Posts Tagged ‘2009 MAC Basketball Tournament’

2009 MAC Tournament - Buffalo vs Akron

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

The Bulls huddle prior to their MAC Championship matchup with the Akron Zips.

The Bulls huddle prior to their MAC Championship matchup with the Akron Zips.

Final - And Akron is going dancing as the take down Buffalo 65-53. In the end, Buffalo just didn’t have enough offensive firepower to stay with the Zips who were white hot from the field all game long. If Akron has their shots falling they could give someone a game in the tournament. It needs to be a good draw though, and not a team with a ton of size. Congrats to the Zips and good luck in the NCAA Tournament.

0:18 - The fans are not happy the Buffalo is sending the Zips to the line again. 65-51…

0:35 - Akron fans believe that they’ve won.

0:49 - Brett McKnight with a 3 as time runs down. 62-47.

1:21 - Remember our pregame discussion about the over? I’m awesome… (shakes head).

1:28 - McKnight finishes the pretty feed. Akron should be dancing. They’re up 14.

2:01 - I’m confused. Which team is trying to run clock here?

2:52 - Daryl Roberts hits a 3 on a reversal pass. That’s trouble. Akron up 12 again.

3:13 - Boudreau hits a shot and fouled! 54-45 UA, we’re got a ball game here… He misses the FT…

3:51 - UB playing Hack-a-Bardo? It’s working to an extent. Buffalo has it down to 53-41 and Boudreau’s at the line when we come back. UB needs to turn the defensive intensity WAY up too. No problem if there’s a foul, like we said earlier, not great FT shooters on either team.

7:56 - 49-34 we’re just not seeing a whole lot from Buffalo here. If they want to get back in this, now’s the time.

11:21 - Akron up 47-31. It’s reallllllly tough to figure out a potential Player of the Tournament with the way that Akron has been spreading their attack.

15:44 - Akron comes out shooting hot. Buffalo does not. Akron leads 43-27 and this one is reaching the danger zone only 4 minutes into the 2nd half. Buffalo needs to find a way to get points and fast or this could get out of reach. Following Mad Max: He scored 21 last night, he’s got 2 so far tonight. Gotta involve the bigs…

Halftime - A good half of basketball and Akron leads 33-25 at the half. Akron shooting 55% from the field, and an even better 5-7 from 3. UB only shooting 38% from the field. To make matters worse the Bulls have gotten to the line 14 times, but they’re only shooting 57% on freebies… That’s not a championship effort. 20 of Akron’s 33 points are bench points thanks to 10 from Hitchens and 10 from Brett McKnight.

They’re playing great moments from the MAC Tournament on the jumbotron. First is OU’s last second win against UB in OT of the 2005 Championship game. Buffalo fans seem indifferent. Of course next up in the 2007 Championship where Penno banks in his miracle 3 against Akron. Akron fans boo… Loudly.

3:01 - 29-20 Akron leads. Looked like Buffalo was about to make it a game as they closed it to 4 on a 3-pointer. But Hitchens comes back down the court and hits a dagger from way beyond 3.

5:19 - 24-16 Akron leads. Buffalo has been outplayed overall so far, but they’re still keeping it close. Wow, these teams are both terrible from the FT line.

9:18 - UB works it inside, they get a bucket, they create a steal, and Robinson puts in a fastbreak layup. McKnight going to the line up 15-12.

9:58 - Roberts hits a 3 and Akron is up 15-8. UB really needs to bang inside, but they’re settling for jumpers that they haven’t been getting to go.

11:40 - 12-8 Akron leads… Just commenting on how both of these teams are pretty young, and should be very good next year. Akron loses Linhart and Conyers. Buffalo loses Gamble and Andy Robinson. Lots of talent coming back on both sides and tons of talent coming in across the league. This is good news for the MAC which had a bit of a down season this year.

14:23 - Akron leads 8-7. After I praised Hitchens he comes in hits a 3 and on the very next possession he comes up with a steal and a fastbreak layup. When you’re wrong a bunch you need to point it out like this when you’re right. 6 turnovers so far (4 by Buffalo) that’s what I meant when I called this game sloppy to start.

16:01 - Sloppy game so far. UB up 5-3. We have a Hitchens sighting, he just subbed in for McNees. Good news for Akron as he’s been a really valuable player for them this tournament.

20:00 - Does a 122 1/2 O/U for this seem too low? I’ve been off on these all week, but I’m taking the over.

Pregame - Well first of all, I’m an idiot. In the 30 seconds that I spent writing my final post last night I forgot about the 1986 Akron NCAA Tournament Team. I could complain about not having an editor on a blog, but really it’s just like I said, that I’m an idiot. That said I like Akron’s chances tonight. They’ve shot well all tournament and I expect them to take about 20 three’s tonight and to connect on more than 33% of them. If that happens I think it could be tough for Buffalo to keep up with their scoring.

That said, can UB beat Buffalo inside? Boudreau and Watt are both more skilled low post players than anyone on Akron. Can Chris McKnight use his strength to keep them out of the paint? Can Linhart stay out of foul trouble? That’s important for the Zips.

