Remember when we trashed the media for knowing little-to-nothing about the worst teams in the MAC East? There appears to be a trend of jinxing overachieving teams around these parts.
They were both 6-2 during MAC play at the time of that ambitious post. Since they've both double-backslid with a 1-5 record since then. As goes one, so does the other (Perhaps their women's teams are also on the same cycle.)
The Falcons began the losing today with a 84-77 setback at Miami, while Buffalo was tripped up in Akron 69-60. We'll start with the BG loss, because that one was televised. And that's just how we do things.
This is not a team prone to scoring in bunches, but they were forced to try when their continual eight-, nine-, ten-point deficit just kind of stagnated, and they were unable to get any push until the final minutes. A couple of threes finally sank and they got to within two points, but that was as far as they'd get. In the end they could not contain Miami forward Julian Mavunga and there were too many erratic broken plays for them to sustain any type of run.
The same went for UB. The lead wasn't as drastic for as long — they were down by about four, five points for most of the second half — but they just couldn't crack a lead since near the end of the first half. They played sorta well, because losing to Akron is not necessary a terrible fate because pretty much everybody else is doing it this month, but not well enough to so much as tie the game in the second half.
Free throws measure composure pretty well. BG shot 15-for-25 from the line (60%), and the Bulls were 7-for-14. In the second-to-final weekend of the season, those need to be made, even on the road.
And now there's a whole plate of crow that I might need to dine on after shaming the rest of the media voters into dissing the Falcons and Bulls. Nope, they were both self-correcting entities. They were going to finish fifth and sixth, and there they both sit at 7-7. Fortunately, with a loss by CMU (6-8), they're both on the inside track to grab the final first-round home games. And yes, Buffalo and Bowling Green do play each other in the final battle of the regular season. Very observant!
(I will say this about both teams moving forward: Between A`uston Calhoun and Jordon Crawford for Bowling Green, along with Zach Filzen and Javon McCrea of Buffalo, both of these teams are going to have some potent inside-outside tandems.)