March 4, 2008 11:19 am ET by Kyle Whelliston
Miami (Oh.) at Kent State (Mid-American)
Memorial Athletics Center - Kent, OH
7:00 PM EST
Kent State (23-6, 11-3) was the biggest winner of the whole BracketBuster VI thing, earning a late-night victory out at nationally-ranked Saint Mary's and inspiring talk of the first two-bid Mid-American Conference since 1999. But the line forms to the right, dear, now that the MAC is back in town. After taking seven days off, Bowling Green dropped a cement bag on Kent with an 89-83 decision out at Anderson Arena, leaving the Golden Flashes 0-2 in the Toledo area. Next comes defending champs Miami before the season finale at loathed rival Akron. Nobody said it would be a pleasant night on the town, capped off by a 9 p.m. Bobby Darin show at the Flamingo.
So it'll be Senior Night tonight at the M.A.C., a chance for Kent fans to pay tribute to longtime fixture Mike Scott (team-leading 13.3 ppg) and 6-8 do-everything Haminn Quaintance (10.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.7 spg, 2.1 apg), one of the most well-rounded players the league's seen recently, a surefire POY candidate. (Then those fans will try to sneak into Akron's building next Sunday to pay some more tribute.) They'll see if the Flashes can replicate an earlier 12-point win at Miami, which was really the breakout performance by incoming junior transfer guard Al Fisher, who was the star of the Saint Mary's contest. He shot 7-for-11 for 21 points in that one.
As for Miami, it's been a hard team to get a read on. They've fought off injury (to former MMBOW Michael Bramos), and general frustration all year. In nonconference play, there were close losses to Dayton, Louisville and Wright State, but then came that huge win at Illinois. MAC play has been up and down too: after losses in four of the first five league games, the Redhawks went on a five game tear to reach back above .500. More recently, three losses in five games... but they're coming off a serious statement versus Ohio, a 73-49 superblast in which Ohio shot just 25 points and Bramos struck for 31. If Miami is regaining momentum, it could spell a severe narrowing of Kent's at-large hopes.
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