If Akron wins tonight they’re the lowest seed (as a 5 seed) to ever win the MAC tournament. Ohio University did it as a non-bye team in 2005, but that was as a #4 seed when Marshall was still in the MAC and only the top 3 seeds got byes.

Big thumbs down to whoever’s decision it was to put True Blue, UB’s student section in the second deck tonight–I’m told it’s up to that school’s athletic departments to decide how to use their ticket allotment–The AK Rowdies have seats in the lower deck behind the Akron bench. That’s the way it should be. Akron and Buffalo have two of the stronger student sections in the MAC, and it’s a shame to see the True Blue treated like second class citizens by their own athletic department (if that is in fact how tickets are appropriated).

2009 MAC Tournament - Buffalo vs Ball State

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Buffalo's Rodney Pierce inbounds the ball early in the game.

Buffalo's Rodney Pierce inbounds the ball early in the game.

Final - 64-52 Buffalo. Remember when I said the line for this was too high? Yeah, me too..

0:20 - This one’s basically academic. Max Boudreau definitely has my vote for the All-Tournament Team after this one.

0:45 - UB keeps splitting pairs. They’re up 11.

0:54 - 61-52 UB with Boudreau headed to the line. My BSU +7 1/2 prediction looks cooked.

1:29 - Frazier hits a pair from the line and eventually BSU fouls Andy Robinson after a couple of trap tries. He misses the first… hits the second. UB up 60-52.

2:20 - Boyer misses a pair from the line. BSU can’t make them pay, turning it over, Boudreau with a dunk on the runout, UB up 9.

2:27 - Frazier laces a 3 and an immediate BSU TO to set up the press. Ball State down 7… they could still come back here… UB gets it in but immediately has nowhere to go and they take a 30.

2:51 - This is turning into a parade to the FT line, neither team looking excellent from there, UB up 57-47.

3:23 - We finally got some stats… UB leading in rebounds 30-18. UB getting a ton of points from their bench (thanks to Boudreau) and they’re winning the bench scoring battle 25-5.

3:29 - Buffalo not ready for the BSU fullcourt pressure and they immediately turn it back over after a Lampley bank shot. Gamble gets away with a carry, but then the delayed trap cuts them off guard and Ball State has 2 shots from the line coming. 54-45 UB lead.

4:56 - 2 possessions in a row UB works the shot clock down, gets in trouble, and hits an off-balanced shot (banking the most recent one in) to build their lead. 54-41.

5:45 - Perry just fouled out jostling for position on the offensive end (let them play!). 52-40 UB

7:38 - 47-38 Buffalo. Looks like the Bulls are starting to pull away…

9:19 - UB up 45-38. Boudreau on the bench with 3 fouls (and 15 points).

11:09 - Boudreau keeps answering. He hits a turnaround 6 footer as he’s fouled. UB up 42-36 and Boudreau has one coming from the line when we come back. He looks like the best player on the court tonight.

12:36 - BSU with 4 quick fast break points and they’ve cut it to 38-34. UB gets it into the front court and asks for a 30. This one could get interesting if Ball State can keep the pressure on this time.

14:23 - Boudreau gets a rebound and banks it in to put the Bulls up 38-30. Billy Taylor asks for a needed time out.

15:25 - More of the same from the 1st half. Ball State cuts the lead to 1, Buffalo quickly asserts themselves on both ends and it’s now 35-30 UB.

Halftime - UB leads 29-25 at the half. Apparently I lied in my last update (teaches me to make up stats). Ball State is still shooting better than 50% (52.4%), they just haven’t gotten a lot of shots up, 21 versus Buffalo’s 27. The difference here is second chance points… UB is +5 in rebounds and is leading 6-0 in 2nd chance points. Ball State really needs to get more out of Jones in the second half. Back to shooting percentage, the fact that the Cardinals are shooting better than 50% but are still down 4 at the half makes me worried about my pregame Ball State +7 1/2 prediction. It’s not likely in this year’s MAC to see a team shoot that efficiently from the field for 2 halves.

1:13 - Buffalo leads 29-23. No stats yet, but it looks like BSU has cooled considerably from the field. They’re probably around 40% shooting right now.

3:52 - 27-23 Buffalo still leads. Every time Ball State tries to close it up and take control UB answers with points. Could be interesting to see what happens when both teams inevitably cool from the field (they’re both currently shooting over 50%).

7:34 - 22-19 Buffalo leads. Boudreau has taken Jarrod Jones to school a couple of times and has put 6 points on the board so far. Giles is leading all scorers with 10. Both teams shooting over 50% so far.

11:38 - 14-13 UB leads. The difference so far is ball movement versus not. Buffalo with 5 assists and Ball State with none.

12:49 - Buffalo with a quick 6-0 run and they’re leading 12-11. BSU calls a TO to regroup. The crowd’s looking pretty thin early here at the Q…

15:04 - Ball State comes out quickly and takes an 11-6 lead on the strength of 5 points from Rob Giles, and only one missed shot from the field so far. It should be a lot of fun to watch freshmen big men Jarrod Jones and Mitchell Watt match-up tonight. Jones is probably the more polished of the two, but Watt is definitely skilled. Hopefully this isn’t one of those games with 1,000 whistles and both guys can stay on the floor.

