You could not ask for a better cross division draw than Buffalo as this year. The three decent teams in the West all travel to Alumni. Ball State, EMU, and Western Michigan all get to face the Bulls in Amherst where UB is twice the team they are on the road.
On the Road we had NIU, Toledo, and Central Michigan. CMU is an underachiever and the other two looked to be moribund programs. Still, Toledo gave UB everything they could handle tonight in a game that hopefully serves as a wake up call to the Bulls. Buffalo, like anyone, can lose at any time, to anyone if the team does not show up.
This game, aptly called 'reffball' by DCA was so close to being lost that about half way through the second that I was ready to abandon all hope. The refs destroyed us in the first by taking away the inside game while, at the same time, UB's outside shooters were ice cold.
A kent beat reporter recently pointed out that weekend MAC ref's are of a far lower caliber and after tonight it's hard to argue that. As much as the refs bombed UB in the first they managed to beat up on the rockets in the closing minutes of the second.
Despite the scare the MAC East went 6-0 against the west tonight. On the season the crossover score is 21-3 in favor of the East. This is why the home games against the good teams from the West is so important, if you have to play sub rpi250 teams best to play them on the road so you can minimize the damage, a top 100 RPI will secure UB a decent seeding in some post season tournament should they fail to win the conference.
Point 1: The refs may have inadvertently done UB a huge favor tonight.
Losing this game would have been a disaster, especially with the new MAC tournament format but squeaking by might just serve as a wake up call and it gave the bench a chance to step up, and they responded.
There is no point to even putting up a poll this week, Robinson was the hero tonight.
Titus Robinson stepped in and put up a dozen points in just ten second half minutes. The bench put up 24 second half points but T-Rob went five for five from the floor, two for two form the line. He had two offensive boards, two defensive boards, and two steals.
Point 2: Someone on UBFan pointed out that these are the Games the Bulls football team was winning back in 2008 and the ones we are used to UB Basketball losing.
Yes, Ideally you ant to blow out these teams who's RPI's are north of 250 but coming back from 13 down, against anybody, is worth smiling about.
This was a gritty win that forced the Bulls to fight during each and every possession.
Point 3: Filzen was missing again tonight. Zach was just 1-9 from the floor, hopefully this is not another rut which spans several games.