The University at Buffalo’s climb two places to 19th in the Week 18 Associated Press Men’s Basketball Poll is nice, but the Bulls have unfinished business before they can look ahead to postseason play.
UB can expect to walk into a hornet’s nest at the Ohio University’s Convocation Center in Athens, Ohio tonight in the Bulls’ final regular-season road game.
Coach Nate Oats’ Bulls hung a 114-67 licking on the Bobcats on Feb. 19 at Alumni Arena.
“Rock Bottom?” read the headline the next day in the Athens Messenger.
Little doubt that sweet revenge for coach Nate Phillips’ team would be to knock UB down a peg or two with an upset.
Also, it would deprive the Bulls the opportunity to clinch the Mid-American Conference East Division championship. A loss might leave it up to UB’s home game on Friday night against second-place Bowling Green, which beat the Bulls, 92-88, in their first meeting.
UB can’t afford to look ahead to its own revenge game against BG.
Failure to close out the conference season with a division title and the No. 1 seed in next week’s conference tournament would undo a lot of the recognition gained with the top 25 ranking in the two major college polls.
UB jumped from 21st to 19th in the AP poll of media members, the 17th week in a row the Bulls have made the top 25. It’s their highest ranking since they were 18th in the Week 13 poll.
In the USA Today Coaches Poll, UB moved up three places from 23rd to 20th.
The Bulls passed Maryland and Wisconsin in the AP ranking and moved in front of the same two teams and Iowa in the USA Today poll.
Gonzaga and Virginia held on the top two places in both polls. North Carolina moved into third and Duke dropped to fourth in both. Tennessee went ahead of Kentucky into sixth place on the strength of the Vols’ rout of UK on Saturday in Knoxville.
In Monday’s NCAA NET ratings, UB is 15th. The highest rated MAC team after the Bulls was Toledo at No. 60. Bowling Green is 106 and Ohio is 181.
Syracuse stood at No. 39, St. Bonaventure climbed to 132, Canisius was at 274 and Niagara at 302.
In the romp over Ohio last month, UB made 19 of 33 3-point tries for 57.9 percent. Overall the Bulls made 56.9 percent.
Ohio couldn’t keep up with that withering offensive display. UB’s five starters CJ Massingburg, Montell McRae, Jeremy Harris, Dontay Carruthers and Davonta Jordan shot a combined 26 of 43 in the victory.
Massinburg was named MAC East Player of the Week for the second straight week and the fourth time this season after he averaged a double-double in last week’s wins over Akron at home and at Miami (Ohio).
Ohio (13-15, 5-11) is led by Jason Carter, who has team highs of 16.3 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per contest. Teyvion Kirk is scoring at 14.4 points per game.
Bona women at Davidson
St. Bonaventure will be looking for its first Atlantic 10 Conference tournament win in five years when it faces Davidson in a first round game at 7 p.m. today in Davidson, N.C.
St. Bonaventure (8-21, 5-11 A-10), the No. 12 seed, lost at Davidson (16-13, 10-6 A-10), 67-55, on Feb. 9 in the only regular season meeting between teams.
Bona’s lone senior, graduate student Mckenna Maycock (Randolph) will be looking to extend her college career. It will be the 100th game of Maycock’s career with the Bonnies. She has 760 career points.
Bonnies get verbal commit
St. Bonaventure’s men’s basketball team has received a verbal commitment from junior college guard Matt Johnson, according to multiple outlets.
Johnson, 6-4, 170, is playing his second season at Howard College in Texas. Johnson averaged 14 points for a team that finished its season at 18-8. Johnson played for Newtown High School in Owings Mills, Md.
Villa siblings both make All-America
Shaquana Owens and DeJaun Owens, sister and brother, of Villa Maria College were named first team All-America in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association on Monday. Both are Tapestry Charter graduates from Buffalo.
Shaquana also was named USCAA Division II Player of the Year.
Her teammates, Armoni Jordan (South Park) and Bianca Brown (Niagara Falls) were second team All-America selections while Al Monaco of the Vikings was named Division II women's coach of the year.
Besides DeJaun Owens, Lonnie Taylor (Medina) of the Vikings' men's team was honorable mention All-America.
The Villa women won their opening-round playoff game over Penn State Fayette, 92-51, on Monday in Uniontown, Pa. The Vikings will face Johnson & Wales (N.C.) at 3 p.m. on Tuesday.
Also Monday, coach Don Silveri's men's team (24-4) was eliminated by Vermont Tech, 70-66, in their first round game. Gerald Bibbs had 20 points and Owens 16 for the Vikings in the loss.