Hustle Belt, for Mid-American Conference fans
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With a 23-9 record, and a share of the MAC Regular Season Title, the Western Michigan Broncos already had a great season before last night's MAC Championship. But in reality, they were the only choice for the MAC Title.
The Western Michigan Broncos are the 2013-2014 MAC Tournament Champions!
The Broncos are the MAC champions. What does Twitter have to say?
WHAT A HALF!
The top two seeds put on a show in the first half with WMU's David Brown and Toledo's Rian Pearson serving as the main stars. They each finished with 16 points, scoring buckets in just about every way imaginable.
The game started out all Toledo, before Brown got involved and shifted the momentum towards the Broncos. By the midway point in the half WMU held a seven point lead. Then the pace exploded. The team shot up and down the floor trading buckets and duking it out in the paint. At halftime Toledo's J.D. Weatherspoon threw down a vicious buzzer-beating dunk to cut WMU's lead to just two, 42-40.
We try to capture it, and fail, sort of.
Shayne Whittington wins the tip and we are underway! pic.twitter.com/wNocm7w9wd— Hustle Belt (@HustleBelt) March 15, 2014
Both teams have arrived at The Q in preparation for tonight's MAC Tournament Championship.
Join the staff of Hustle Belt for some hardwood #MACtion.
We're still more than an hour away from the start of the 2014 MAC Championship game but Western Michigan has officially arrived in the house.
Join Line Drills as we muse about potential changes to the MAC tournament while predicting the results of tonight's final.
The MAC hasn't sent a West division team to the NCAA Tournament in 10 seasons. Tonight two West teams fight for the conference lone NCAA Tournament bid and a MAC Championship in what should be a high-scoring affair.
Looking for a breakdown of when and where to catch the 2014 MAC Men's Basketball Tournament? We've got you covered.
Toledo survived a 40-minute grueling battle with EMU's zone defense Friday night, advancing on to the MAC Championship game.
12 teams entered, just two remain. After four days of MAC Madness the stage for the 2014 MAC Tournament Championship game is set. Though it may not be the game the conference wanted (attendance) it's the game the conference needed as it's the MAC's top two teams: WMU and Toledo.
No. 1 Western Michigan came back from 17 down at halftime to beat No. 4 Akron in overtime Friday night. Then No. 2 Toledo survived one of its worst offensive showings of the year to bust No. 6 EMU's hopes of crashing the MAC Championship.
Tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2 the two squads will get to show just who the best team in the MAC is. We'll once again be in attendance, live from press row bringing you comprehensive coverage of the night's festivities.
The Broncos exercised their demons against Akron in the MAC Tournament and booked their first trip to the championship game since 2004.
The first half started off exactly how EMU wanted it to. The Eagles lead through most of the first 12 minutes thanks to stifling defense that caught UT off guard. Ten minutes in Toledo was shooting below 30 percent from the field.
Then, as predicted in the preview of tonight's game, Toledo built up a nice little run. A few minutes later the Rockets had the lead and had gotten their shooting percentage up by nearly 20 percent. UT was able to get inside on EMU, mainly thanks to Rian Pearson who showed no fear in slashing through the paint. The Rockets lead increased to 21-28 with under four minutes to go.
EMU battled back, even sinking a 3-pointer at the buzzer, to cut UT's lead to 32-28, and the game is clearly paying into the Eagles style right now.
What a difference a half makes. WMU battled back from a 17-point halftime deficit to win 64-60 in OT Friday night in the semifinals and advances to the MAC Championship game for the first time since 2004.
After trailing by 17 at halftime the WMU Broncos came out renewed in the second half, exploding offensively and catching Akron resting on its morals. The Broncos outscored WMU 35-18 in the second half.
Led by Shayne Whittington and Connar Tava the Broncos went on a 16-0 run starting at the 10:17 mark. Meanwhile the Zips were caught in a trap, unable to move the ball and coughing the rock up nine times in the first 17 minutes of the half, and going 8:18 in between points.
