Representin' Athens

As an Ohio University alum (’99), I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about the Bobcats’ first NCAA tourney appearance since 1994. Back then, OU was led by the Shaq of the MAC, Gary Trent, but the 2004-05 version boasts two of the best freshmen in the country, guard Jeremy Fears (11.1 ppg, 3.8 apg) and forward Leon Williams (12.0 ppg, 8.6 rpg).

Drawing the third-seeded Florida Gators in the Syracuse Regional, a team noted for its early round exits, the Bobcats found themselves down by 20 in the second half before going on a 25-5 run and knotting the score at 60-60 with two minutes left. Ultimately, though, the Gators proved to be too much for OU, pulling out the 67-62 win. It was a familiar story for the Bobcats, having fought back from 19 down to beat Buffalo in the MAC championship at the Gund last Saturday. Unfortunately, their latest comeback bid fell just short.

The MAC has been gaining respect over the years from the rest of the college football world, and it may soon be time to start paying attention to the conference during hoops season. Sure, teams like Miami and Eastern Michigan have made some tournament noise in the past, but this OU squad is young, with every starter except senior forward Terren Harbut returning next year, and they aren’t the only talented team in the MAC.

Keep your eye on Athens, Ohio, college basketball fans. The OU bars have always been top-notch, but now it looks like the action at The Convo may be just as appealing.

You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for content updates.