MAC Women's Basketball Tournament -- Seeding Update

J. Meric

The top seed has been locked up, but plenty of drama remains as the league prepares for its season finales on Wednesday night.

After the completion of Sunday's games, here is where the seeding for the MAC Women's Basketball Tournament currently stands:

1. Toledo (14-1)

2. Ball State (12-3)

3. Central Michigan (11-4) [beat Akron head-to-head]

4. Akron (11-4)

5. Bowling Green (10-5)

6. Miami (9-6)

7. Buffalo (8-7)

8. Eastern Michigan (6-9)

9. Western Michigan (5-10)

10. Northern Illinois (2-13)

11/12. Kent State (1-14)

11/12. Ohio (1-14)

Four seeds have been clinched, no matter what happens on Wednesday night. Toledo now has a 2-game lead with 1 to play over Ball State. They have clinched the outright league title and the #1 overall seed. For the 8th and 9th seeds, Eastern Michigan leads Western Michigan by just one game. However, EMU swept the Broncos this season head-to-head, so they would win a potential tiebreaker with WMU. This means that the Eagles will be the 8th seed and will host Western Michigan (the 9th seed) on the opening night of the conference tournament. Finally, Northern Illinois has clinched the 10th seed. Even though they could still conceivably tie Kent State and/or Ohio at 2-14, the Huskies beat both teams this season and would thus win any tiebreaker. NIU will play at either Buffalo or Miami in the opening round.

For the remaining 8 spots, let's start at the bottom, where Kent State and Ohio are tied at 1-14 in MAC play.

Kent State clinches the 11th seed if they beat Bowling Green, no matter what Ohio does against Miami. If Kent State loses, Ohio would win the 11th seed if they beat Miami.

If both teams lose (as one would expect), then there will be a coin flip to determine the 11th and 12th seeds. Why? In this scenario, KSU and Ohio would be 1-1 versus each other and would have no other MAC wins, so the tie could not be broken any other way.

The 7th seed will almost certainly be owned by Buffalo. Buffalo could swipe the 6th seed away from Miami IF Buffalo beats Akron; however, that would also require Miami to lose in Athens against the Bobcats. Most likely, Buffalo will host NIU in the opening round of the tournament.

In the same vein, Miami is almost certainly going to be the 6th seed. Miami could become the 5th seed with a win, but only if Bowling Green loses at Kent State. As with Buffalo, this is very unlikely, and Miami will probably play either Kent State or Ohio for a chance to go to Cleveland.

The real drama centers around who will take the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th seeds in the tournament.

Here's how those seeds look, depending on Wednesday night's games:

#2

Ball State will be the 2nd seed UNLESS they lose at Toledo, Akron wins at Buffalo and Central Michigan loses at Eastern Michigan on Wednesday night. If those three things occur, Akron will be the #2 seed.

#3

Ball State will be the 3rd seed IF they are not the 2nd seed.

Akron will be the 3rd seed IF they win at Buffalo AND EITHER Ball State wins at Toledo OR Central Michigan wins at Eastern Michigan (not both).

Central Michigan will be the 3rd seed IF they win at Eastern Michigan AND Ball State wins at Toledo. They'll also be the 3rd seed IF they win AND both Ball State and Akron lose. Finally, they'll be the 3rd seed IF they lose AND both Akron and Bowling Green lose.

Bowling Green will be the 3rd seed IF they win at Kent State AND both Akron and Central Michigan lose.

#4

Akron is the 4th seed IF they win at Buffalo AND both Ball State and Central Michigan win. They're also the 4th seed IF they lose at Buffalo AND Bowling Green loses.

Bowling Green is the 4th seed IF they win at Kent State AND either Akron or Central Michigan lose (not both).

Central Michigan is the 4th seed in any other scenario.

#5

Bowling Green is the 5th seed IF they win at Kent State AND both Akron and Central Michigan win. They're also the 5th seed IF they lose AND Miami loses.

Miami is the 5th seed IF they win at Ohio AND Bowling Green loses.

Central Michigan is the 5th seed IF they lose at Eastern Michigan AND both Akron and Bowling Green win.

Akron is the 5th seed IF they lose at Buffalo AND Bowling Green wins. The Central Michigan result would be irrelevant to this scenario.

Okay -- why is all this important? Well, teams seeded 5th through 12th must win five games to earn the MAC Tournament championship. Teams seeded 3rd and 4th must win three games, and the team seeded second only needs to win twice. These games are incredibly important -- especially for Akron, Bowling Green and Central Michigan. The results (and ultimate tournament seeding) could be a significant determinant of who represents the MAC in the NCAA Tournament.

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