell Bison vs Colgate Raiders: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: Cotterell Court in Hamilton, NY, USA.

When: Wednesday, March 13th at 7:30pm EST.

How (TV/Radio): CBS Sports Network

Bucknell Bison (Away)

Head Coach: Nathan Davis {Overall: 21-11, .656 W-L% | Conference: 13-5, T-1st in Patriot League}

The Bison enter this contest in search of their third straight appearance in the NCAA tournament, and fifth since 2010. Bucknell’s appearance in last year’s tournament was notable as they nearly pulled an upset as a 14-seed over 3-seed Michigan State.

If Bucknell hopes to continue their streak, they will have to pull out a victory in a venue where they were beaten on February 19th. The Bison fell to the Raiders 75-64, with junior guard, Avi Toomer leading the scoring effort with 16 points. The team’s leading scorer for the year, Kimbal MacKenzie had 13 points in that game, shooting just 5 of 15 from the field.

Nathan Davis’ squad will come into this game with a great deal of momentum stemming from their semi-final win against Lehigh on Sunday. The Bison blew out the Mountain Hawks 97-75, as MacKenzie poured in 25 points, while senior big man Nate Sestina had a double-double of 23 points and 14 rebounds.

Colgate Raiders (Home)

Head Coach: Matt Langel {Overall: 23-10, .697 W-L% | Conference: 13-5, T-1st in Patriot League}

Unlike their opponent, the Colgate Raiders are going through a drought when it comes to qualifying for the Big Dance. The program has only two tournament appearances to its name, making it back-to-back in 1995 and 1996. Those teams happened to feature a future NBA veteran in Adonal Foyle, who enjoyed a 13-year career in the league.

The Raiders are very familiar with Bucknell this season, having faced off against them twice and splitting the season series. Their leading scorer, Rapolas Ivanauskas, will look to repeat his performance from February 19th, when he had 21 points and three blocked shots.

In the semi-final leading up to this game, Colgate was tasked with taking down the Naval Academy on March 10th. The Raiders managed to beat the Midshipmen 80-70, as Ivanauskas led the way with 22 points, while sophomore guard Jack Ferguson came off the bench to drop 19 points in the win.

Bucknell Roster Notes

There are no injuries or roster changes to report for Bucknell.

Colgate Roster Notes

There are no injuries or roster changes to report for Colgate.

Head-to-Head: Nate Sestina vs Rapolas Ivanauskas

Nate Sestina

Power Forward/Center | 6-9, 245lb (206cm, 111kg) | Cameron County HS | Emporium, PA | Senior

15.7 PPG | 1.2 APG | 8.6 RPG | 0.4 SPG | 1.1 BPG | 2.2 TOV | .535 FG% | .365 3P%

Rapolas Ivanauskas

Power Forward | 6-10, 225lb (208cm, 102kg) | Barrington HS | Barrington, IL | Junior

16.5 PPG | 1.6 APG | 7.9 RPG | 0.5 SPG | 0.6 BPG | 2.5 TOV | .526 FG% | .436 3P%

The match-up to focus on in this pivotal game will be in the paint between two big men with slightly differing playing styles. Each of these players has emerged as scoring threats after not being on the radar in prior years.

After starting just one game in his first 69 games at Bucknell, Nate Sestina as becoming a fixture in the starting rotation. His scoring production has more than doubled from last year and he has become one of the top players in the conference, ranking in the top ten in scoring, rebounding, and blocked shots. A statistic that really sticks out for the 6-9 Sestina is his 80% free throw mark, which ranks fifth in the conference, and forces opponents to exercise care when guarding him.

Sestina’s emergence looks impressive until you look at Rapolas Ivanauskas, who began his career at Northwestern before transferring to Colgate. The Lithuanian-born junior played just three games for the Wildcats prior to the transfer. Ivanauskas has come out of nowhere this year, ranking fourth in the conference in scoring, and second in rebounding. Additionally, his ability to stretch the floor while being one of the tallest players in the conference has made him a key asset for coach Matt Langel.

Bucknell at Colgate Predictions and Odds

Vegas sports books currently have Colgate as 3.5 point favorites at home against Bucknell. The over/under for the game is currently pegged at 145.5.