The men's basketball prestige of the Mid-American Conference took a big hit in two ESPN BracketBuster games Saturday.
Canisius (9-18, 3-13), the last-place team in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, handed the Bowling Green Falcons(15-11, 8-4 MAC) a 71-66 loss at Anderson Arena in Bowling Green, Ohio.
If that weren't enough, MAC leader University at Buffalo was humbled, 79-70, at Vermont. The Catamounts became the first America East Conference to ever win a BracketBuster game.
The victory at Bowling Green was the second straight road triumph in a week for coach Tom Parrotta's Golden Griffins. Canisius held the Falcons to four points in the extra session after Nate Miller of Bowling Green hit a three-point shot with seven seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
Canisius was scoreless in the OT until Julius Coles hit a three-pointer with 1:53 left to give his team a 67-66 lead. After a basket by Miller, Greg Logins made two free throws to put the Griffs back in front -- to stay. Coles wrapped it up with a pair of free throws at 0:12.
There were seven ties and 21 lead changes in the game. BG's largest lead was eight points in the first half. The Griffs never led by more than five.
Bowling Green trailed, 61-56, when Canisius guard Robert Goldsberry missed a pair of free-throws with 26 seconds remaining. Joe Jakubowski knocked down a three-pointer in the corner seven seconds later to cut the deficit to two. Frank Turner of the Griffs had a chance to put the game away with two free throws with 15 seconds left. He was only able to make the first, and Miller grabbed the rebound, dribbled up the court and nailed his game-tying three.
Logins had 19 points, Turner 16 and Coles 14 for Canisius, which shot 40 percent and outrebounded the Falcons, 47-36, as Coles led the way with 10 boards.
Miller scored a career-high 22 points to reach 1,000 for his career at Bowling Green. The Falcons were coming off a 59-48 victory at UB on Wednesday night.
Canisius will close its regular season at home with games against Marist on Friday and Siena next Sunday in MAAC play.
Before a boisterous crowd at Patrick Gymnasium In Burlington, Vt., UB took a 19-6 lead and seemed on its way.
However, the Bulls were badly outplayed after that. Vermont outrebounded (38-33), outshot (54.2 percent to 39.1) and outhustled the Bulls until an 8-0 run brought UB within five points, 74-69, with 53 seconds left.
Besides having trouble finishing in the paint -- they had eight shots blocked among other point-blank misses -- the Bulls, one of the worst free-throw shooting teams in the nation, didn't help themselves at the line. They made only 15 of 24.
Vermont took a 41-39 lead into halftime. The Catamounts led, 47-44, before the four-minute mark of the second half, then outscored the Bulls, 11-2, during the next seven minutes. UB scored only two field goals in the first 10 1/2 minutes of the second half.
Rodney Pierce led UB with 21 points, including four straight jumpers when the Bulls were building their early lead. He was more than overshadowed by Vermont's Mike Trimboli, who had 24 points, seven assists and six rebounds, Colin McIntosh (18 points) and Marqus Blakely (15 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots).
It was the third straight loss for UB which returns to MAC action with a home game against Akron on Thursday night.