Ferguson-led Colgate Raiders advance to the NCAA tournament

Jack Ferguson and the Colgate Raiders are once again the toast of Hamilton, New York.

The Raiders qualified for their second straight NCAA tournament Wednesday night with a 74-58 victory over Navy in the Patriot League championship game.

A little more than two months ago, the Raiders were slumping.

After losing their conference opener on the road at Lehigh, their losing streak had reached five games, and they had dropped eight out of nine.

The Raiders were 4-10 at the time. They are 19-1 since then, and will take a 15-game winning streak into the national tournament, which starts next week.

Ferguson, a 6-3 senior guard from Fort Wayne, Ind., averaged 20.7 points in three Patriot tournament games.

During the tournament, with all three games played on his team’s home court at Colgate, he hit 18 of 25 shots from the field and 13 of 16 from 3-point range.

The Raiders are the 12th team to qualify automatically for the NCAA tournament.

NCAA automatic bids

Through Wednesday’s title games

Colgate (N.Y.) — Patriot League

Through Tuesday’s title games

Gonzaga (Wash.) — West Coast Conference
Jacksonville State (Ala.) — Atlantic Sun
Bryant (R.I.) — Northeast Conference
Delaware — Colonial Athletic Association
Wright State (Ohio) — Horizon League
South Dakota State — Summit League

Through Monday’s title games

Chattanooga (Tenn.) — Southern Conference
Georgia State — Sun Belt
Longwood (Va.) — Big South
Loyola-Chicago — Missouri Valley
Murray State (Ky.) — Ohio Valley