Patriot League men's basketball teams have come close, but never won, an NCAA Tournament game.
"We're in a league that gets after it pretty good. Our kids will compete wherever we go," Bucknell coach Pat Flannery said.
His 14th-seeded Bison will try to make conference history by downing No. 3 seed Kansas University in a first-round NCAA Tournament game at 8:50 p.m. Friday at Ford Center in Oklahoma City.
Bucknell has yet to represent the Patriot League in the NCAAs.
The Bison, in fact, are 0-2 in the Big Dance as a member of the East Coast Conference. Other Patriot teams, however, have performed positively in the postseason:
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The Jayhawks trailed late in that game.
"Nah, these kids don't remember that," Flannery said, asked if the Holy Cross game would give his players confidence entering Friday's clash.
"This is our team. That was Holy Cross then. That was Kansas then, and they had a different coach. We try to be in the present."
But at this present time, his squad represents a representative conference.
"We've play good people and always have," said Flannery, whose Bison won two impressive road games -- Jan. 2 at Pitt, 69-66, and Dec. 8 at Saint Joseph's, 69-62.
Bucknell narrowly fell to Iowa State, 62-55, on Nov. 27 in Ames, Iowa.
"People don't know much about the Patriot League, but American can play, and Holy Cross can play," Flannery said. "Not a whole lot of people are banging our doors down to play us. Our kids will compete wherever we go."
Bucknell's players don't lose many classroom battles.
"Our guys have average 1,300 SATs," Flannery said. "Your pool in recruiting is small, so you're recruiting the same kind of kids (in league). Tough kids, good academics."
The conference voted to allow athletic scholarships two years ago.
"The scholarships have maybe allowed us to reach out further, get some kids who are interested who weren't interested when they heard the price tag," Flannery said.
"The big kid we have from Germany (Chris McNaughton) is a 3.7 (grade-point average) electrical engineer. The Tulsa kid (John Clark) is a top student in management."
Friday's game will be played on the court, of course, and Flannery, who has a 266-188 record in 11 years at the Lewisburg, Pa., school, says he won't devise any gimmicks for KU.
His team will use its trademark matchup zone to go with man-to-man in an attempt to stun the Jayhawks straight-up.
"I think this time of year, whatever Kansas has done they are going to do in the tournament," Flannery said. "We are not going to change anything either, just let it rip."