Pregame - Buffalo is the lower seed here tonight, but Ball State is a 7 1/2 point underdog. Is that too big of a line for two teams who aren’t really offensive juggernauts? I say yes. Two very solid bands here tonight… I’m liking the early atmosphere… plus Akron plays in the late game, and Akron or Kent State (Ohio probably gets an honorable mention here) are probably the best schools for overall atmosphere here at the Q historically, especially in the Friday night games.

2009 MAC Tournament - Miami vs Akron

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Miami's Adam "Teen Wolf" Fletcher and Akron's Chris McKnight prepare for the opening tip-off.

Miami's Adam "Teen Wolf" Fletcher and Akron's Chris McKnight prepare for the opening tip-off.

Final - 73-63 Akron will take on BG in the semis. We’ll see you tomorrow.

0:35 - 71- 63, one Akron fan behind us takes McNees to task for not picking up the pressure fullcourt and another Akron fan calls him ignorant and they have a little argument where the yeller gets a pom pom waved in his face by the woman arguing with him everytime he tries to make a point. Fun times!

0:48.1 - 68-60 and Akron heading to the line

1:06 - 64-57 and Akron’s heading to the line. They’re about to ice this.

3:19 - Still 64-55. Miami’s going to need to score a lot of point in a little amount of time, something they’re not known for being able to do really well. Akron with 30 bench points, largely thanks to McNees. Also they’re shooting 12-24 from beyond the arc. Hard to overcome that.

4:23 - 64-55 Akron. Remember my previous post about Miami slowing the Zips down? They can’t do it.

7:51 - 55-49 Akron. The second half of this game is NOT being played at Miami’s pace. If they can’t slow down the Zips scoring they’ll be in big trouble.

9:48 - 52-46 Akron. The RedHawks are having some trouble scoring points.

11:07 - 47-43 Akron

12:04 - Akron on a mini-run takes it up to 47-41 on the strength of their defense. A steal leads to a fastbreak layup, another steal leads to a fastbreak dunk.

14:26 - Miami ties it back at 39…

16:12 - Akron out of the locker room with some shooting touch. They’re up 39-35.

18:26 - McKnight with a quick bucket and Linhart with a 3. Akron leads 36-34.

Halftime - Miami gets off a 3, but it doesn’t go and the score is Miami 32-31 at the half. Charlie Coles can’t be happy with the way the RedHawks have let the Zips get back into this (and if you weren’t sure how happy or unhappy he was all you need to do was see the scowl that was on his face for the last 6 minutes of game time).

0:25 - McNees with a crazy scoop layup that goes. Akron down 1, Miami takes a timeout to set something up for the last possession.

0:52.9 - 32-29 Miami, the Zips fans are starting to get excited as Akron is showing signs of life. With the ball they could tie it up on this trip.

2:00 - McNees gets open for another 3, but Winbush answers Miami lead 32-29.

2:43 - McNees with another 3 after a pair of Conyers FTs, a foul on Fletcher under the hoop as the 3 goes through and Akron turns it into a 4 point play 27-24.

3:36 - McNees hits a 3 and Chris McKnight draws a charge on Dierkers. Akron is down 27-18. They need to start shooting consistently if they want to try to cut this to about 5 before the half.

6:37 - Linhart with two fouls. 12 total fouls already, this one could turn into a parade to the FT line.

7:50 - 22-13 Miami. MAC POTY Bramos with 9 early points.

10:02 - 20-12 Miami leads. Miami shooting 42%, Akron shooting 25%. Also, it’s impossible to put into words how much of a complex the Akron fans have with the refs. The fact that they’ve been called for 5 fouls and Miami has only been called for 3 is like a crime against humanity to these guys.

15:22 - There’s an Akron fan behind us (maybe a player’s dad?) who’s yelled the phrase “Integrity of the game” about 35 times so far. The Zips faithful seem to have a major problem with the refs. Let me point out that there have been 2 fouls called on each team so far (apparently their major beef is about missed traveling calls… yeah, that’s what has Akron shooting 0-9 from the field to start off.)

16:19 - Miami leads 9-1 early… it’d be more if Miami would have converted on a couple of open shots.

Pregame - So far all the top seeds have advanced. Akron is going to need to play much better than they did against Toledo Tuesday night if they want to stop that trend against the RedHawks.

2009 MAC Tournament - Ohio vs Bowling Green

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Tillman and Polk prepare for the opening tip as #1 Bowling Green takes on #9 Ohio.

Final - 74-61 final.

3:18 - 62-45 BG. I’m done until the end of this.

5:08 - 59-45 BG leads. Like I said earlier Ohio is cooked. BG’s going to be a tough out in this tournament. Not only does Nate Miller look like he’s out to prove a point about POTY, but they’re getting production spread around across the rest of their roster. They’ll be a tough out in this tournament.

7:49 - 52-41 BG lead. Everytime OU shows some signs of life it’s half-hearted… Like Jerome Tillman gets an and-one opportunity but bricks the FT. Nate Miller still putting on a show with 22 points. BG shooting 57% vs OU’s 37%… there’s your difference.

