MAC Tournament Quarterfinals Preview: Cleveland Bound

The Cleveland Cavaliers, I think, are the 6 seed in the MAC tournament. (Image via Google Maps Street View.)

Time is finite, and the possibilities are endless:

12 noon — (2) Western Michigan vs. (7) Bowling Green

Yeah, I've got WMU as my team to win the tournament. I also have a diploma from BGSU. This is the dilemma I face: being right vs. being happy. The Broncos oughta be happy getting back Flenard Whitfield from that one-game suspension, especially knowing that Mike Douglas is capable of almost hitting the 30-point mark if need be. Bowling Green's forwards are going to be heavily tested by the young but fierce frontcourt of Matt Stainbrook, Juwan Howard Jr. and Nate Hutcheson. It may be ugly quickly.

2:30 p.m. — (3) Miami vs. (6) Akron

Flip the seeds around, and I still believe Miami pulls through. The "inconsistent" branding still applies to the Zips — I thought they'd get tripped up by Eastern Michigan — and Miami has the best one-through-five starters in the conference. The first-round bye will help repair those mechanical legs being used by Julian Mavunga and Nick Winbush and invented by Mad Scientist Coles.

7:00 p.m. — (1) Kent State vs. (8) Buffalo

Here's another game where seeds are but a formality. Kent State can win, but not just because "they're the one-seed." Buffalo did beat them, and rather handily earlier this year. It's a huge test for Javon McCrea to win the matchup against MACPOY Justin Greene, and this probably isn't the year it happens. But that's what'll have to happen. For now, go ahead and slide the Golden Flashes up one more round into the semis.

9:30 p.m. — (4) Ball State vs. (5) OHIO

By virtue of not entirely sucking, and being located in the MAC West, a 9-1 record in the division helped vault them to a 10-6 overall conference record and a first-round bye. Meanwhile, OHIO won nine games, five of them against the MAC East, and they look just as much a wrecking ball as they were last year, only this time we suspect them. Ball State's offense can sputter if the right defense is put in front of them. Keenly watch D.J. Cooper and DeVaughn Washington get to work quickly on the disposal of a MAC West paper tiger.

Both the men's and women's semifinals will be Friday.

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