Field of 64 still not guaranteed for Cards

Only sure way to get to NCAA tournament is with MAC championship.

When it comes to conversation regarding Ball State's chances at making the 64-team field of the NCAA tournament, there are various ideas coming from the men's basketball team. After Saturday's loss to Ohio University, however, there is one idea that remains fairly consistent among the players - win out.

"I think we are fine," Chris Williams said. "We have six more games left. We are going to take it one game at a time, but we are probably going to need all six of these games."

Williams said the team may need more than just the win in each of those six cases.

"We need to punish these next six teams," Williams said. "We have to beat them all, and by a good margin. We can't just win, but win big."

Senior center Lonnie Jones spoke along the same lines as his teammate.

"We have to win out," Jones said. "But we need to focus on one win at a time."

Jones said he thinks the team may need even more than winning the remaining games.

"I think we need to go out and win the tournament regardless," Jones said in regards to the Mid-American Conference tournament.

Head coach Tim Buckley wasn't quite as forthcoming when it came to discussing the tournament chances for his 15-8 team. He said he had no idea of the team's chances.

"Obviously it's something we'd like to do," Buckley said. "We don't think we are out of it yet because you don't know. We have quality wins and we lead the (MAC) West."

Buckley said some of his uncertainty comes from the unpredictability of the selection committee.

"They look at some degree at a team's (Ratings Percentage Index), a team's last 10 games," Buckley said. "Although that stuff can be deceiving too. There have been teams that have won 24 or 25 games and haven't gotten in before. So, I think there are a lot of different factors that go in on a yearly basis."

When it came down to it, however, and Buckley was asked if his team would need to win out to make it into the tournament, Buckley smiled and said, "I think we have to try to beat Buffalo on Wednesday."


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