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University at Buffalo begins MAC title quest tonight

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

Even though the 12-19 UB Bulls failed to earn a bye in the Mid-American Conference Tournament, at least Reggie Witherspoon and his No. 8-seed Bulls can host a playoff game in Alumni Arena.

The University at Buffalo will host the Central Michigan Chippewas at 7 this evening, and you should attend because the game is televised only on Sports Time Ohio and the MAC Sports website. There’s a radio stream from WECK 1230-AM, too. Here’s a link to purchase tickets for tonight’s do-or-die clash.

Just 11-19 overall and 4-12 in the weaker MAC West Division, the Chippewas were squashed by the Bulls 91-73 on Jan. 30. The 91 points was the highest-scoring outing for UB this season—Cameron Downing notched a season-high 21 points in an outing where the Bulls’ post players scored at will against the undersized Chippewas.

Unfortunately for the Bulls, the season’s most impressive conference win—an 81-67 home victory over nationally-ranked Akron—was surrounded by four losses: an ESPN Bracket Buster loss to Manhattan and East Division defeats against Ohio, Bowling Green and Kent State.

Opposing guards have massacred UB during those losses, as Kent State’s Randal Holt dropped 28 points, Ohio’s D.J. Cooper rained in 24 and Bowling Green’s Jordon Crawford posted 26.

UB’s backcourt of Jarryn Skeete and Tony Watson II must be more aggressive in hounding rival backcourts—especially tonight against the Chippewas’ electric point Kyle Randall (18.3 ppg, 42% shooting, 85% FT).

According to Vegas Insider, the Bulls are eight-point favorites in tonight’s contest.

The winner of tonight’s contest travels to Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena for a 6:30 p.m. second-round game Wednesday against No. 5-seed Ball State, another West Division foe that UB beat in its lone match-up this season.

(Photos courtesy of Don Nieman from the UB vs. Akron game—see the full gallery here).

TAGGED: cameron downing, central michigan chippewas, javon mccrea, keno davis, kyle randall, mac tournament, reggie witherspoon, ub bulls, university at buffalo

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