11:07 - Name that tune… Surfin’ Bird by the Trashmen!!! Where’s Peter Griffin when you need him!?!?! (48-35 BG)

11:30 - Just as OU starts to show signs of life they lose Scott Thomas and he converts a 3 point play when Tommy Freeman tries to recover to him too late. 48-35 BG.

13:23 - 45-32 BG. OU still missing tons of makeable shots.

15:47 - Still 45-30. OU looks cooked.

16:39 - 45-30 Marschall with two E-A-S-Y looks from about a foot away. Gross calls a quick TO. This one is slipping away.

17:26 - 41-30 BG. It’s still the Nate Miller show, he has 20 points so far.

Halftime - Dobbs gets a beautiful floater that goes halfway down before popping back out and BG gets back down court with 10 seconds left and laces an NBA three to go up 35-27 at the half. That really took the air out of the Bobcats who had just cut it to 5. If Ohio wants to compete in this they’ve gotta hit some shots in the second half, they’re shooting percentage so far has been horid.

1:33 - Pretty finishes by Washington and Coleman OU down 32-24.

3:53 - OU shooting 6-21, BG shooting 11-19. There’s your 10 point difference.

3:53 - Wait, it’s the 110, I hear them! Oh… it’s canned music. That’s right, they’re playing canned OU Pep Band music (Stand Up and Cheer). What a joke.

4:04 - BG goes up 28-18 and OU takes a timeout. Bowling Green looks like the better team right now. They’re getting to the hoop, getting open shots and forcing the Bobcats into bad decisions and contested shots.

7:45 - BG up 14-10. The only scoring since the last update was a 3-pointer by, you guessed it, Nate Miller. He has 12 of BG’s 14. OU really has to put that guy in shackles, no reason for him to be getting this many open looks. Also, I pointed out earlier today that Nate Miller’s POTY snub could be trouble for OU. So far it looks like he came out with something to prove. OU is just 3-15 shooting… that’s not gonna do it.

11:37 - BG up 11-10. OU still having trouble converting inside 5 feet, and Nate Miller is absolutely killing the Bobcats with most of BG’s points. OU has to stop Miller if they hope to stay with the Falcons this time out (BG won both games against Ohio so far this season.)

15:41 - 6-4 BG lead. Ohio having trouble converting from inside 3 feet early.

Pregame - Bowling Green’s band is gonna need a long set list for this one. As discussed earlier the Ohio band didn’t make the trip. We’re about a minute away from tip off.

MAC Tournament 2009 - Kent State vs Buffalo

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Kent State & Buffalor players prepare for tip-off in their MAC Tournament Quarterfinal match.

Kent State & Buffalo players prepare for tip-off in their MAC Tournament Quarterfinal match.

Final - Buffalo wins 65-62. In this blogger’s opinion that was some poor play calling down the stretch by Geno Ford down the stretch, I don’t know how you don’t involve Mincy more in those last possessions.

0:05.7 - Terrible inbounds play by Geno Ford there. For some strange reason they had Mincy triggering it in, and when nobody was open he passed it into a corner and the Buffalo defender spiked it off the Kent player as he fell out of bounds.

0:07.5 - Fisher brings the ball up. Why not Mincy???? Kent is very disjointed on offense and Geno calls a timeout. Look for a Mincy drive, kickout to Fisher for a 3 to put it into OT here.

0:22 - Kent tries for a couple of steals then fouls… Good call to extend the game with the way UB has been from the stripe… and Gamble clanks the first one off the rim… laces the 2nd 3 point game.

0:40 - Mincy dishes to Simpson who can’t finish, but who gets the rebound? Mincy! He gets fouled and is going to the line.

0:50 - For some reason Kent immediately fouls Andy Robinson, though he (of course) splits the pair. Kent down 4 with the ball.

0:51 - Mincy again, this time driving and kicking to Simpson who lays it in. Kent ALMOST steals it and UB calls a panic TO.

1:13 - Finally they beat the traps, find a wide open Boudreau and he gets fouled on the way up and hits both.

1:22 - Kent State more defensive pressure almost steal twice, knock it out, UB can’t get into their offense.

1:28 - 61-58 UB. Kent State puts a trap on just over midcourt and the Bulls are forced to call a TO. They’ll have 22 to shoot.

1:55 - Mincy spinning, driving, layup… Then he fouls Gamble coming up the court. UB 14-24 at the line, but Gamble hits both. Still ugly. Mincy makes a fast, pretty drive again. It’s 61-58 with 1:41 left.

2:08 - After a TO, Mincy gets bumped taking a runner, no call, but it’s still KSU ball. Fisher gets a clear shot at the hoop after a pretty move, but misses the runner badly. Boudreau hits a turnaround at the other end. Pretty! and UB is up 59-54.

3:21 - Betts splits them but the board is backtapped and UB controls it up 3.

3:22 - KSU with a turnover. UB gets to the hoop but can’t convert. Fisher gets to the hoop but he can’t convert. Touch foul called on the rebound, now Sullinger’s done too and UB should be shooting up 2 already.

