In Corky Blake's column earlier this week about the problems with the Friday-Sunday scheduling in the Patriot League, he left out one of the biggest negatives of the format: Having to go all week long with no games.

Don't know about you, but for hoops junkies like us, TV games are not a fix. By lunchtime yesterday, we were actually getting excited about the kid's eighth grade girls game that afternoon (which they won by about 12 points over a team that beat them by 20 earlier in the season -- might be a lesson in there for Army as it heads to Annapolis this weekend, eh?).

Anyhow, it's finally Friday, let's turn on the lights and have some fun. We'll be in Annapolis tonight, eating crabcake sandwiches and Maryland crab soup at Chick and Ruth's (you'd think we'd rate a discount for the plugs we give those folks) and watching the Mids host league leading Holy Cross.

As always, we'll post that story before we head back up the interstate, with a full update of the rest of the action in the morning. Till then, the scoreboards below will have to do.

Patriot League scoreboards
ESPN | CBS Sportsline | PennLive.com | Yahoo!

Holy Cross at Navy, 7 p.m.: If Colgate at Lehigh is the night's best matchup, this would be a close second, at least from a curiosity standpoint. Navy sent a warning shot across the bow of the rest of the league by sweeping Colgate and Bucknell last weekend. How well they do against Holy Cross will tell us whether that was a fluke or a true signal that the Mids have completed their metamorphosis from the caterpillar that lost to D-3 Gettysburg and lowly league doormat Army into a true butterfly capable of being not just a spoiler, but a true contender come tournament time.

After the Mids knocked off Bucknell last week, it is doubtful that Holy Cross will get caught looking past Navy to Sunday's key contest at American. We would assume that unlike Colgate and Bucknell, both of whom had no tape of Navy's new 2-3 matchup to look at before the Mids sprung it on the Raiders Friday night, Holy Cross should be well-prepared for Navy's new defense. Prepared and equipped are two different things, though. The teams that have given Holy Cross the most trouble in League play this season, Bucknell and Lehigh, both had some defensive success against HC by playing a lot of matchup.

The problem for Navy will be finding a way to score enough points to win, even if they are successful at holding down Holy Cross at the defensive end. One way to do that would be to get to the foul line 15 more times than the Crusaders, like the Mids did against Bucknell.
HC notes | Navy Notes | USA Today matchup | NO HC RADIO | Navy Radio | Livestats

Colgate at Lehigh, 7 p.m.: The night's best matchup, at least on paper, features a pair of teams fighting for a spot in the upper half of the standings. A win would pull Colgate even with Lehigh for fourth place, with a tiebreaker edge by virtue of a sweep of the Mountain Hawks.

It is a must win for the defending champs from Lehigh, who left themselves with no margin for error after losing three of their last four in the first half of conference play, including a loss at Colgate. Lose this one and the Mountain Hawks' hopes of even getting to host in the first two rounds of the tournament, let alone defending their regular season title, are pretty much gone.

Colgate seems to live and die by the three-pointer, and if its shooters are on, they will once again pose problems for Lehigh's defense.
Colgate notes | Lehigh notes | USA Today matchup | Gametracker | 'Gate radio

Bucknell at Lafayette, 7 p.m.: Despite being swept on the road last weekend, Bucknell has proven it can win away from Sojka. While the loss to Navy shows upsets definitely can happen, it is hard to imagine one occurring in this one. Lafayette simply does not take care of the ball well enough to stand up to Bucknell's defensive pressure. Defensively, the 'Pards aren't quick enough on the perimeter, or talented enough inside, to keep Bucknell away from the hole.

Then again, if the Bison start settling for jump shots against the zone, and if those jumpers are not falling, who knows what could happen.

Look for Bucknell to use this game to make a statement. Expect them to come out focused and intense and to play that way throughout, sending a message to the rest of the league that last weekend was a fluke, not a fold.
Lafayette notes | Bucknell notes | USA Today matchup | Gametracker | Bucknell radio

Army at American, 7 p.m.: Yawn. A scheduling break for AU, which gets a breather before Sunday's key meeting with Holy Cross.
AU notes | Army notes (pdf) | USA Today matchup

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