I am not sure about the rest of you, but I am a Wisconsin Badgers fan that knows almost nothing about Colgate. I know they have the same name as a toothpaste brand, and I know that Colgate is a name we see often in the NCAA Tournament. I recall last year they gave Arkansas quite a scare in the opening round.
After that, I really don’t know much. I couldn’t tell you where Colgate is, what conference they play in, or who is on the team. So I figured it’s time to educate myself, and I will take you on that journey with me.
Who are the Badgers playing? Colgate University
What are they? Their mascot is the Raiders
Where are they from? Colgate University is a private school in Hamilton, New York
When did they start? Colgate was founded in 1819
How did they get here? The Raiders clinched their spot in the NCAA Tournament after winning the Patriot League’s conference tournament
Who are the Colgate Raiders?
Alright, now that we’ve got a baseline to work off of let’s take a deeper look into Colgate basketball specifically. As I said above, one of the few things that I do know is that Colgate is a name we’ve seen quite a few times in the last few NCAA tournaments. When the Raiders meet the Badgers they’ll be playing in their third tourney in the last four years.
In 2019, Colgate made their first appearance since 1996 and went toe to toe with the Tennessee Volunteers in the first round, but fell in the end 77-70. In 2021 Colgate returned to the dance and led Arkansas for most of the game, but collapsed late and lost 85-68.
Now the Raiders return to the big dance after winning the Patriot League Tournament and regular-season title. However, it wasn’t all rainbows for the Raiders this season. Over the course of the non-conference play the raiders started out the season just 4-9. However, things turned around when they got into Patriot League play.
Colgate lost their opening Patriot League game to Lehigh, but then won four straight matchups before a loss to Boston University. That loss to Boston would be the last one Colgate would take, as they have now rattled off 15 straight wins to finish the season and clinch both the regular season and conference tournament title.
Colgate’s turnaround can be credited to their efficiency on the offensive end of the floor, specifically with the three-ball. The Raiders come into this contest ranking No. 2 in the nation in three-point percentage knocking down just over 40% of their long range attempts. This is a team that lives and dies by the three-ball, which can be a scary opponent come March if they come in with a hot hand.
All five of Colgate’s starters shoot the ball pretty well from deep. Two of Colgate’s starters shoot over 40% from beyond the arch in Ryan Moffatt and Jack Ferguson. However, the Raider's leading scorer is guard Nelly Cummings. Cummings leads the team with an average of 14.5 points per game and also is second on the team in assists. His ability to drive and score, or drive and kick at the point guard position really makes Colgate’s offense go.
In addition to a strong point guard and wings that can knock down the three-ball, the Raiders also have some height with Keegan Records standing at 6-foot-10 and Jeff Woodward standing at 6-foot-11.
Overall, this matchup is an intriguing one for the Wisconsin Badgers. Wisconsin’s ability to defend the three-ball will be incredibly important in this matchup. Additionally, avoiding scoring droughts will be important on the offensive end, especially if the Raiders find their hot shooting hand. Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what to expect to see when these two teams meet up Friday evening in Milwaukee.