Tough Road Awaits Lehigh

Mountain Hawks to face top-seeded Kansas

By Dan Stamm
|  Thursday, Jun 30, 2011  |  Updated 3:08 PM EDT
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Lehigh Mountain Hawks hope they can make history when they take on No. 1 Kansas in the opening round of the NCAA tourney. Just ask senior guard Marquis Hall.

NBCPhiladelphia - Stacey Weaver, John Marcucci

Lehigh Mountain Hawks hope they can make history when they take on No. 1 Kansas in the opening round of the NCAA tourney. Just ask senior guard Marquis Hall.

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There is a third area team getting the chance to dance in March Madness. But, unlike Villanova and Temple, Lehigh won’t be expected to do much more than show up in the tournament.

At 22-10, Lehigh has had a solid year and are surely deserving of their spot in the tourney. The Mountain Hawks are headed to the tournament after winning the Patriot League regular season and conference tourney championships.

But, their reward for their season might seem more like a curse than a blessing.

Awaiting the Mountain Hawks is a date with No. 1 overall Kansas. The Jayhawks enter the dance as the top-seeded team in not only the Midwest bracket but also in the entire nation -- Kansas was voted as the unanimous No. 1 team in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.

Likely Lehigh is headed to Oklahoma City to lose to Kansas on Thursday night. They are a 26-plus point underdog and a No. 16 has never beaten a No. 1 in the tournament.

But, maybe freshman sensation C.J. McCollum and his teammates can find a way to hang with Kansas giving Lehigh fans a thrill.

And, hopefully they will enjoy the ride as the team from Bethlehem, Pa. gets a chance to soar on a national stage.

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