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When a team from a mid-major conference advances to the Sweet 16, they've earned some respect. But when that program graduates four of its starters from that team, the respect can be a bit muted in some circles. In the preseason Mid-American Conference polls, defending champ Bowling Green was picked to finish second behind Ohio. Coach Curt Miller insists they don't tal…

SYRACUSE - Jonny Flynn has gone head-to-head against Villanova guard Scottie Reynolds before. A few summers ago during an ABCD basketball camp Flynn and Paul Harris went up against Reynolds, who scored 16 points but Flynn finished with 20 and won the game. But on Saturday, Reynolds torched the Orange for 25 points and four steals in the Wildcats' 81-71 victory. Reynolds i…

Frank Turner had no idea Canisius was honoring Brian Dux with a fund raiser. "It was Dux night?" Turner asked after the Golden Griffins defeated rival Niagara University, 70-62, on Friday. "I didn't know that." But before the game, Turner wrote, "Dux 12'' on his socks and then he went out a produced Dux-like numbers: 17 points, 4 rebounds and 2 s…

Terry Zeh was glad this game was over. Not just because his Canisius women's basketball team earned a 63-57 win over rival Niagara, but because the first meeting coaching against his friend and former assistant, Kendra Faustin, was out of the way. As if the game needed any additional hype for the Canisius players, most of whom were coached by Faustin, say said he made a m…

Some have compared the three-pointer in women's basketball to the dunk in men's basketball -- both are exciting plays and both are potential game changers. For Ohio on Wednesday night, it wasn't a game changer it was the game as the Bobcats hit 13 three pointers in a 74-64 win over the University at Buffalo in a game not nearly as close as the final score indicates. Ohio…

Turner Gill's new contract, in terms of salary, makes him the third highest paid coach in the Mid-American. Gill's total compensation numbers were not made available. Below is a list of the MAC coaching salaries: Jerry Kill, Northern Illinois              $300,000Al Golden, Temple           &n…

SYRACUSE -- The UConn women had been beating teams by an average of 41.1 points a game en route to a 15-0 start and the No. 1 national ranking. Who would have thought that Syracuse would have given the Huskies a run for their money? The Orange led for most of the first half and made a late-game run as UConn held on for a 65-59 win. The difference? Freshman phenom Maya M…

SYRACUSE -- It's 20 minutes before tipoff and the Carrier Dome already has a healthy crowd packed into the seats. That pretty much happens everywhere the UConn women go. The reigning No. 1 team in the nation, draws huge crowds on the road. And while people are here to get a  glimpse of the best team in the nation, the orange-clad fans are hoping to see an upset. Whi…

Little changed in my mind as to the top 10 teams in the country this week, though I did move up Duke, which is starting to prove itself after three straight bad losses in the early part of the season. But the bottom part of my women's basketball top 25 was difficult to rank this week with a plethora of team suffering bad losses, then knocking off ranked teams. Such was th…

Look for the University at Buffalo to announce a contract extension, perhaps as early as this week, for football coach Turner Gill, who is entering his third season. Gill, who led the Bulls to a 5-7 record and a share of the Mid-American Conference East Division, interviewed at Nebraska before the job went to LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini. --Rodney McKissic

Education

OK, no more phone calls. The best point guard in the Big 4 is Niagara's Anthony Nelson. The freshman doesn't wow you with great offensive numbers other than these: Six assists and only one turnover in 36 minutes in the Purple Eagles' win Sunday over Manhattan. He's averaging 6.2 assists a game which are good numbers for any freshman, maybe even the future MAAC Freshman of…

In Friday night's win over Niagara, the Siena men's basketball team showcased its offensive talent, shooting 53.3 percent from the field in a 94-84 decision. On Sunday afternoon, it was the Saints' defense which was impressive in snuffing Canisius, 72-44. While it appears Marist, Siena and Niagara will slug it out for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season…

Akron coach Keith Dambrot has been around long enough to know that whenever his teams come to Buffalo, it's going to be physical. There was plenty of grabbing and shoving on Saturday in the Bulls' 76-68 loss to the Zips. "That's just the way they play,'' said Zips guard Nick Dials. "They play hard. They come at you every night and you have no choice but to respe…

OLEAN -- St. Bonaventure let a double-digit second half lead slip away in a 72-61 loss to LaSalle. The Exploreres entered the game on a five-game losing streak and it seemed like the perfect home court match up for the Bonnies to get an Atlantic 10 win. They didn't. Granted, LaSalle is better than their 5-9 record would have you believe. In that five-game losing streak,…

A national ESPNU audience saw what Niagara's Charron Fisher, the nation's leading scorer, is all about. Fisher scored a game-high 31 points and pulled down seven boards in the Purple Eagles' 94-84 loss to Siena on Friday night. But Fisher, who came in averaging just over 27 points a game, wasn't pleased with his performance which included 9 of 21 shooting overall and 3 of…