3:57 - Told you… 1 of 2, 56-54 UB.

3:58 - 55-54 UB. It looks like Fisher just got his fourth foul and Buffalo will be going to the line (where they’re sure to split the pair) when we come back.

4:37 - 54-53 UB a back and forth game and Singletary just fouled out. UB should be going to the line for 2 when this one resumes.

7:02 - 51-50 Kent thanks largely to Fisher who I openly ripped in the first half. He’s definitely heating up and just bailed Kent out with an NBA distance 3 with the shot clock winding down.

8:51 - Kent up 48-45. Sullinger and Singletary both with 4 fouls, could be trouble for Kent.

10:33 - UB is 6-12 at the line. That’s a problem. 46-43 Kent leads.

11:40 - Al Fisher sighting, he gets to the hoop, gets fouled and hits the bucket. Kent by 1, FT coming after the TO. Name that Tune again, and this time they’re using canned music. It’s “Please Don’t Stop the Music” by Rihanna and the only words that are played in the 30 second clip are “Please don’t stop the music.” Seriously if people don’t guess these songs right based on what they’ve heard in the first two they should be showered with choruses of boos. Also how do they pick people for these? So far 4 contests and 1 fan has had a Michigan State shirt and another a UConn shirt. Way to pick the MAC fans outta the crowd…

11:44 - Buffalo hits a tough turnaround jumper to go up 1 and make me eat my words.

13:31 - 42-39 Kent as Betts misses two freebies. This is not looking good for the Bulls, it’s just 3 points, but it seems like a lot more right now.

15:17 - Still 37-36. I gotta say the Kent State dance team’s blue weird vinyl like dresses are a huge improvement over the weird pant-suit like things from past years.

15:50 - 37-36 Kent. The Flashes are clearly in control of this one as Buffalo is having a lot of trouble finding ways to score. Kent’s bench has scored 19 points. That’s a big difference.

18:51 - 34-30 UB. The Kent fans behind me want me to report on the one-sided officiating in this. The fouls were 9-8 at the half, so obviously I disagree. Should I offer them a towel?

20:00 Second Half - This just in, the MAC has revoked Al Fisher’s 2008 POTY award. Ok, obviously I made this up.

Halftime - 31-30 UB. Buffalo has to be a little disappointed that they were up 10 with 4 minutes left and let Kent all the way back into this one. Al Fisher is 0-4 and had a nice seat on the bench during Kent’s run to close the half. Kent State got back in it because they made an effort to start getting good shots and you can see that in the stats with a 12-6 KSU lead in points in the paint. UB ran out to a sizable lead on open jumpers, but cooled off as the half wore on. They need to find a way to consistently score if they’re going to stay in this.

0:21 - 31-30 Buffalo, Kent on an 11-2 run. The refs totally miss a Kent player being thrown to the floor on the rebound and Buffalo calls a timeout to collect themselves for the final shot.

1:01 - UB up 2, things not going well for them as Kent commits a blocking foul 35 feet from the hoop but Buffalo misses the front end of the 1-1 and send Brandon Parks to the line with a foul on the rebound.

2:56 - 31-26 Buffalo. Kent has finally started getting some good looks and they’ve gone on a little run here. Kent is 2-8 from 3, UB is 5-6. That’s because the 3’s that Buffalo has taken have been on good ball movement. Most of Kent’s have been bad shots being jacked up.

4:39 - Lots of fouls, traveling and slop play. 29-19 UB lead.

7:24 - 22-15 UB. It’s time for trivia, and they’re smartly doing it with a Buffalo fan… What is?…

8:41 - Kent is getting frustrated with the UB defensive pressure–they’re picking up about 30 feet out– and launching bad jumpers. Not a good attack plan, Geno needs a timeout but he’s not taking one.

9:51 - Buffalo still up 22-13. They’re shooting 64% to Kent’s 33%, that’s the difference. Though the Kent fans sitting 2 feet behind me are yelling in my ear at an 100% annoyance, so they’ve got that going for them… which is nice.

11:15 - 22-13 Buffalo leads. The Bulls are making Kent State pay when they gamble for steals and leave anyone an open shot. Will be interesting to see if Buffalo can keep shooting at this high of a clip.

13:56 - Buffalo up 17-8. This is just so much of a faster paced game than the last one, it’s like watching a different sport almost.

15:57 - This game is off to a much faster start with Buffalo up 12-5 already. My gentleman’s bet with J. Scott Fitzwater of MAC Report Online that some team will score higher than 66 1/2 today is already looking good.

Pregame - Pretty strong Kent State contingent here. They’re right behind me and they’re loud (and slightly annoying). These bands are pathetic vs. Ball State from last game, I’m already disappointed.

MAC Tournament 2009 - Ball State vs Central Michigan

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Tipoff before the Ball State/Central Michigan game

Tipoff before the Ball State/Central Michigan game

Final - Ball State wins 64-61. Of course Jones misses the front end after going 8-8 from the line today. Bitzer takes 2 dribbles to get to halfcourt and launches a pretty shot, but only draws glass. We’ll be back in 30 for Kent vs Buffalo.

