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Published: Sunday, 3/8/2009

Falcons can win MAC title


BOWLING GREEN - Rarely has so much been in play on the final day of a season that has spanned almost four months.

It has all come down to a decisive 40 minutes today for the Bowling Green State University men's basketball team.

BG is locked in a four-way tie for first place in the Mid-American Conference's East division, with the Falcons, Buffalo, Akron and Miami all owning 10-5 league records.

The scenarios are plentiful, but the simplest one reduces down to a BG win Sunday giving the Falcons at least a piece of the East crown and a share of their first MAC overall title since 2000.

The overall crown is decided by the team with the best record regardless of division. The West leaders are Ball State and Western Michigan, who are tied for the division lead at 7-8.

Bowling Green has won eight MAC titles - 1958-59, 1961-62, 1962-63, 1967-68, 1980-81, 1982-83, 1996-97 and 1999-2000.

If the Falcons win and Buffalo wins at home over Miami, then BG locks up the top seed for this week's MAC tournament. That would also carry the added benefit of a guarantee for additional postseason play, since a National

Invitation Tournament bid goes to the conference champ and BG owns the tiebreaker over the Bulls.

Other scenarios involving a BG win but a Buffalo loss, or a BG loss, could drop the Falcons to as low as a No. 5 seed in the conference tournament. With a loss, the best the Falcons could do is finish in a tie for second in the East and go into the MAC tournament as a No. 3 seed.

The game also will fall on senior day for the Falcons, and their senior trio of Darryl Clements, Nate Miller and Brian Moten will be recognized.

The three are the top scorers for Bowling Green and have helped the Falcons improve from a 9-21 mark three years ago to 13-17 last season and a 17-12 mark this season entering today's regular season finale.

The Falcons have made their way to this position of playing for a conference title on the final day of the season by being the MAC's best road team. Bowling Green won six of its last seven road games in the conference.

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