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UB Gets Ohio

CLEVELAND -- How hard is it to beat a division rival three times in one season? UB and Kent St. hope it's as hard as people tend to make it out to be.

Both the Bulls and the Golden Flashes will be out to reverse their regular-season fortunes in Friday night's MAC semifinals. Second-seeded UB will face No. 3 Ohio, a 65-57 winner over Toledo in Thursday night's late quarterfinal at The Q. The Bobcats beat the Bulls 60-52 in Athens on Jan. 11 and 88-77 in Alumni Arena on Feb. 22. In fact, Ohio is the only MAC team UB has not beaten this year.

No. 4 Kent State a 76-72 winner over Western Michigan, gets Akron in the 7 p.m. opener of the semifinal twinbill. Akron won both regular-season games, coming from nine down at Kent in the season finale to lock up the East Division and overall crown.

Why does Ohio trouble UB so much? The Bobcats have the league's best point guard in junior D.J Cooper and, when on, sucker opponents into bad passes with stealth weakside help defense. UB turned it over 23 times at Ohio and 14 times on their home floor.

Obviously the Bulls can't be that sloppy again and expect to advance. There will be a heavy burden on Jarod Oldham, UB's sophomore point guard. Oldham had an assist-to-turnover ratio of better than 2-1 on the season but had nine assists against eight turnovers vs. the Bobcats. But sharp post passing will be vital as well. UB needs to cherish its possessions and force Ohio to operate its halfcourt offense instead of feeding on transition baskets.

-- Bob DiCesare

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College basketball | Mid-American Conference | NCAA Tournament
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About Campus Watch

Bob Dicesare

Bob DiCesare

Western New York native Bob DiCesare covers UB football, Big 4 basketball and writes an occasional column. He still holds a grudge against Chris Ford who, he's convinced, cost St. Bonaventure the 1970 NCAA basketball championship.

@TBNDicesare | bdicesare@buffnews.com


Rodney McKissic

Rodney McKissic

Rodney McKissic began his journalism career in 1989 after graduating from the University of Cincinnati and has worked for The Buffalo News since 2001. A proud father of four children, he enjoys reading in his spare time.

@RodneyMcKissic | rmckissic@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered colleges for The Buffalo News since 1999. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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