Not everything broke UB's way last Saturday, but the two most critical games for Bulls hopes of a top-four seed in the MAC did: UB brought Bowling Green down a peg (on the road!), and Miami knocked off the Akron Zips. Buffalo and Akron are now tied at 8-6, though Akron for now holds the first tiebreaker.
Off the court, Buffalo's chances got another boost when Akron announced that freshman point guard Noah Robotham will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. The Zips had already lost Demetrius Treadwell early in the season to disciplinary problems, and will have to fight through another loss late in the year. Their first test without the Robot Ham comes tonight against Buffalo in Amherst.
By now you know the drill. Here we go:
Kent State (10-4) at Miami (6-8): MIAMI
Simple. If Miami catches us, we're not top-four anyway, and our chances of catching Kent aren't totally gone yet.
CMU (10-4) at Eastern Michigan (6-8): EASTERN MICHIGAN
Again, very simple. It will be harder to pass CMU than Kent, because of the tiebreaker, but an EMU win can't hurt.
Bowling Green (9-5) at Ohio (4-10): OHIO
The second most-important game for UB after their own, and again it's an easy choice.
Western Michigan (7-7) at Ball State (2-12): BALL STATE
This is a boring slate this week. Easy, but boring. WMU shouldn't catch us, but in a theoretical three- or four-way tie at 11-7 for one or two of the top-four seeds, our 1-1 record against the Broncos will do more harm than good.
Northern Illinois (4-10) at Toledo (10-4): NORTHERN ILLINOIS
The only game in which we're rooting for the road team. Again, it's simple.
BEST CASE: UB sits tomorrow morning in 4th, clear of Akron and holding the tiebreak on BG, just one game behind three teams tied for first.
WORST CASE WITH UB WIN: UB sits 5th, clear of Akron but still one back of BG and two back of the three-team cluster at 11-4.
The possible results, listed from most helpful to most damaging. The split between helpful and damaging is pretty clear this week. Note that Toledo losses are slightly more valuable than CMU losses for us, since we have only one loss vs the Rockets that would factor into a head-to-head-to-head multiple-team tiebreaker:
1. UB over Akron
2. Ohio over Bowling Green
3. Miami over Kent
4. Ball State over WMU
5. NIU over Toledo
6. EMU over CMU
7. CMU over EMU
8. Toledo over NIU
9. WMU over Ball State
10. Kent over Miami
11. Bowling Green over Ohio