UB vs. Bowling Green
Tip-off: 6 p.m. Friday, Alumni Arena.
Tickets: The game is a sellout.
Records: UB 27-3, 15-2. BG 20-10, 12-5. UB has clinched first in the Mid-American Conference. Bowling Green can finish no worse than third. The Falcons could go up to No. 2 with a win over UB and an upset by Eastern Michigan at Toledo Saturday.
First meeting: Bowling Green beat UB, 92-88, on Feb. 1.
No. 11 retired: UB great Rasaun Young will have his No. 11 retired in a ceremony at halftime. Young scored 1,908 points for the Bulls from 1993 to 1998 when the Bulls were in the Mid-Continent Conference. The New Rochelle native was a three-time, first-team all-conference pick. Young graduated with a sociology degree and currently is basketball coach at New Rochelle High School.
Senior night: It’s the Bulls’ home finale, and UB’s five seniors (CJ Massinburg, Nick Perkins, Jeremy Harris, Dontay Caruthers and Montell McRae) will be honored in a ceremony immediately after the game. UB aims for its 26th straight home win.
CJ update: No. 4 UB all-time scorer Jim Horne was in the house when Massinburg passed him on the all-time scoring list. Massinburg could pass Young tonight. He’s 13 points behind Young, at 1,895 points. Massinburg also is No. 4 on UB’s career rebounds list at 725.
BG update: The Falcons are led by the backcourt duo of sophomore Justin Turner and junior Dylan Frye, who average 18.7 and 12.6 points, respectively. They combined for 47 in the win over UB. Demajeo Wiggins, a 6-10 senior, averages 12.5.
The Falcons make the fewest turnovers in the MAC per possession, and they box out on the defensive glass very well. They stand sixth in the MAC in defensive efficiency. UB is first.
“Their guards killed us last time,” said UB coach Nate Oats. “They’re a really good rebounding team and a very good offensive team because they don’t turn it over.”
Straight outta Detroit: Turner, Bowling Green’s star, was a star at Detroit’s Renaissance High and is well known to Oats, formerly the Detroit area’s top high school coach.
“I recruited him here, and we kinda didn’t need a guard at the time,” Oats said, referring to the spring of 2016. “I had known him his junior and senior year. In hindsight, I should have just taken him even if we didn’t need a guard. He’s one of the best players in the league. He’s just so under control. Great size for a guard, under control, can get his shot, pull up threes, gets to the rim and he’s never out of control. I loved his game. I loved his game in high school.”
UB rankings: The Bulls stand No. 16 in the NCAA net rankings, the key metric for the NCAA Tournament selection committee. The latest NCAA bracket projections from ESPN, CBS and USA Today all put UB as a No. 6 seed. UB is sixth in the nation in scoring (85.1 ppg).
Quotable: “It is a big game,” Oats said. “If you just looked at it as an average fan, maybe it’s a throwaway game because we have the No. 1 seed locked up. But we’re trying to do bigger things. We need to impress the committee members. We need to be playing really good basketball come next week. We didn’t play that great Tuesday. And with the seniors we’ll pack close to 7,000 people. It’s going to be unbelievable.”