It's time for the 2014 MAC Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments to get underway! We've got a slate of eight games tonight, with four from each bracket. The women's tournament tips off at 5:00 p.m., and the other three games on that side begin two hours later. On the men's side, the first two games begin at 7:00 p.m., with the others starting at 7:30 and 8:00 p.m., respectively.
2014 MAC Tournament
The men's slate opens with Will Felder and the Miami RedHawks hosting the Kent State Golden Flashes and Kris Brewer. Those two split their season series, and Kent State won the previous meeting in Oxford. Can they do it again? Also starting at 7:00 p.m., Nick Kellogg leads the Ohio Bobcats into battle in Athens against the Ball State Cardinals. Ohio beat the Cards by 20 in their only meeting this year and has won two in a row, but they're also just 4-5 at home against MAC teams this season.
The 7:30 p.m. game features a "directional Michigan" battle as Glenn Bryant and the Eastern Michigan Eagles host the Central Michigan Chippewas. The Eagles swept CMU by 17 and 22 points this year and gave up just 42 in the most recent meeting. Finally, at 8:00 p.m., the #7 Northern Illinois Huskies host Richaun Holmes and the #10 Bowling Green Falcons. Their only meeting this year resulted in a 45-36 final in Bowling Green, and this game features two of the best defenses and the two worst offenses in the MAC.
The opening bout in the women's tournament is #8 Eastern Michigan against #9 Northern Illinois. Those two teams split their season series, but EMU is coming off an epic overtime victory over Central Michigan. At 7:00 p.m., #5 Ball State hosts #12 Kent State. Those teams also split their season series. In the first meeting, the Cardinals held the Flashes to just 31 points, but KSU won the rematch and has won four of their last 10 games overall.
The other two 7:00 p.m. starts are games that feature host teams that swept two games from the visitors in the regular season. Toledo hosts Ohio but won their two games against the Bobcats by a combined six points. Miami visits Kalamazoo to play Western Michigan, and the RedHawks took WMU to overtime in their last visit.
Here's the complete schedule with times and how to watch:
|2014 MAC Tournament||1st Round|
|#9 Kent State||#8 Miami||7:00 p.m.||ESPN3/MACDN|
|#12 Ball State||#5 Ohio||7:00 p.m.||ESPN3/MACDN|
|#11 Central Michigan||#6 Eastern Michigan||7:30 p.m.||ESPN3/MACDN|
|#10 Bowling Green||#7 Northern Illinois||8:00 p.m.||ESPN3/MACDN|
|#9 Northern Illinois||#8 Eastern Michigan||5:00 p.m.||MACDN|
|#12 Kent State||#5 Ball State||7:00 p.m.||MACDN|
|#11 Ohio||#6 Toledo||7:00 p.m.||MACDN|
|#10 Miami||#7 Western Michigan||7:00 p.m.||MACDN|
We'll be discussing and analyzing these games all evening long. Join us and let us know what you think about this opening night of MAC Tournament #MACtion!