NIT Quarterfinals: Colorado 81, Kent State 74
CIT Quarterfinals: Iona 78, Buffalo 63
CIT Quarterfinals: East Tennessee State 82, OHIO 73
Three games, three road trips, and three losses for the Mid-American Conference. MAC men's basketball is done for the 2010-11 season. A bit of a slog from November-January, but it really began simmering after that.
But don't go away, folks! We still have women's basketball: Toledo beat Alabama 74-59 to advance to the WNIT quarterfinals. They'll host either Syracuse or Eastern Michigan, whoever wins that game tomorrow. So we still have two clans of women left in this postseason whirlwind.
Parting thoughts on the departing teams tonight, their games, and their future:
Kent State: I thought it was a matter of when the team was going to run out of gas. They didn't. In a close game for 37 minutes, the reason they lost to CU was poor execution. Missed layups, poor boxing-out, and mental errors. It was unlike them, but it's possible they were simply rattled in a hostile environment. Colorado now heads to Madison Square Garden for the NIT semifinals. The Flashes, sans Rodriquez Sherman, will no doubt be back next year.
Buffalo: Who the heck knows. They were eating much of Iona's dust, often choking on it. I knew I'd seen enough when, down 13 in the final minute, Byron Mulkey drove for a layup and Javon McCrea was called for an offensive goaltend. Still, for a No. 8 seed in the MAC, they defied expectations by not only playing in a postseason tournament, but winning two road games in it. Mulkey departs this team, as does marginal reserve Jawaan Alston, but there are some demonic forwards left on the team and while inexperience haunted portions of this team, they may be more well-rounded for next year.
OHIO: Much like Kent State, they carried a winnable attitude down into Johnson City. But it's kind of hard to sustain any type of defensive pressure when two separate ETSU players scored 24+ points. DJ Cooper had somewhat of an off-night, and it showed. They'll need fewer turnovers out of him next year, and while losing sharpshooter Tommy Freeman and #omgdunx specialist DeVaughn Washington, the Bobcats will have another uphill climb in the loaded MAC East.
Thanks for a fun season, dudes. Especially for the seniors, this one's for you: