University at Buffalo men's basketball had one goal left to attain in the Mid-American Conference regular season and that's the first overall seed for the conference postseason tournament.
The Bulls (20-7, 12-2 MAC) will continue that quest tonight against the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks (13-14, 6-8) MAC at Millet Hall in Oxford, Ohio (Radio 1520, 7 p.m.). UB has a one-game lead over MAC West Division leader Toledo (11-3) for the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. Toledo also will be on the road tonight, at Eastern Michigan.
UB won the first meeting, 82-66, at Alumni Arena but can expect Miami to be tougher on its home floor. Coach Jack Owens' team has lost its last four games, but three of the losses were on the road in conference play. Miami is 7-4 at home.
Freshman guard Nike Sibande (14.4) is the only Miami player averaging in double-figure scoring. Junior guard Darrian Ringo ranks sixth in the nation with 202 total assists and fourth with a 7.5 assist average. He also is seventh in couintry with 67 total steals and his 2.48 average also is seventh.
UB's guards will need to be wary of Ringo and not let him disrupt their offense.
Canisius (9-18, 7-9 MAAC) at Niagara (11-16, 8-8): The goal in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference is to finish in the top five in the standings and avoid having to play a first round game on next week's conference tournament.
Niagara is among five teams in slots No. 3 through 6 with one game separating them. Siena, Rider and Fairfield at all 9-7. Manhattan is even with Niagara at 8-8. The Purple Eagles' final game is at second place Marist on Sunday.
Canisius is one game in back of the cluster of teams. The Griffs' final game is at Siena on Sunday afternoon.
Canisius won the first meeting between the rivals, 64-60, in overtime on Feb. 1 with Maria Welch leading the way with 22 points, her season high. Welsh scored a career high 25 against the Purple Eagles last season.
It will be the final home game for Niagara's career scoring leader, fifth-year senior Victoria Rampado, who has 1,756 points in her 120 games.
Buffalo State (12-13, 8-10 SUNYAC) at Cortland (15-10, 12-6 SUNYAC): The Bengals return to the scene of their 61-53 upset of the Red Dragons on Feb. 10. Buffalo State enters the postseason on a four-game winning streak. A hot shooter lately for the Bengals has been Grace Licata (Williamsville South) who averages for ths eason is only 6.9, but she has scored 36 points on 12 three-pointers the last two games.
Buffalo State last won the SUNYAC championship in 2002. Cortland last won in 2010.
SWIMMING AND DIVING
In just their second year back in competition after a six-year hiatus, teams from Erie Community College showed improvement over last season. The ECC men finished third in the NJCAA Region III/Northeast District Championships in Rochester and the women won five events and finished second behind Monroe CC among Region III teams. Fashion Institute of Technology, which won the women's completion, is not a Region III member and wasn't included in the NJCAA results.
The ECC men had four second-place finishes -- Jonathan Pilat in the 50 freestyle, Brad Zifra in the 200 breaststroke and Casey Rosinski in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving. Also the 200 freestyle relay finished third.
The ECC women broke two school records. The 200-yard freestyle relay of Tabby Smith, Haley Roblee, Allie DeBiase and Abbie Ettinger smashed the 19-year-old school record by almost three seconds, winning in 1:46.96. Roblee also set a record in winning the 3-meter diving with 359.2 points.
DeBiase won the 100 breaststroke (1:13.087) and 200 breaststroke (2:40.66) while Smith won the 200 freestyle (2:06.36.).
ECC will compete in the NJCAA championships March 7-10 in Fort Pierce, Fla.