Well, the Buffalo Bulls are doing it again...Impressive start to the conference season, slowly getting worse as it goes along, followed by the inability to win big games down the stretch. They went from clearly having control of the all important 2 seed in the conference, to possibly sliding down to the 5 spot. Now, expecting them to falter down to the 5 spot is jumping the gun a little bit because the numbers say that is extremely unlikely, but to Bulls fans it feels like a real possibility.
If you don't think this recent stretch of losses is as bad as its being made out to be, listen to this. A win over Kent State last week would have put the Bulls 2 games up on the Golden flashes with 4 games remaining. Plus that would have given them the head to head tie-breaker with Kent State, so it would have pretty much been a 3 game lead. Did the Bulls do anything with their 8 point halftime lead? Of course not.
Buffalo then had another opportunity to take control. Kent State had a surprising loss on Tuesday night, so a victory on Wednesday would have put the Bulls a game up on the Flashes, as well as 2 games up on the Bobcats with only 3 games remaining on the year. Did Buffalo cash in on this huge game at home? Nope, probably their worst performance at Alumni Arena since I was still a college student.
Buffalo has another home battle Saturday afternoon against the mediocre Miami Redhawks. In case you've forgotten, the Bulls played a head scratching performance against Miami in Oxford earlier in the conference season in which they lost and defensive struggle 52-51. That appears to look like the one game that will come back to haunt them, so anything less than a strong victory for Buffalo will be unacceptable. Right now the Bulls have the tiebreaker advantages on Kent State, but not on Ohio. This means that if the conference tourney started today the Bobcats would get the all important 2 spot, with the Bulls falling to #3. I don't think I can stress how important getting the 2 seed is in Cleveland, especially for a Buffalo team that struggles at Quicken Loans Arena.
You can use excuses for the 3 straight losses if you want. Buffalo never wins at Kent so that one is understandable. The BracketBuster game consisted of a ton of travel that went anything but smoothly, so a loss is understandable. Buffalo just doesn't seem to match-up well with the Ohio guards, so I guess that might be understandable. That's the last excuse though!! There's nothing the Bulls can say if they continue to play like garbage. They get a offensively challenged Miami team at home to get back on track, then a trip to Akron which should have a huge Bulls following to get them going, then end the season at home to a team they've already beat on the road on Senior night. They need to go at least 2-1 down the stretch, and should probably aim for 3-0 to be safe.