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Buffalo vs. Ball State -- Liveblog

By mrasor Published: March 13, 2009

Men's basketball

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    I was sitting at my spot, minding my own business, when I was blind-sighted. I nearly spit out my food. Ball State has whored out its mascot. The back of the mascot's jersey says "Stoops Automotive" where the last name normally is written. I hope their university got a truckload of cash for that stunt.
    I like Ball State's band, too. They played creative background rhythms. At the end, Buffalo's fans shouted "and the home of the Bulls!" just like the AK-Rowdies. Buffalo's fans vastly outnumber the Ball State contingent.
    Did you see the six-overtime game between Connecticut and Syracuse? Amazing. I saw it at Flannery's in downtown Cleveland after Akron's game. One thing annoyed me. One person rather. Eric Devendorf is absolutely classless. He is the sort of trashy smacktalker who will try to provoke a fight whether he is winning by 30 or losing by 30. It's all about him. There are a few guys like that who play at the Rec Center.
    Even though Buffalo has Ball State's fans outnumbered, the number of Bulls fans is modest. No matter who wins between Akron and Bowling Green, that team will have much more fan support.
    Two Cardinals bumped beaks. Jarrod Jones had the ball and pivoted toward the baseline. Unbeknown to Jones, Rob Giles was sprinting from the baseline to use Jones -- the ballhandler -- as a screen. It looks like Giles cut his lip on that demonstration of poor floor spacing.
    Neither of these teams made it past the first round of the MAC Tournament last year. Buffalo, however, has some history of tournament success. The Bulls advanced to the 2005 finals, which Ohio won.
    Like Chris Singletary, Devendorf's improper conduct is present on and off the court. Devendorf hit a girl in the jaw. He is a thug. Period. Coaches who invite thugs into college basketball should face some consequences, as well. You can blame a rat for being a rat. Or you can blame the person who leaves the door open.
    The six-overtime game was not the most amazing thing I saw last night. How many of you caught LeBron James' swat on Jason Richardson's 360-dunk attempt. WOW! That made me proud to be an American.

    Are you a middle-aged man? Are you a college basketball fanatic? Do you need a vasectomy? If so, you'd be short-changing yourself by doing it some other time of the year. Because of March Madness, 'tis the season for the "snip-snip," the Plain Dealer's John Campanelli reports.
    Humpty Hitchens probably won't play tonight. He would have played more last night, but he tweaked his ankle after just four minutes on the floor. The team brought in an ankle specialist to work with Hitchens. His name is Dick Hartzell, and he is known for inventing Flex Band, which is a system of rubber bands for physical training.
    Giles is playing more actively than I remember him being in Akron. He seems to be involved on every play for the Cardinals' offense. The senior guard has 13 points.
    Have you ever wondered what a mascot does when nature calls? Well, they do what the rest of us do. I laughed when I saw the bright red head of Ball State's Cardinal poking over the bathroom stall. The Cardinal finished its business, then stood in front of the mirror. Other folks were washing their hands like it was no big deal. I couldn't believe no one saw the humor in the situation, which mimicked the "This Is SportsCenter" commercials.
    If you didn't already figure this out, Akron's game will be on Time Warner channel 311.
    D'oh! I biffed the headline on this post. It said "Buffalo vs. Bowling Green" rather than "Buffalo vs. Ball State." Such is the life as an editor-less writer.
    Max Boudreau is playing well. The 6-foot-7 Canadian is tough down low. He has a career-high 15 points.
    Ball State is making a run by ratcheting up the defensive pressure. The Cardinals have forced at least two straight turnovers. Buffalo still leads by nine, but the Bulls are playing as if they have the luxury to hold the ball. With four minutes left, they need to get into some sort of offense. If there is an open 3, you take it.
    Boudreau dunked on a fast break to extend Buffalo's lead to nine with 1:49 left. It is not the nail in the coffin, but it's a resilient staple.
    Two Buffalo fans are being very vocal behind me. If you're watching on TV, you can probably hear them, too. They sound like a mix of Woody the Woodpecker and Hillary Clinton. Yeah, it's that bad.
    Buffalo's fans are chanting, "Just like football." I always love that chant. I looked back at Akron's graduated tight end/longsnapper Brian Flaherty, who was shaking his head in the stands. Reggie Witherspoon's team is the second Buffalo squad to compete for a MAC Championship. Who would have thought that Buffalo would rise to the elite so surreptitiously?
    Final score -- Ball State 52, Buffalo 64
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