For the second straight year, the lowest seed in the MAC tournament won their first round game. For the second straight year, Bowling Green lost a first-round game at home. And the two patters shall intersect.
Jon Harris proved to be a mismatch made in hell for the Falcons. He scored 14 points in the first half, keeping the game within reach. Then the rest of the team took it from there, including Reggie Johnson, who finished 12 points. As a team they sank nine 3-pointers, won the turnover battle and rebounding battle. Simply put, this was the best offensive game, according to tempo-free stats, since a victory over Illinois-Chicago before Christmas.
For Bowling Green, a weary end comes for four seniors: Jordon Crawford (10 points, four assists, three steals), whose last lob attempt was confused by intended recipient Richaun Holmes as a field goal attempt; A'uston Calhoun (10 points, six rebounds, three assists), Luke Kraus (nine points and a bunch of what they call "grit"); and James Erger (no points, five minutes, world's best Justin Verlander impression.)
For Miami, this is their first MAC tournament win in three seasons, and they'll get a great chance to advance to the quarterfinals with a date against Eastern Michigan on Wednesday.
This also has to be it for Louis Orr as Bowling Green's coach. Nobody can refute that he's an upstanding coach and has brought grace to the program. Should BGSU feel that this is enough, he will stick around for one more year. But I have to think that the on-field basketball results simply outweigh the good done off it. It may be time for another coach to elevate the Falcons to the next level and become legitimate MAC contenders. Holistically I could see this going either way, and understand either decision.