Here's our takeaways on the loss to Ohio:
1. On the whole, this doesn't upset me much
With regards to matching up with Ohio: It's a better feeling than a 30-point (or whatever) blowout loss, and it's not difficult to think that few games will be refereed as this one was.
With regards to MAC standings: Now that we're back to four quarterfinal byes, I'm less concerned about 2 vs 3 vs 4. It would be nice to avoid Akron, but as I said last year, if UB is good enough to win, they need to be good enough to beat anyone who shows up.
Anyway, the Bulls still have the great tiebreakers against Kent and Ball State and a really easy closing two that should keep them from falling behind both.
2. CJ and Lamonte
I hesitate to say too much about the refs, because UB did earn 32 free throws themselves.
A big part of the reason the Hurley-Oats system works so well is not just because getting the ball to the rim leads to higher-percentage floor shots, but it also leads to more highest-percentage foul shots.
On 15 shots, Lamonte only earned seven free throws. Massinburg earned six on four shots. That is a significant difference in a rhythm-less game like this.
3. Five point lead with two to play has to be a win, and 0 points over the last two can never happen
4. Willie Conner's first 20-point game since @ Kent State
He's been solidly good for 7-10 plus a little, but it would be real nice to get him to solidly good for 10-13 plus a little.
1. All hopes of winning died when we entered overtime
I'm not going to speculate whether or not the foul calling was just or unjust. The matter of the fact here is that we really couldn't afford to stretch that game into overtime. When a handful of players have 3 or more fouls late in the game, it was an instant death sentence to tell them all they had to play another five minutes. Four players eventually fouled out of the game and just like that the offense stalled out just a little more than it had late in the second half.
2. Locking down Antonio Campbell is great
Campbell is a solid MAC POTY candidate and holding him to only 6 points is huge for our young back court. Only negative to this is that the trio of Setty, Simmons, and Kaminsky all had 20 point or better days. If we do face Ohio again, I'd really like to see this happen again and getting more of a hold on Setty. If we do that, I think our chances of beating them in the tourney are good.
3. My outlook on the tourney
My hopes of winning it all are starting to dwindle slightly. They will drop off significantly if we lose to Bowling Green or Miami. Looking at the top-5 seeds at this moment, I'm super confident in being able to beat Kent and Ball State. We pretty much have Kent figured out and I feel that we match up well with Ball State. I think we're going to end up at the #3 which means a rematch with Ohio isn't out of the question. If that does happen, I think we lose. I hope the Bobcats get knocked out early. As for Akron, I'm convinced that we can definitely take them down by more than a couple of buckets if we're playing well.
But if we lose one of the next two? It's not happening folks.