0:02.0 - CMU misses a 3, hits a put back and Jones gets fouled on the inbound. It’ll be a one and one when we come back from timeout. He hits the front end and it’s academic.

0:11 - Frazier hits them both. 5 point game.

0:11 - Harmon throws it away. Ball State picks off the pass and Frazier gets fouled.

0:17 - BSU burns clock, waits until there are about 8 seconds on the shot. Lampley clears everyone out, crosses over, pulls up from about 15 feet and nails a jumper. BSU by 3 and CMU takes a time out. not good for them as they need a 3 here and are 2-11 from beyond the line on the day.

0:48 - Beautiful inbounds play to Jones 5 feet from the hop who should have shot it before he came down. Instead he loses it trying to go back up and CMU is in a runout to the other end. They miss it and there’s a scrum for the loose ball and Marcus Van comes up hobbled for CMU. There’s now a TO with BSU still up 1… Van’s still out there, that’s good for CMU.

1:04 - Jones about 18 feet out on the wing picks up his dribble and gets trapped. He’s in trouble and BSU burns a time out with only 7 seconds to shoot. This possession is important enough to do that. BSU is up 1 and could really put the pressure on CMU here.

1:47 - Frazier loses it, gets it back, and hits a tough turnaround. CMU touches it in the cylinder and BSU is now up 1 with the ball.

2:05 - Bitzer misses a tough leaner, BSU runs it back down court, doesn’t see anything obvious and the bench calls a TO with 25 left to shoot and CMU still up 1.

2:44 - Bitzer hits 2 FTs, Jarrod Jones to the line, his first shot uses every portion of the rim. His second swishes. CMU by 1.

3:19 - BSU hits a pair of FTs after a ref completely misses an out of bounds call right in front of us. CMU up 1.

3:47¬† - Bitzer gets fouled and hits the shot CMU is up 57-54. That thud you’re hearing is my prediction of this game hitting the under of 114 1/2.

Before OT - All the OU people on press row are talking about how those two final possessions reminded them of Tim O’Shea execution. It’s funny if you’re familiar with O’Shea’s plays when his team would need a final shot at the end of the game.

End of 2nd Half - 52 all we’re going to overtime after Ball State gets it in, but airballs a 3.

0:04.7 - Ball State ball, I don’t understand how the refs missed that call in realtime while everyone in the stands and on press row pretty much waved it off.

0:00 - CMU waits too long. The shot clock goes off, but none of the officials notice, CMU grabs the rebound and lays it in. They celebrate, Ball State screams, and the refs are reviewing it. This one’s going to get overturned and BSU should have the ball with about 3 seconds and the game tied.

0:39 - CMU looks awfully disjointed on offense, Harmon eventually airballs a 3 and Hardiman grabs the board, lays it in and gets fouled. He misses the shot, but Bitzer grabs the board. We’re tied and CMU is holding for the final shot.

1:10 - Jarrod Jones get the ball with his back to the hoop about 7 feet away, gets bumped as he turns (no call) and hits the shot anyways. BSU up 2.

1:36 - Bitzer steals a pass. They set up the offense and Bitzer laces a wide open jumper. We’re tied!

2:12 - Crazy sequence with Ball State running the clock down, missing a prayer of a shot as the clock ran down, Jarrod Jones getting the rebound, looking like a freshman and not kicking it back out to run clock. Jones lost  it as he tried, the ball ended up on the court before CMU controlled it, and it got knocked out of bounds on transition. Finally Harmon made a jumper and CMU is only down 2.

3:46 - BSU tacks on way too easy of a layup right after CMU’s timeout and go up 50-44. We’re inside the official 4 minute timeout and I think Bitzer is going to need to knock down some jumpers if CMU has a chance here.

4:47 - Ball State up 48-44 as Van sink two at the line for CMU. It looks like Ball State is trying to pull away and CMU takes a 30 second timeout to talk things over.

7:33 - Ball State back up by 2. CMU has taken over in rebounding going up 25-18. And CMU fouls Giles while he’s shooting a 3, not good.

10:10 - CMU finally takes the lead 40-38, but misses the and 1, BSU going to the line.

11:40 - Tied at 38 thanks to a timely jumper by Jordan Bitzer… and it’s time for name that tune being played by the CMU band. (Are we sure that we can’t have the Ball State band play it?)… It’s YMCA, unless the contestant is the deaf guy from the Amazing Race he knows this, though it doesn’t really matter since in the 1st half they proved that they hand out the prize whether you get the answer right or not… Yep, YMCA. Good job random contestant guy.

12:32 - 38-36 Ball State, CMU still hasn’t lead in this one. Time for the First Merit T-Shirt Cannon… “If you want a t-shirt, let them hear you!!!” Fans stay seated, yell “Ahhhhhhhh” and wave there arms. Note to readers who’ll be here later, jump around a little, you’ll stand out like a sore thumb and will be a shoe in to get a free shirt… And in times of economic crisis, you can’t really sneeze at a free shirt. It’s all about resale value.

15:11 - Ball State’s Pep Band has to be the early favorite for Best Band at the MAC Tournament… with OU’s band not coming to Cleveland this week someone new has to take that crown.

