Photos: Bulls beat Bowling Green to win MAC title
If you can't tell, I love shooting sports, especially basketball. The folks at the Univerity at Buffalo Athletic Department are kind enough to allow me access to courtside for UB Bulls games and I was able to go Friday night for the final home game of the season.
In a market where there is no NBA team and none of the Division 1 teams have really gone big time yet, UB is well positioned to become that local dominant program.
Look at what the Aztecs have done in San Diego, going from a nearly empty house every game to consistent sell-outs and one of the loudest crowds in college basketball.
Friday's game was hopefully a preview of what's to come for the Bulls. More than 6,000 rowdy fans in the stands.
"My teammates put on a show and that generates a buzz locally," said Will Regan, a Buffalo native, (top photo) after the game. "It's exciting for me because when I transferred back from Virginia I had a goal to sort of try and take this program to the next level. We're not there yet, but it's an exciting time."
The crowd was definitely a factor, said head coach Bobby Hurley following the hard-fought, always tight game that the Bulls won 77-75.
"This is what real big time college environment should look like in terms of a crowd," Hurley said.
Hurley would know. A standout at Duke University from 1989 to 1983, when Duke won two National Championships, Hurley played on the biggest stage and is now in charge of recharging the UB basketball program. In his second year, the team seems on the right track. Friday's win gave the Bulls the Mid-American Conference title.