Just how huge is Akron's home-court advantage?
With a 66-59 win over Buffalo today, the Zips showed they can be victorious even when none of them plays well, the opposition manhandles them on the boards, they shoot foul shots like the God-forsaken offspring of Chris Dudley and Shaquille O'Neal, and they deal with referees who seemed oblivious to the rules of basketball.
Yeah. The game was really that awful. And boring.
But the Zips won the ugly duckling contest, as all good teams do throughout a 40-game season.
Buffalo outrebounded Akron 40-25. The more devastating stat is how the Bulls pulled down 18 offensive rebounds, compared to the Zips' eight.
If you asked me who shined for Akron, I'd have to say Keith Dambrot. No player impressed me at all, but the coaching staff still found a way to ole the hungry Bulls.
Akron also reverted to its poor foul shooting, going 20 for 33 at the line. Buffalo took advantage by making 18 of 20.
As bad as Akron played, the officiating was much worse. To call some of those whistles "ticky-tack" would be an understatement. And with a few minutes to go in the second half, they awarded Buffalo foul shots after a Dru Joyce offensive foul. Someone please explain how that works.
As I expected Yassin Idbihi (18 points) and Eric Moore (15) enjoyed success offensively. Moore has a lightning-fast release on his jumper. He made three 3-pointers. Idbihi, conversely, has one of the ugliest jump shots this side of Jeremiah Wood. He still got a lot of his post shots to fall.
For Akron, Cedrick Middleton (12 points), Nick Dials (12), Romeo Travis (11) and Nate Linhart (11) finished in double figures. For the most part, the offense looked stale.
Akron plays next at Northern Illinois Wednesday night. I'll have more on the game either tonight or tomorrow.