Three games to go, and this is looking mighty similar to last year for UB Men's Hoops fans.
It doesn't get much better for UB's hopes at a bye to Cleveland than Bowling Green 87, Ohio 82 coupled with Buffalo's tiebreaker-clinching win over Kent State this evening. Miami over Akron is nice, but part of me doesn't want to bring UB's 0-2 head to head record against the Zips into a multi-team breaker.
Anyway, the current standings as Toledo works down a late lead on Ball State (also good for UB):
|4||Kent State||9-6||2-3 HHHH||0-2||1-1||1-0|
|5||Ball State||9-6||0-4 HHHH||0-1||0-2||0-1|
|6||Central Michigan||8-7||1-0 HH UT|
|7||Toledo||8-7||0-1 HH CMU|
|8||Northern Illinois||7-8||1-0 HH EMU|
|9||Eastern Michigan||7-8||0-1 HH NIU|
|10||Bowling Green||5-10||2-0 vs Ohio|
|11||Western Michigan||5-10||0-1 vs Ohio|
It becomes very clear how important this game was, and how important the coming weekend is. The first part of that sentence: 11 wins pretty much guarantees UB a bye to Cleveland thanks to their head to head tiebreakers over not just Kent and Ball State, but also CMU. The second part of that sentence: A win over Ohio Saturday gives the Bulls control over their own destiny for the #2 spot.
Akron is likely out of reach: a head to head tie doesn't work, and a multiple way tie likely includes not just an 0-2 record against the Zips but 1-1 against Ohio. But after Ohio UB's got Miami and Bowling Green. They can both cement themselves as a favorite for #2 with a win or still have breathing room for a top-four spot even with a loss.
Other games of note for Saturday:
EMU at Ball State: EMU. I suppose, but a Ball State win wouldn't be awful. On one hand we don't want the Cardinals to pass UB, but with a 1-0 head to head mark winning a tiebreaker with them and helping out a multiple team tiebreaker, Ball State's not really a threat.
Kent at Miami: Kent. I'm looking down the road here to a possible tie with Ohio. We'd want a third team in the mix there to keep a 1-1 record against the Bobcats from going to record against top seed Akron. Kent, 0-2 against UB but 1-1 against Ohio, is that team.
Central Michigan at Toledo: CMU. Not terrifically important, but these two could still catch UB if things go sour, and 1-0 vs CMU is better than 1-1 vs Toledo.
Bowling Green at Akron: Akron. Only a few closing scenarios (UB 3-0, Akron 1-2; UB 2-1, Akron 0-3) actually pass the Zips outright, and we do not want Buffalo's 0-2 record factoring in to a multiple team tie at 11-7. Best to root for the Zips to stay out of it and the better chance UB gets the opposite side of the bracket at #2