Moorestown’s Matt Langel returns to the NCAA Tournament

by Marc Narducci | Mar 15, 2021
Moorestown’s Matt Langel returns to the NCAA Tournament
Matt Langel has always had a high basketball IQ whether he was dominating in high school at Moorestown, competing for the University of Pennsylvania, where he averaged 11 points in 108 career games for the Quakers and now as a head coach at Colgate. 
Langel has done a remarkable job as the head coach and for the second time in three years, he has guided the Raiders into the NCAA Tournament. Colgate has earned four NCAA tourney berths in school history and now two of them have come under the direction of Langel, who played in two NCAA tournaments during his career at Penn.  
The Raiders went to the tournament in 2018-2019. As a No. 2 seed, Colgate gave No. 2 Tennessee all it could handle before losing, 77-70. It was the Raiders’ first NCAA appearance in 23 years. Last year Colgate advanced to the finals of the Patriot League tournament, losing to Boston University, 64-61.  
After playing at Penn, Langel was drafted by Atlantic City of the since-disbanded USBL in 2000 and he worked out in the Seattle SuperSonics camp. He then embarked on a professional playing career in Europe, for Chene BC in Switzerland and ALM Evreux Basket in France.  
Langel then got into coaching, spending two seasons at Penn under his college coach Fran Dunphy and then five more at Temple, also under Dunphy. This is Langel’s 10th season at Colgate.
Langel has guided Colgate to a 14-1 record this year and he has a 153-152 career mark. That is even more impressive because he inherited a program that was struggling for wins. He took over a program that had gone 27-62 the previous three seasons 
It wasn’t an overnight success. Colgate was a sub .500 team in each of Langel’s first six seasons. Since then, the Raiders have gone 82-35 the past four years, with three straight appearances in the Patriot League championship and the two NCAA appearances.  
Colgate earned this year’s berth by beating Loyola Maryland, 85-72 in the Patriot League title game. The lone loss was a 75-73 home loss to Army in the second game of the season.  
Colgate will be a big underdog as a No. 14 seed, facing No. 3 Arkansas (22-6) in a first round game on Friday at 12:45 p.m. at Butler University’s Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. This year’s entire tournament will be staged in Indiana. After facing Tennessee in 2018-19, Arkansas is another team from the vaunted SEC that Langel will coach against in the NCAA Tournament.  

 

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Author: Marc Narducci

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