After Tucker Haymond nailed a 3 to put WMU up 48-47, Akron awoke. Demetrius Treadwell and Quincy Diggs slashed through the paint, drawing contact and each going to the line once, with Diggs going 2-for-2 and Tree going 1-for-2. A Tree jumper tied the game at 52-52 with 39 seconds left.
A Quincy Diggs mid-court shot at the buzzer went off the mark to send the game to OT. WMU controlled the extra stanza, thanks to David Brown's emergence from his slumber. The WMU guard scored nine of his 16 points in OT lifting WMU to the win.
Akron started the game focused and in control. The Zips had excellent ball movement and had drained four 3s by the under 12 media timeout. Defensively, the Zips were clogging lanes and forcing the Broncos outside, where they're not nearly as comfortable. The result was a seven point Akron lead midway through the half.
It only got worse from there for the Broncos who managed just six points in the final 11:13 of the half.
Akron meanwhile was balling out. The Zips were hitting shots from all over. Demetrius treadwell was penetrating well, and Deji Ibitayo led an aerial assault that saw the Zips drain almost as many 3s as Broncos' field goals. Shayne Whittington, Connar Tava and David Brown were the only Broncos to score in the first half.
Akron was clearly out hustling the Broncos in the first half, and it paid off huge. The Zips out-rebounded WMU 21-13. In the end Akron took a 17-point lead (34-17) into the half.
EMU and Toledo split their regular season series, but in the MAC Tournament, everybody starts out with a clean slate. Who will win this clash of styles: EMU's stingy zone d, or Toledo's break-neck full-court offense?
Last time these two teams played it all came down to David Brown. Will the MAC scoring champion be able to do it again against a Zips' defense that has been locking down opponents?
Sorry it's late, but here's our MAC Tournament Semifinals open chat.
We're one step closer to crowning a MAC Tournament champion.
Thursday night in the MAC Quarterfinals, we were treated to two of the more intense games in recent MAC Tournament history as No. 4 Akron held on to beat rival, and 5-seeded Ohio in the final seconds. Then No. 5 EMU battled back from a double-digit deficit to down the No. 3 Buffalo Bulls while holding UB's star player, and MAC Player of the Year, Javon McCrea to just seven points.
With the win Akron has moved on to its ninth consecutive MAC Tournament semifinals where it will face the top-seeded WMU Broncos Friday night for a chance to compete in the Zips eighth consecutive MAC Championship game.
In the other half of the bracket it's No. 6 EMU vs. No. 2 Toledo. A clash of the MAC's top defense and offense. One team is looking to continue its historic season and cap it off with a MAC Championship and an NCAA berth, as originally expected of them. The other is looking to pull off an impressive string of upsets, knocking off the conference's top offenses in back-to-back games,
It all starts with Akron vs. WMU at 6:30 p.m., and then EMU vs Toledo at roughly 9 p.m. All the action is coming at you live from The Q, and we'll be in attendance once again!
The scrappy Eastern Michigan Eagles somehow battled back from a 10-point second-half deficit to beat No. 3 Buffalo Thursday night in an unlikely win.
In a tournament that had been straight chalk through the first seven games, the first upset proved to be one hell of one. The No. 6 Eastern Michigan Eagles knocked off No. 3 Buffalo in the Quarterfinals of the 2014 MAC Tournament in Cleveland Thursday night, 69-64.
The Eagles held an early lead thanks to their smothering defense before eventually giving way to Buffalo. The Bulls led for the majority of the second half, but EMU's defense proved too much to overcome and the Eagles held on to pull off the upset. With the win EMU moves on to the semifinals and will face No. 2 Toledo Friday night at The Q.
Yes, I just went there. But seriously, can anyone in the MAC even come close to this guy when it comes to high-flying, posterizing dunks?
In another instant classic between these two rivals, Akron held on to knock out the Bobcats in the final minutes of Thursday night's quarterfinals match up.
What a fantastic finish. Akron and Ohio beat up on each other for the better part of 440 minutes, wearing each other down until one finally cried "uncle". Unfortunately for the 'Cats they were the ones to tap out as late-game fatigue and plenty of mental mistakes saw Ohio unravel down the stretch as Akron fed off the chaos and sprinted away with an 83-77 win.
