If you are an Ohio Bobcats fan and you've been watching your men's basketball team recently, you may have noticed that they're kind of bad. If you're a fan of MAC basketball, you may also have noticed that they're kind of bad. If you have gone onto ESPN and checked the MAC standings, you have also noticed that the Ohio Bobcats are bad.
They are, in fact, really bad. Going into the weekend the Bobcats are 9-19, or 10 games under .500-- no easy feat in a 29-game season. It has been 6 years since the Bobcats have posted a losing record, and even then it was a somewhat respectable 15-17. Ohio hasn't been this odiously bad since the 2003-04 season, when they were led by Jaivon Harris, pride of Nuremberg (he has a Wikipedia page, but only in German).
Saturday will mark one month since the last time the Bobcats have won a basketball game. Things were different back then-- Ohio had come off back-to-back wins, both impressive, against Akron and Eastern Michigan. The Bobcats were 9-12, and seemed destined to claw back to at least a winning record, if not into the race for the top seeds.
And then... well, you know. The Bobcats lost game after game, each one seemingly worse than the last. Their most recent matchup against the Buffalo Bulls ended with a 93-66 Ohio loss and two plays on Sportcenter's Top 10 (as you may have guessed, neither went the Bobcats way).
Kent State Golden Flashes vs. Akron Zips men's basketball preview: It's still the MAC's best rivalry
We've made it to the final game of the regular season, and the best part is the rivalries.
Miami enters with a 13-17 record-- not exactly beautiful, but their record in conference play (8-9) isn't too shabby. One of those 8 wins came on Valentine's Day, when the RedHawks stormed back to defeat the Bobcats for the first time in several years. After that, Miami really found its groove, and has gone 4-1 since then. Capping off the season with a sweep of Ohio would be a nice bit of momentum heading into the MAC Tournament and next season.
For any Bobcat fans who returned early from Spring Break, Saturday's game represents the last opportunity to see seniors Maurice Ndour, Javarez Willis, and Stevie Taylor. Taylor has struggled through most of the season, but Ndour and Willis have been the top two scorers for Ohio and the team will certainly miss them next year. Will Sullivan is the lone senior for the RedHawks squad.
For Miami, its a chance to finish strong. For Ohio, a win would just mean putting the end to the ugly losing streak, and perhaps an iota of momentum going into the tournament as the Bobcats play out what once appeared to be a season of promise.