7:00 PM EST, Anderson Arena
Bowling Green: 13-18 (8-8), Northern Illinois: 9-20 (5-11)
TV: BCSN; Radio: WFRO 99.1 FM Fremont, WLBK 1360 AM DeKalb
Winner plays (2) Western Michigan at Quicken Loans Arena
They're just never going to shut down Anderson Arena, are they? They made a whole big deal about it Saturday, and even did a ceremonial "door closing" after the game. Now they have to unceremoniously re-open the doors and usher people in for a big tournament game. Now watch them get some random tournament bid and host another game. The building will never die!
Their First Meeting: Bowling Green couldn't hold onto a last-minute six-point lead but prevailed in overtime in snowy DeKalb, 73-70. About eight people saw it happen.
Keys for Bowling Green: Put one guy on Silas, just in case. Even though he's not in town, he could still sneak into the building and get about 20 second-half points. Take no chances! But this is game is so favorable for the Falcons. They have everybody healthy (a plus!), so now they just need to ensure no lapses in athletic endeavor allow them to blow leads and/or turn big leads into teensy tiny ones. This is what they do. A`uston Calhoun will create from inside, and Jordon Crawford will be the sparkplug who sets everything up. Senior role players Joe Jakubowski and Mike Dabney may be called upon to hit some baskets, and if Dee Brown can draw some fouls, there's some free points. They don't shoot the 3-ball well, but they don't really need to in this game.
Keys for Northern Illinois: See if anybody else on the football team wants to suit up for a game. It worked for DeMarcus Grady. Does Chad Spann have any eligibility left? Can he just bulldoze through some guys, perhaps injuring them? That'll level the playing field. Not only is Xavier Silas out of the game, but point guard Bryan Hall for whatever reason. Also ailing are Nate Rucker and Michael Patton, and that leaves about four players by my count. Well, the two that count are the bulky Tim Toler and feisty Jeremy Landers. Anyone else? The next guy in line will be Antone Christian, whose play has been improving all year. I honestly don't know what their plan is should half their guards aren't available to play.
Likely Final Score: Bowling Green 63, Northern Illinois 50