A notable face is missing from the University at Buffalo-Akron men's basketball rivalry, but another familiar opponent has taken his place.
Keith Dambrot, who was named Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year three times in the last four seasons, has moved on to Duquesne. Replacing him at Akron is John Groce, who won MAC championships in 2010 and 2012 when he was head coach at Ohio University before moving on the Illinois.
UB (10-5, 2-0 MAC) will be seeking its third straight victory in Mid-American Conference play. However, the Bulls have not won at Akron's James A. Rhoades Arena since 2012 and were swept by the Zips last season. Akron (7-7, 0-2) defeated UB, 89-83, at Alumni Arena to leave the teams tied for the MAC East division regular season title. Last time UB defeated Akron was in the championship game of the MAC Tournament in 2016.
UB has defeated Toledo at home and Ball State on the road so far in MAC play. It will be Akron's conference home opener after losses at Western Michigan (87-75) and Toledo (67-65). Akron is led by sophomore guard Daniel Utomi, who is averaging 18.1 ppg and has made 44.3 of his three-point attempts.
Niagara will have a chance to take sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Hockey Conference when it faces Robert Morris at 7:05 tonight in Dwyer Arena. The Purple Eagles, who ended a four-game losing streak with a win and a tie against RIT last weekend, is tied with Canisius for the AHC lead. Canisius is 10-4-0 in conference games. Niagara is 9-4-2 and 10-9-2 overall.
Robert Morris (8-12-1, 7-7-1 AHC) is tied for fifth place.
Niagara and RMU met on Oct. 6 at Dwyer with the Purple Eagles winning 4-3 on an overtime goal by Tanner Lomsnes, a junior. It was Lomnes' first goal of the season. He now has 13 goals and seven assists for 20 points.
University at Buffalo head coach Vicki Mitchell is the new president of the NCAA Division I Cross Country Executive Committee of the U.S Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Mitchell was promoted from first vice president at the USTFCCA Convention in Phoenix, Ariz. She succeeds Dave Smith of Oklahoma State, who served from 2015 until now.
For the first time in USTFCCCA history two women have been named to the executive committee. Connie Price-Smith of Ole Miss is the president of the Division I Track and Field Executive Committee.
Mitchell is in her 19th year at UB and has been director of cross country and track and field since 2002.