(Photo via Brad Phalin/bgsufalcons.com)
Lucky seeding occurred in 2007 when Bowling Green played Oklahoma State and Vanderbilt in East Lansing, Michigan, but not Michigan State. That team was, granted, decidedly better (a 7-seed), but the same rule applies here. Almost.
By virtue of winning the MAC Women's Basketball Tournament, Bowling Green was added to the field of 64 and given a 12-seed. Their first-round opponent? Georgia Tech, a 5-seed. The venue? Columbus, Ohio. Poor luck would put this in Columbus, Georgia. Fortunate luck has this as a home game against a beatable ACC opponent.
That's not to say Georgia Tech is a team that rolls over; far from it. In fact, they're a fantastic defensive team (they famously held a Division I team to just 11 points this year). But BG's no slouch on defense. They hold teams to under 60 a game, so it'll be one of those "first to 50" battles.
But the matchup isn't the vital part. That first-round game is going to have a fantastic atmosphere in favor of the Falcons, and you don't always reap that as the double-digit-seeded challenger. For one, the BG fans simply travel well. If you saw the MAC Championship in Cleveland, the stands are about 75% orange, 25% green. For being a few hours out of town — and with a scattershot but loyal contingency throughout the region — you're going to have a boatload of Falcons fans in the Value City Arena on Saturday morning. And the Ohio State fans who'll hang around for their first-round game against UCF will want to cheer for BGSU because (1) buckeye blood is thicker than water, and (2) they'll want to play them instead of GT.
The next toughest challenge would be to beat OSU in their home court. In the slim but possible chance they reach the Sweet 16, those games will be played in Dayton, although in all likelihood that first game would be against the 1-seed, Tennessee.
Okay, so at this point I'll drop the dreaming. A Final Four is not in the cards this year; but with such stiff competition at the top, maybe it's not meant to be for a while.
Nonetheless, much like the men's conference, the women have a total of six teams going to postseason tournaments: Bowling Green in the NCAAs, Buffalo to the WBI, and four WNIT teams: Toledo, EMU, CMU, and Kent State. The full schedule:
Wednesday, March 16
WBI First Round, 7 p.m. — Buffalo at Wright State
WNIT First Round — Delaware at Toledo
Thursday, March 17
WNIT First Round — Central Michigan at Illinois State
WNIT First Round — Kent State at Duquesne
WNIT First Round — Michigan at Eastern Michigan*
Saturday, March 19
NCAA First Round, 11 a.m. — (5) Georgia Tech vs. (12) Bowling Green in Columbus, Ohio
* — Let this one soak into your brain. Michigan has to play at Eastern Michigan. AT. EASTERN. MICHIGAN. I thought that was against everything UM athletics stood for; never play in Ypsilanti at all costs. Hats off to whoever decided this was going to be the matchup and venue.