Akron advances on to the semis to take on No. 1 seed WMU tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m.
It's a showcase of big men and offense versus defense in the 2nd half of tonight's MAC tournament doubleheader at the Q. Will the MAC Player of the Year reign supreme, or will Glenn Bryant push the Eagles to the next level?
These two split their regular season series, and one of those games went to double-overtime. This should be very, very fun to watch.
No time for catchy slogans here - click load and head to the betting window, because we're feeling pretty good about tonight's games.
The MAC basketball tournaments have been almost completely devoid of upsets in 2014. Will that trend continue on Thursday, or might we finally see a surprise or two?
With the second round of the 2014 MAC Tournament officially in the books it's on to the quarterfinals where No. 3 Buffalo and No. 4 Akron await.
With the No. 5 Ohio Bobcats beating Miami Wednesday night, the 'Cats move on to face the No. 4 Akron Zips. The two teams split their season series, but are always a lock for a good show. Three of the past four MAC Tournament Championship games have been between these two, and the past four MAC Championships have been split between the squads.
The 'Cats - Zips game is set to tip off at 6:30 p.m. Thursday night from The Q in Cleveland. The winner moves on to face the No. 1 seeded WMU Broncos in the semifinals Friday night.
No. 6 EMU survived a defensive struggle Wednesday night and will face No. 3 Buffalo in Thursday night after the Akron-Ohio game. These two teams met up once, way back on Jan. 11, with the Bulls edging out a 10-point win. The Eagles held UB to under 40 percent from the field, but Javon McCrea had one of the best games of his career and helps the Bulls weather the storm. Thursday night's match up pits UB's second-ranked (conference) offense against EMU's top-ranked defense once again and should feature a nice clash of styles.
The winner of that quarterfinal game advances on to face the 2-seeded Toledo Rockets Friday night.
I'm not quite sure what happened, but in the end EMU advances on to the quarterfinals, and NIU goes home empty-handed.
Yeah, so this game was CLASSIC NIU - EMU BRICKsketball. The type of game that leaves you scratching your head and questioning your sanity. EMU trailed by 12 at one point, and yet somehow came back, despite shooting below 30 percent for the night and having Da'Shonte Riley foul out midway through the second half. Yeah, it makes no sense.
It's a truly puzzling display of basketball, and the officials were as awful.
Still, EMU "won" and thus advances to the quarterfinals to take on No. 3 Buffalo Thursday night.
The Bobcats pulled out a close win Wednesday night to open Round 2 of the MAC Tournament in Cleveland.
The Ohio Bobcats grinded out a 63-55 win over rival Miami Wednesday night at The Q in Round 2 of the 2014 MAC Tournament. The 'Cats needed a late push to pull it off, but have advanced on to the quarterfinals where they'll play No. 4 Akron Thursday night.
ROUND 2: DING DING DING!
Defense wins championships, or so they say. Well, there certainly won't be a lack of defense Wednesday night in Round 2 of the MAC Tournament when No. 7 NIU and No. 6 EMU face off.
Can the RedHawks claim Round 3 after getting beat in the first two installments of the 2014 Battle of the Bricks?
The Kraken scooped up another award for his impressive personal resume as he was named the 2013-2014 MAC Player of the Year Wednesday.
Months of speculation were finally confirmed on Tuesday when BGSU announced their decision to move their men's basketball program in a new direction.
The 2014 Men's MAC Tournament opened Monday night with the bottom eight seeds playing for a shot to advance on to Round 2 in Cleveland. After four distinctly different games, including one grinding, sluggish overtime battle, the field has been whittled down to eight. The four winners will move on to Cleveland for Round 2, where they will face one another on Wednesday night.
Here's an updated look at the bracket courtesy of MAC-Sports.com:
Round 2 of the MAC Tournament features a pair of rematches between divisional rivalries. Both sets of schools have already face their opponents twice already.
No. 8 Miami faces rival No. 5 Ohio in a three-peat of the Battle of the Bricks to kick Round 2 off Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. No. 7 Northern Illinois goes to-to-toe with No. 6 Eastern Michigan in a rubber-match 30-minutes after the conclusion of the first game Wednesday night.
