|Final - 3.5.2012
|(11) Central Michigan Chippewas (11-20, 5-11)
|(6) Bowling Green Falcons (16-15, 9-7)
The indelible memory I'll have for the Bowling Green 2011-12 season is Jordon Crawford heaving lobs to Torian Oglesby at the most unexpected times, resulting in a two-point alley-oop that usually changed the course of the game. An auxiliary memory will be Oglesby's Division I record-breaking 26-straight field goals because he was so good in the paint.
The first game I saw of the year ... the first field goal I saw Oglesby try was a tip-in that rattled out, breaking the streak. Then the pressure was off and he could just play basketball.
The pressure seemed off for this particular game as well, at least for BGSU. Central Michigan was a floundering 10-20 team with little hope or cohesion. I guess winning three of their last six and the Michigan MAC Trophy in basketball was more than we had imagined, though. They held tough, made some threes and not only got back in a game, but held a small lead for quite a while.
When the pressure's off, that's when the wildness flourishes. Because seeds are numbers that indicate what happened in the past, not what will happen or what is happening. In fact, when the game was happening, I had no words. Pretty sure nobody else did. Suddenly CMU was holding onto a one-possession lead in the final minute, and Trey Zeigler was 1-for-12 shooting and totaling three points. The scoring was all Austin McBroom, who totaled 20 points, and Derek Jackson, whose 4-for-5 shooting on threes resulted in 12 points.
With all the frustration, from A`uston Calhoun's illegal screen in the final minute to Crawford's missed layup and countless other hair-reducing gambits throughout the 39 minutes and 59 seconds, it came down to one final play. BGSU was awarded an inbounds with a second left on their own baseline.
What other play could have been called? It's the play that defined the Bowling Green season, for richer and poorer. It was the play that energized their runs and occasionally made them look foolish on failed attempts. It was going to be this or nothing.
The ball was lobbed over the hoop, this time from Scott Thomas I believe. Torian Oglesby was a dump truck on a direct line to the basket.
Up he went. Into his hands went the ball. Toward the rim it travelled. Around the rim it danced. To the ground it harmlessly fell.
And that's how it'll end for an accomplished group of seniors. Scott Thomas had a multifarious seven points, nine rebound and six assists. Stroh Center Rap background dancer and shooting guard Dee Brown led the team with 20 points on many many shots. Oglesby's total stats are 1-for-3 shooting, two points and three fouls, but it'll be all those other high-rising dunks that we'll remember from his brief two-year tenure with the team.
Plain and simple, CMU won because they shot better. It was a perfect storm that'll sweep them into Cleveland, having to play Toledo in the second round on Wednesday for a chance to play OHIO in the quarterfinals.