(Or "A Farewell to Anderson")
Unfortunately, the BGSU Falcons were not able to get a win over Central Michigan in their final regular season game at Anderson Arena. Luckily, the way things shook out, the Falcons still earned the #8 seed in the MAC Tournament and so were able to host a first-round game last night against the Ball State Cardinals. Not only did this game present an opportunity for BG to advance to the rest of the tournament at Gund Arena in Cleveland, but it also gave them a chance to send the seniors--Cory Eyink, Josh Almanson, and John Reimold--out on a winning note in their last game in their home gym.
Of course, this year the MAC Tournament coincided with BGSU's spring break, so the crowd at last night's game was less than stellar, at least in terms of numbers. The student section, generally considered the strength of "The House That Roars," was especially depleted. Knowing how the team feeds off a raucous crowd, Coach Dakich came over to the student section (where Brandi and I were located) to address the die-hards that made it out. "You're all we've got tonight," he told us. "Let's light this fucker up."
That got the crowd started, and the game kicked off the right way. You could tell immediately that the players didn't want to repeat the sour experience from their loss on Saturday. They played with a lot of energy and jumped out to a big lead. Ball State was able to make a game of it in the second half, but that was when the game became really fun to watch. John Reimold absolutely willed this team to victory. He played his ass off. He's been a great player while he's been here, but this was without a doubt his best performance. He finished with thirty-eight points, the Falcons finished with a victory, and they'll play #1 seed Miami at Gund Arena on Thursday night.
I love the MAC Tournament. I really wish I could go on Thursday, but I just can't swing it this year. If BG happens to win that game and plays again on Friday evening, I might be able to make it to Cleveland by gametime. If they should win that game and advance to the MAC championship game, there is no way I'll be anywhere else.