15:51 Second Half - 36-32 still Ball State leading. If CMU keeps sending the Cardinals to the line without getting there themselves they’ll be in trouble. Couple that with the fact that Ball State has a 7-0 lead off turnovers and that’s why they’re leading.

Halftime - 29 -28 Ball State leads. My prediction of this game hitting the under… not looking so good.

0:39 - Both teams are starting to wake up after the noon start time Ball State still leads 29-26 but we’re starting to see CMU hit some jumpers.

3:58 - 23-17 Ball State and we’re up to 4 assists. Ball State is 8-11 at the line, CMU hasn’t attempted a FT. That’s the difference.

4:25 - This just in, they’re doing trivia during game timeouts again this year. 1 down and nobody’s answered, “What is Buffalo sucks?” yet.

6:53 - 17-11, still Ball State lead. Obviously not a whole lot of scoring. Little ball movement, backing up what I said earlier there have been 2 assists in this game so far… that’s not a lot.

11:27 - 15-9, this game has had a strange flow really with a lot of quick shots on both ends. Laron Frazier on BSU has 8 points already and Ball State is winning based on the fact that they’ve gotten to the line 6 times already vs 0 for CMU and they hold an 8-4 rebounding edge.

14:20 - 11-6 Ball State leads early. Spread scoring on both ends. CMU sloppy with the ball has turned it over 4 times already. I promise these will be more interesting as we really get going.

16:13 - My note to bettors, always bet the under on the noon MAC Tournament games. It seems like the teams come out really cold from the field every year. No difference this year as it’s a 6-2 Ball State lead. The O/U is 114 1/2 for this game. We’ll be checking on that later.

20:00 First Half - Getting started here in the Q. Even though Ball State is the 2 seed they’re 2 point underdogs against the Chips today. One thing I’m immediately noticing about this game, 2 pep bands are here. More on this later.

MAC Tournament 2009: Quarterfinal Matchups on Day 2

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

On Thursday, the men’s portion of the MAC Tournament will resume after an exciting opening round on Tueday. Here’s a look at the 2009 MAC Tournament Quarterfinal matchups.

#2 Ball State vs #7 Central Michigan - Ball State and CMU are separated only by a tiebreaker as both went 7-9 in MAC play this season. As a result, a CMU win here would not be considered an upset in my book. Ball State finished the regular season 13-16 overall and #269 in the RPI with CMU finishing 12-18 and #291 in the RPI. The two teams split the season series with the home team winning both games.

#3 Buffalo vs #6 Kent State - This is a matchup of experience vs inexperience as the #6 seed Golden Flashes have been there are done that. But Buffalo’s win over Miami in the final game of the season gave the Bulls the #3 seed and the 1st round bye. Kent is coming off a unimpressive win over #11 Northern Illinois and is 19-13 with a 10-6 MAC record and #132 ranking in the RPI. Buffalo went 19-10, 11-5 in the MAC and is #96 in the RPI as UB will look to keep Kent State from having their 11th straight 20-win season. The two teams split the season series with the home team winning both games.

#1 Bowling Green vs #9 Ohio - On Sunday these two teams closed the regular season with BG dominance. BG jumped out to an early 17-3 lead and cruised to a 34-point victory, and the Falcons are one of two teams to beat the Bobcats in Athens this season. Ohio comes in 15-16 on the season and went 7-9 in MAC play ranking #176 in the RPI while BG is 18-12 and went 11-5 in the MAC and is #164 in the RPI.

#4 Miami vs #5 Akron - Miami (17-12, 10-6) comes in as the MAC’s top ranked team in the RPI almost all season, currently at #75. The RedHawks loss to Buffalo on Sunday was the difference in the #1 seed and the #4 seed, but I still have Miami as my favorite to win the 2009 MAC Tournament. 5th-seeded Akron comes off a OT thriller as they defeated #12 Toledo last night despite 62 fouls and 88 free throws in the game. Akron became the first MAC team with 20 wins at 20-12, 10-6 MAC and ranks #120 in the RPI. The two teams split the season series with the home team winning both games.

MAC Tournament 2009: Akron vs Toledo - The Day After

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Last night I wrote that the #5 Akron vs #12 Toledo game was “the most painful game I have ever watched.” 16 hours later, as I look back on the events that led to such an ugly game, I refuse to back down from that statement. A look at the box score from last night’s game shows that 62 fouls were called and 88 free throws were attempted. In a 45-minute game that was not overly physical and never hinged on being out of control we had nearly 2 free throws/minute and 1.37 fouls/minute.

As many of these calls were made last night, I looked around at the fans, my media counterparts, the coaches, players and people from the MAC office and I continually saw the same thing. Perplexed looks, dropped jaws and disbelief. Biased and unbiased parties alike were left scratching their heads as the game continued to drag on and on and on. While officials Frank Spencer and David Walker did nothing to help their reputations as top-notch officials based on last night’s performance, Jerry Sauder, known around the league by many as “Mr. Clean,” seemed to take the lead in the crazy calls category.

