The UB women at 14-9 are enjoying their 4th best start to a season since joining the MAC, and the best since starting 14-9 in 2002. UB will likely finish between 3 and 5 in the MAC and they have a huge game on Saturday against the best in the East, Bowling Green. First however, UB hosts Kent State, the worst team in the East. They will also take on the 24 curse.
UB Women's Basketball is 4-11 in their 24th game since joining the MAC. UB was defeated in their 24th game in 8 straight seasons starting in 2002. Recently the curse has been ineffective, from 2003 to 2011. In 2012, UB defeated Ball State 61-37 in Muncie for a win in game 24 and last year game 24 snapped a 3 game losing streak with a 79-63 win at EMU.
UB looks to beat the curse of 24 for the third straight year and stay at #4 in the MAC at 7pm in Kent. A win and a NIU defeat of Akron would bring UB within 1 game of 3rd place Akron in the MAC.
I am not feeling great about UB Basketball. Buffalo is 14-8 through 22, the 6th best start in the last 13 seasons, which sounds about right, this team is just "aight".
Why do I feel this way?
It could be the dominant stretches of basketball overcome by long stretches of turnovers and cold shooting.
It could be losing games despite monster games from the Kraken Javon McCrea.
It could be the pain of seeing another UB great leave without dominating the MAC standings, with yet again the promise of the next great UB star, Shannon Evans.
Maybe this time I'm tired of the "wait till he's a senior, then we'll be great" plan.
Or maybe it's that I hate Ohio, and am especially touchy about come from behind losses to Ohio. The lost to Ohio was our 19th loss to the Bobcats in 13 years, and it's a loss that lingers, as the Bulls are 8-10 in the game AFTER they lose to Ohio.
It might be one of those things, it might be all of those things. Earlier in the year I felt that this team was like the UB Football team 2012: we knew we had talent, but for some reason, we weren't able to make good things happen. The only problem is UB Football returned their stars for 2013, UB Basketball is losing their star in 2014-15.
UB Basketball 2013, shows glimpses of excellence every night, but for some reason, they cannot sustain that excellence, nor can they turn it on when they need it most.
All this makes tonight's game so big. Buffalo is now 1-1 against the big 3 of Kent, Akron and Ohio. 4 of the next 5 UB games will be against the big 3. Only two UB teams have beaten the big 3 teams 4 or more times in a season: The 2003-04 Bulls, a team that signaled that UB was going to be able to compete in the MAC, and the 2008-09 team that made UB believe they could dominate in the MAC.
Those are legendary teams, along with the 2004-05 team and the 2011-12 team with Mitchell Watt. This 2013-14 team had the expectation to put themselves on the same level as those teams, but as of yet, they've failed miserably.
With 6 games remaining, more than 1 loss to a big 3 team will show that UB doesn't have the physical toughness to win the MAC. A let down to Miami or BGSU will show UB doesn't have the mental toughness to win the MAC. UB seemingly has only one chance to get back to the place where we thought they belonged this year. Finish this season out 5-1, while showing the conference and UB fans that the Bulls are ready for the next step.