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As I thumb through the UB media guide, it's hard to find a more productive big man in the Bulls' history than Yassin Idbihi. In 123 games, more than any player, Idbihi finished in the top five in eight different statistical categories in the school's modern era (since 1991), including points scored (1,514), rebounds (844) and blocked shots (103). The only other big man wh…

      Toledo's the No. 1 seed in the Mid-American Conference Tournament. No. 2 Akron, featuring two of LeBron's old high school teammates, is the people's choice. But watch out for Kent State, a young squad that plays tenacious defense and keeps excelling under the league's most accomplished coach, Jim Christian.       Christian mig…

Byron Mulkey made more than a few UB fans cringe when as he committed a career high eight turnovers on Wednesday in the Mid-American Conference Tournament. But before fans start begging for the return of Eric Moore, Mulkey did score 19 points and has a new fan in Central Michigan point guard Giordan Watson. Watson taught Mulkey and the young UB backcourt a few lessons to …

Here's how quickly things can change on a college basketball team, particularly when it comes to young players. Here's why college coaches find the task of molding young men both exasperating and enthralling: Back in early December, after a UB victory over Niagara, I wrote a column on Bulls sophomore guard Eric Moore, who’d stepped up to a starting role after an uninspi…

I know they have a weak RPI, but it's hard for me to imagine Niagara being seeded 16th in the NCAA Tournament. In fact, any No. 1 seed that draws Niagara as a first-round opponent should scream bloody murder, because the Purple Eagles are much better than a customary 16th seed. A top seed deserves better. Niagara's offensive talent is scary good. They have the weapons of a…

UB likes its chances in its Mid-American Conference first-round matchup against Central Michigan on Wednesday. Here are a few keys to victory for the Bulls: - Defense: Central Michigan has two primary scoring threats in Sefton Barrett and flashy guard Giordan Watson, who combined for 37 points in their last meeting, and the Bulls can't give them good looks at the basket. …

While Niagara has kept Big 4 men's basketball on the radar screen for another few weeks, the local women's teams all quietly went home  early. The brightest spot was St. Bonaventure, which finished with its first winning season in nine years.At 16-15, the Bonnies tied the program record for number of wins at Division I. They also won their first Atlantic 10 tournamen…

It looks like Utah and New Mexico wants to play with the big boys. Both schools are in the market for new coaches and are using headhunter Bob Beaudine to make it known they are willing to pay incentive-laden contracts in the neighborhood of $1 million for their next coach. Utah is 25-33 since its Sweet 16 appearance two years ago, which led to the resignation of Ray Giac…

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Niagara learns its NCAA Tournament fate Sunday night but we can already give you a little insight into the where and when: ---As a host in HSBC Arena, NU is not eligible there. Because the school is hosting games on Thursday-Saturday, its team will play in a Friday-Sunday subregional. That means the Purple Eagles are going to Columbus, Chicago, New Or…

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- When Niagara's players and coaches shared a private moment in their locker room after winning Monday's MAAC title, they presented a game ball to Rev. Joseph Levesque, the university's president. First-year athletics director Ed McLaughlin has routinely praised Levesque for his guidance during the team's September chaos after the hoopsters' celebrated …

We're an hour before tipoff in lovely downtown Bridgeport, home of the P.T. Barnum museum. It occurs to me that tonight's Niagara-Siena game on ESPN2 will be my ninth MAAC Tournament final, eight of them involving our two local teams. In typical Buffalo fashion, our teams are 2-5 during that stretch. Here's my three favorites memories of MAAC title games: 1. Canisius over…

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Niagara wrapped up its game-day shoot-around at 4:45, about 4 1/2 hours before tipoff of tonight's MAAC final against Siena in the Arena at Harbor Yard. It was a casual affair with just a little actual shooting that lasted about 40 minutes; the team did more heavy lifting earlier in the day at a local recreation center. The players hit the court in sw…

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Just heard that Siena, which is only about 4 hours away in Albany, is sending five busloads of students here for tonight's MAAC final against Niagara. The Arena at Harbor Yard will be a green-and-gold festival cheering on the Saints, so this one is going to be a virtual road game for NU. Hard to imagine too many Niagara fans getting here on short notic…

BRIDGEPORT,  Conn. -- Did Niagara get a break when top-seeded Marist was upset Sunday night in the MAAC semifinals? Nope. The Purple Eagles actually matched up better with the Red Foxes than they do with Siena, which pulled the tourney's big upset in the first semi. The Saints have a powerful post player in senior Michael Haddix and some terrific slashers in sophomor…