UB's humbling loss to Bowling Green Wednesday night, the Bulls second straight defeat, squashes its chances of landing at at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament. The Bulls were a long-shot for an at-large berth anyway, given the Mid-American Conference's weak national standing. And now? Forget about it. Either the Bulls win the MAC or they'll be headed for the NIT, assuming they get it back together down the stretch, which might be overly presumptuous given their offensive struggles of late.
Niagara's still entertains at-large hopes despite Wednesday night's loss at Rider. The Purple Eagles have a higher RPI than UB, plus the most away wins in the country. Rremaining games against Illinois State Friday (the BracketBuster) and MAAC leader Siena afford Niagara a chance to improve its lot. Still, in order to make a decent at-large case the Purple Eagles likely will have to win their last three regular-season games and make it to the conference final. Could the Selection Committee turn it back on 26-7? (Answer: The SC can do whatever it wants).
Heading into Wednesday, UB was 84th in the RPIs, Niagara 62nd, Illinois State 58th and Siena 31st.
-- Bob DiCesare