If you'll remember our team chimed in before the last big MAC Championship game, back in December when Northern Illinois and Bowling Green meet up on the gridiron at Ford Field. If you remember (because we don't) we were horribly, terribly, painfully wrong. I'm talking Chicago Tribune "Dewey Beats Truman" bad.
But we're nothing if not ambitious, so we're dusting off our boots and trying it again for the MAC Men's Basketball Tournament Championship game.
Toledo Rockets may have gotten hot
late against the Eagles from Ypsilanti,
but can they do it again tonight
against Western Michigan starring Connor Tava?
The way this tournament has gone
it's been mostly chalk the whole way through.
But the only way Toledo loses
is if Justin Drummond blows a 1.2.
For EMU fans like me
there's no poetic justice.
I mean, look, it's Western and Toledo,
we don't care who wins this.
Toledo wins: 78-75
Toledo will probably get out to a ten point first half lead, then the Broncos will come back a little and be down six at halftime. Steve Hawkins will have to make yet another defensive halftime adjustment and it'll work.
Broncos win 67-61 and get a 13 seed.
It figures that after 118 conference games, we'd get a re-match of the first one, a WMU upset over then 1-loss Toledo in a game that really was never close. The Broncos have dominated the Rockets in about 37 minutes of game time this year. However, the 3 (plus the 5 minutes in overtime) that they did go absent-minded on, Toledo completely obliterated Western Michigan, showing us all why they were the pre-season MAC favorites.
Western Michigan showed yesterday that, well.....I have no idea. I turned to hockey when Shayne Whittington was the only player doing anything and then the team somehow came back even without any help from David Brown. I guess that's resiliency. It also takes a lot out of you: physically, mentally, and emotionally. Toledo finally gets over the hump.
Toledo 84, Western Michigan 78 OT
Bryan M. Vance
This is the fourth straight day I've been sitting on press row watching MAC Basketball. In that time I've seen some great teams, these two are by far the best, which is why they made it here (that and the triple bye...). I think Toledo's offensive ability (read: sprinting down the court full speed) is superior to WMU's more traditional half-court attack, but the Broncos are big. I'm talking Budweiser Clydesdale big. It's that reason I think the Broncos will win a close game, and I will probably pass out on press row and be buried under 2,000 pounds of brown and gold confetti.
WMU 79, Toledo 72
Isn't it obvious?
WMU 74 Toledo 68.
Toledo has had many interesting times during the last two months but managed to find a way to get the tournament championship game. It's hard for me to believe that they'd get here and then lay a big egg with so much on the line. That, and they'd just simply more talented than Western Michigan as a whole. Whittington and Brown are fine on their own, but Toledo is deeper -- and Brown is too inconsistent. Sometimes he's great, others he's almost invisible. I hate myself, but I'll go...
Toledo 79, Western Michigan 71
Toledo 84 Western Michigan 80 Rian Pearson grabs tournament MVP
Toledo 78, WMU 74
GENE CROSS 4 EVER
Western Michigan is clearly the team of destiny here. They're 13-2 since Bowling Green crapped on their lawn back in January, and only Toledo has beaten them in the last six weeks - and just barely at that. Meanwhile, Toledo hasn't beaten anyone besides Eastern Michigan in almost two weeks and hasn't played anyone else that's very good in the last month.
Enjoy that false sense of security, Toledo, cause you ain't going dancing.
My complete prediction/analysis: Boooo Western, go Toledo.
Toledo 72 WMU 70
Everyone seems to be on Toledo's junk this season. I'll take Western here and in the first round of the big dance.
Western 71, Toledo 65
Western Michigan 55 Toledo Rockets 54.