Let's keep in mind that Ball State, a team that looked at times like one of the weakest in the MAC, rallied so hard in the homestretch of conference play that they earned a 5-seed and a bye into the second round. Most of that was Jauwan Scaife going absolutely crazy on the scoreboard. And it looked like another splendid Scaife performance was going to do away with a team in the MAC, scoring 28 points, 17 of those in the first half.
Then came halftime.
Whatever Reggie Witherspoon said in the locker room worked, because Buffalo came out like gangbusters. Maybe he said something specifically to Will Regan, who already had a decent game with 11 points. But then he shot 9-for-11 from the floor, including 4-for-4 on threees and 3-for-3 on free throws to finish with 36 points. That is a MAC Tournament record for a Buffalo player, and it's the most a UB player put up in over seven years (Calvin Cage scored 37 in a double-overtime loss at Kent State in February 15, 2006).
All of this, sadly, shoehorned Javon McCrea's performance into an ancillary storyline. All he did was post 18 points and 11 rebounds, the majority of those before he was inadvertently struck in the throat during a play, taking him out for a little bit. It was rough in the second half, but rougher for Ball State, who went one-and-done in the MAC Tournament.
And here we go for some fun decisions in Muncie. Does BSU coach Billy Taylor survive the offseason? It has to be a toss-up. The thing going for him is a potentially powerful senior class in 2013-14 featuring Majok Majok, Jesse Berry, Chris Bond and Matt Kamieniecki. Scaife had a torrid second-half to his senior year but he's totally replaceable in the grand scheme of seniors you hate to see leave. He and backup center Zach Fields constitute the senior class.
But we'll worry about that for another time.
For now, Buffalo roars onto the quarterfinals to play Kent State. After that would be Akron — a team we know they can beat. If Akron has any sanity they'll cheer so hard for the Golden Flashes tomorrow, because fate is cruel and hates you.