Three Pointer: Chaos reigns on Patriot League opening day

1. A wild start to the season. Thursday afternoon, Ken Pomeroy called the Patriot League the “least predictable conference race.” If the opening day of games is any indication, that label could prove prescient. Of the five home teams — all of which were favorites in Pomeroy’s projections — only two won, and one needed overtime to do so. Army, which entered with only three D-I wins, routed Lafayette on the road; Lehigh beat Colgate in double-overtime; and American dropped Bucknell for its first quality win of the Mike Brennan era. In the nightcap, Navy led for most of the game at Loyola before the Greyhounds tied it late and won in overtime.

It’s hard to say what this chaos means for Boston University. On one hand, losses by most of the expected top contenders make it less likely that a dominant team emerges from that pack, lowering the bar BU needs to clear to win the regular-season Patriot League title. But on the other hand, if there are 8-10 capable teams in the conference — instead of 2-3 strong ones and a weak bottom division — it might make for a more difficult road through the conference tournament and ultimately to March Madness.

2. Terriers take care of business. In its first-ever Patriot League game, which was moved up six hours because of today’s snowstorm, BU calmly snuffed title contender Holy Cross 70-60. Eight Terriers scored between six and 12 points, but in a 72-possession game, the hosts won with defense. Holy Cross shot 39 percent from the floor, while star forward Dave Dudzinski scored just a dozen points on 12 shots and eight free-throw attempts.

3. What’s up with the other BU? A couple weeks ago, Bucknell looked like far and away Boston U.’s top challenger for the Patriot League crown. But since the end of exams, the Bison has lost three straight games to teams outside the top 200 — Marist, Fairfield and now American — and they haven’t really been all that close. The same offense that lit up Penn State for 90 points has done nothing of the sort lately, mostly due to an inability to score inside the arc. Bucknell shot better on threes (39 percent) than on twos (31 percent) on Thursday, and that’s not an entirely new pattern:

Division-I_shooting_3-point_2-point_difference(Bucknell’s gap is down to 2.8% after Thursday)

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