Well, Kent State dominated the Mid-American Conference this season. They dominated the MAC Tournament. They beat St. Marys in ESPN's BracketBuster game. Kent State earned the right to go dancing Thursday.
If the NCAA Tournament is the "Big Dance" then one could say Kent State must have two left feet. Kent State got absolutely crushed 71-58 by UNLV at the Qwest Center Omaha. The 10-point first quarter the Flashes labored through earned Kent State the dubious honor of tying a modern day NCAA Division I record for futility. It was just as painful, if not more painful, to watch here in person.
Some are attributing the ugliness to a stellar UNLV defense or Kent State playing in a weaker conference. But Kent State simply didn't show up. They missed shots at or near the basket. 3-point shots clanked out. It was downright ugly in those first twenty minutes.
“We couldn’t seem to buy a basket,” senior forward Mike Scott said. “They weren’t doing anything to sophisticated that we couldn’t stop. They shot (39 percent) in the first half. We were a little too wound up for the game.”
UNLV only had 31 points at the half, which means Kent State's defense was there. The offense was just on another planet.
Even if Kent State would have won, Kansas would have been waiting in the wings for a Saturday night date. UNLV can worry about them now.