January 20, 2008

Wacky basketball in the MAC

Athens-- The Mid-American Conference offers some weird and wacky basketball doesn't it? One day, it's little-known Bowling Green knocking off Ohio University. Another Day Ohio beats Miami, who probably plays one of the toughest schedules in the nation.

While this is going on, Kent State is seemingly dominating everyone except No. 1 North Carolina -Xavier and Detroit too, if you want to be picky. The Flashes pummeled Bowling Green and Miami as well.

It was just a few days ago that Kent State took out those poor RedHawks in Oxford. They didn't even really seem to have a chance as the Flashes scorched the nets in the first half and took a 16-point lead into the half.

With 15 minutes left I was ready to pack up my laptop and head for the Cincinnati bars. After all, the Flashes were up 22 and Miami had no energy on the court. No passion or fire.

I was bored. Apparently so was Kent State.

While I sat on press row, paying more attention to the Miami dance team and striking up conversation with an NBA scout sitting to my left, Miami began to make a run. Michael Bramos hit shot after shot and Tim Pollitz was scoring on the post.

Before I knew it, it was a 10-point game. I quickly found out it was difficult to get my head back on the game when I already removed it from the action. Obviously, the Flashes were dealing with the same problem.

By the final buzzer we both pulled it together. I was able to write my game story that spoke of a Miami comeback that fell short. I was off to Athens to see what Kent State could do against Ohio.

Those poor Flashes, they never really had a chance Saturday. It was a good thing Kent State wore its black uniforms. When Ohio stretched its lead to 17 early in the second half, Kent State looked ready for a funeral.

After all, the Flashes weren't coming back. Ohio's Bert Whittington just stroked his fifth 3-pointer of the game. He finished the game with 26 points after having a combined nine the last three contests. He was on fire. Kent State was not.

I was bored. This wasn't much of a game.

Next thing you know Haminn Quaintance attacks the rim with both hands. He slippped inside for another two-point basket. Chris Singletary hits a 3. The Flashes are only down by nine.

Sound familiar?

Those pesky Flashes got the lead clear down to five with 1:54 remaining. That was before three Kent State technical fouls ruined the comeback and effectively ended Kent State's road trip.

So often Kent State head coach Jim Christian says MAC basketball is such a tough conference. He says that any team can beat any other team on any given night in the MAC. After splitting the road trip, He has made a believer out of me.

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