Now I realize what I am doing here. I am calling out an official and a whole crew if you get down to it. But the facts are the facts. 60 second half free throws. 42 fouls in the second half and overtime combined. Six players fouling out and another five players who ended the game with four fouls. Nearly three hours of “basketball.”

So why am I calling attention to this matter? One because I had no emotional stake in this game, and two because I do not feel it is fair for referees to take away from the players and the fans and decide that they want to dictate how a game is played to such an extreme. Not a single Akron or Toledo fan paid the $17-$49 ticket price to see Jerry Sauder repeatedly miss call after call, and whether any of us think one team benefitted more than the other, it is an injustice to the fans. Would the outcome of the game been different had the refs not blown their whistles on fouls alone every 43 seconds? Yes. Would Toledo have won? I do not know. What I do know is that if everyone just keeps their mouths shut after an embarassing event like last night, it will never get any better. My only hope is that the tapes of this game are reviewed by the proper decision makers and that we do not have a repeat performance at any point in this year’s MAC Tournament or ever again.

MAC Tournament 2009: Akron wins 93-92 in OT

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

As if 56 fouls and 77 free throws in 40 minutes was not enough, we have overtime between the #5 Akron Zips and #12 Toledo Rockets, and the first foul of OT has come on Anyijong sending Linhart to the line. Nate makes 1-2 FTs before Byrd puts UT up 81-79 with a 3-ball.

Three player have fouled out so far at the end of regulation and 6 other had 4 fouls heading to OT. Since the start of OT, two more have picked up a 4th foul.

It’s now 83-81 Toledo after two Kent free throws and brett McKnight puts the Zips on top with a 3-pointer from the corner. Tyrone Kent makes the layup on the other end fouling Chris McKnight out of the game as UT leads 85-84 with 3:15 left in the extra frame. Kent misses the shot and Akron rebounds the ball, but Anthony Hitchens nails another big 3-ball despite a obviously sore ankle. Linhart draws the 5th foul on Tyrone Kent, but both teams trade empty possessions. Now 1:45 to play, Akron has the ball up 2 and adds to it at 89-85. As Sterling appears to turn the ball over, another phantom call causes confusdion in the arena giving Toledo the benefit this time.

1:16 remains and Akron leads by 4, but Toledo has the ball as Byrd nails a 3-ball to cut it to a 1-point game. Brett McKnight draws Amos’ 5th foul, another questionable foul call to throw into the ridiculouly high pile of bad calls in the nightcap. Brett McKnight hits both free throws making it 91-88.

Sterling drives to the hoop on the other end drawing the fall on Conyers and hits both shots from the charity stripe. A wild play ensues and Toledo, down 91-90, gets the ball out of bounds with 17 seconds remaining down 1.

Note: Attendance at today’s MAC Tournament 1st round totalled 5,637 fans. Not bad for a Tuesday afternoon/evening.

Back to the game. Sterling hits a driving layup that falls through the hoop and Akron races down the court down 1. Toledo knocks the pass out of bounds with 1.5 seconds.

Akron inbounds to Brett McKnight on a alley-oop at the basket gives Akron the hoop and the 93-92 lead with 0.5 seconds left. Toledo’s last mili-second chance goes long as the fans call for a technical on Dambrot as he was clearly out of the box before the play. Either way it does not matter; Akron wins 93-92 in a crazy game.

MAC Tournament 2009: OVERTIME?!?

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

With his team down 67-61 and 2:41 left in the game, Linhart at the line hits both FTs before Steve McNees committs his 4th foul of the game sending Kent ot the line. Kent hits 1 of 2 and it is 68-63 Toledo and a block by UT gives them the ball and Akron’s Linhart gets foul #4. Two FTs later and it’s 70-63 with under 2:20 remaining. Sauder, in love with his whistle, decides to bring more attention to himself with a foul. A Linhart basket is answered by Anyijong and we have a 72-65 game before McNees nails a 3-ball and Akron takes a 30-second timeout down 72-68 with 1:25 remaining.

Toledo adds 2 points and we’re looking at 74-71 after a McClanahan 3-ball. But Toledo once again beats Akron down the court and McNees fouls out. Byrd makes both FTs and it’s 76-71. Linhart misses the 3-point shot but Chris McKnight’s put-back is good and Anyijong’s foul gives McKnight a chance for a 3-point play. McKnight misses, Linhart gets the offensive board and it is 76-75 Toledo with under 40 seconds remaining.

26 seconds left and AKron gets the ball back on a no-call. The shot attempt on the drive by Toledo resembled about 10-15 of tonight’s foul calls with one big difference - no whistle. Akron with the ball after the timeout, they miss the shot and Toledo inbounds the ball with under 12 seconds left and Anthony Byrd heads to the line with 9.7 remaining. Byrd hits both FTs and it’s 78-75 Toledo.

Akron ball, down 3 with 9.7 seconds remaining, a missed 3-ball gets tapped back to Akron and Hitchens nails a 3 from the corner to tie the game with 1.3 seconds left. UNBELIEVABLE. It now appears one of the most painful games I have ever watched will head to overtime.

And yes, it is official, overtime. All I can say is wow…