As Big as It Gets
Published: Thursday, March 1, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 19:11
When the buzzer sounded there was only one word that came to my mind: wow.
Did that really just happen?
Did Buffalo just sweep the season series with Akron? Did it hand the Zips their only conference loss at home – on senior day no less?
Wednesday's win won't lead off the highlights on ESPN, but make no mistake, that was a mammoth win for the Bulls and I can't remember one that was bigger.
A win Saturday gets Buffalo to the semifinals of the conference tournament. Meaning two wins gets the Bulls to the Mecca of college basketball, the Holy Grail, the Big Dance: March Madness.
That is why it get's no bigger than Wednesday's win.
I'm always a glass half full guy when it comes to Buffalo's sports teams, but even I predicted the Bulls to lose by 14 in Wednesday's edition of The Spectrum.
The odds were stacked against Buffalo and it blasted right through them.
Buffalo has only won once in the past eight seasons at Akron, and the Zips have one of their most successful squads ever assembled. They were near dominant in the conference, losing to only Ohio on the road besides the pair of losses to Buffalo.
But it wasn't just that Buffalo beat the top team in the Mid-American Conference – it's more about how they did it.
Junior guard Tony Watson, a player who rarely gets his due, scored the final nine points of the game including a 6-for-6, ice in his veins performance from the free throw line.
The often ragged-on senior forward Titus Robinson played like a giant down the stretch, with consistently solid defense and some massive rebounding efforts. The passed over senior forward Dave Barnett came through with nine points, and what can you say about senior forward Mitchell Watt's 22 point performance other than that he should be a frontrunner for MAC Player of the Year.
Buffalo went into a hostile environment, sacked up, and proved to the naysayers that they are for real.
There's still one game left and the conference tournament looming, but this team is peaking at just the right time and it's fun to root for them.
It's a bunch of likable guys who all came together to accomplish something great – and beating Akron at the JAR was just that
In the MAC, Buffalo is an all but forgotten place, the people who run the conference rarely talk about teams outside the state of Ohio and at this point I think everyone understands there is an Ohio bias within the conference.
That's just another thing that this team has stacked against it.
Working in media we're supposed to remain impartial and not play favorites. But I can't help but root for this team and the things head coach Reggie Witherspoon and Co. have accomplished this year.
So screw impartiality and go Bulls!
I'm all in and hopefully you are too.