Cheers for Colgate

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March Madness has arrived, and amid all the hype and fun of collegiate basketball we want to turn the spotlight at least for a while on an upstate team whose play we enjoy.

No, it’s not Syracuse, though the Orange are certainly local favorites. We’re thinking of the Colgate Raiders.

Colgate on Sunday notched an 85-72 win over Loyola (Maryland) for the Patriot League tournament championship. That meant they were guaranteed a spot in the prestigious NCAA tournament, where they joined SU and other teams of various heights and degrees of skill from across the nation in major competitions.

This is Colgate’s fourth NCAA tourney, where it has never won. Its last appearance was in 2019.

It is the chance of a lifetime for many Colgate players.

As Coach Matt Langel said: “These guys will remember this for the rest of their lives so we’ll have a couple days to get ready for somebody who’s really good. We’ll have to put a game plan together. I know that our guys will pay attention and now they’ll be super excited, I think we’re really good team, we’ve got a lot of dangerous weapons, and can hurt you in a lot of ways and so if we can find a way to defend and keep somebody from getting easy shots against us, I think we really like our group and I know they’ll be ready to go.”

The Raiders (14-1) received a No. 14 seed in the South Region and were to play third-seeded Arkansas (22-6) on Friday in a 12:45 p.m. start at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

As of this writing, we don’t know how the game turned out for Colgate. Whatever happened, the Raiders faced an enormous challenge. Whatever the score, we hope the players and fans had the time of their lives.

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