The winner of Miami vs. Ohio will face No. 4 Akron Thursday night in the quarterfinals, while the winner of NIU vs. EMU will face No. 3 Buffalo later that night.
We'll have full previews of the match ups Tuesday afternoon.
Karrington Ward had two points at the end of the first half, ended up dropping 20 points with a pair of assists and eight rebounds.
Ball State traveled to Athens and attempted to make some noise in the first round of the MAC tourney, but ultimately failed.
It took 40 minutes, and then some, but No. 7 Northern Illinois defeted No. 10 Bowling Green 54-51 in overtime Monday night. With the win the Huskies have advanced to Round 2 in Cleveland where they will take on the No. 6 EMU Eagles Wednesday night after the No. 5 Ohio - No. 8 Miami game.
And then there were three...
After nearly blowing the game down the stretch EMU junior Karrington Ward went on a tear down the stretch, at one point nailing four consecutive threes in route to EMU's 12-point win in Round 1. The No. 6 Eagles will face the winner of No. 10 Bowling Green vs. No. 7 Northern Illinois.
It got a little hairy in the closing minutes after a spirited comeback from Kent State, but Miami held on to win and advances to the second round of the MAC Tournament.
No. 8 Miami held on to beat No. 9 Kent State at home, 71-64, and No. 5 Ohio downed No. 12 Ball State 76-65 and will move on to Cleveland for Round 2 of the 2014 MAC Tournament.
The Bobcats and RedHawks, fierce rivals, have met up twice this season already, with Ohio getting the best of Miami on both occasions. Now they'll get a third got at the Battle of the Bricks on Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m..
Glenn Bryant apparently likes his shoes and socks like he likes his soda, with a hint of lemon and lime.
Nick Kellogg entered Ohio's Round 1 matchup with Ball State tied for the Mid-American Conference lead in career 3-pointers made. Less than six minutes in he set the new All-Time record for career 3-pointers made.
Not a bad start to the 2014 MAC Tournament
The regular season is over and the first round of the MAC Tournament starts in an hour. Where do the teams stack up heading into the tournament?
Eight games highlight the opening round of the 2014 MAC Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments. Join us for a #MACMadness edition of shooty hoops!
The MAC announced its 2014 Men's Basketball All-MAC squads Monday afternoon. Were there any snubs?
With the 2014 Mid-American Conference Tournament set to invade Cleveland later this week, Quicken Loans Arena, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers, is being transformed into MAC-Madness headquarters. This means MAC branding galore. Banners. Signs. The MAC Shield plastered in every conceivable area. Including a MAC-branded court.
Isn't it pretty? Cleveland residents rejoice. You get to play host to some winning basketball for a few days.
Line Drills, like all good teams, is peaking at the right time and ready to help you rob Vegas blind.
Kent State and Miami have split their earlier matches this year going into the winner take all playoff game on Monday night.
Will these two teams stage a better basketball game than the one they played back in January? It's hard to imagine one that could be any worse than that 45-36 affair.
The Ball State Cardinals face daunting task of heading on the road to face Ohio in Round 1. Though history has proven its not impossible for a 12-seed to pull off the Round 1 upset, Ball State doesn't have much going for it in this one.
The Western Michigan Broncos clinched their first MAC Regular Season Title in 10 years on Friday with a 78-64 victory over rival Central Michigan. It was the 2nd Regular Season Championship for Steve Hawkins in his 11th season.
The regular season is over and the MAC Tournament starts tomorrow. How did we end up where we did? Let's take a spin through the conference's regular season.
The ballots were cast, the votes tallied, and we're ready to announce the winners of the 2014 Hustle Belt MAC Men's Basketball Awards.
NIU shifted gears in the second half on its way to a comfortable home win over Ball State.
With the conclusion of the the 2013-2014 MAC Men's Basketball season Saturday night we finally know how the 2014 MAC Men's Basketball Tournament bracket will look. How did everything shake out on the final day and where did your team wind up seeding at? Let's examine.
Javon McCrea has had many fine performances over his career with Buffalo. Today was arguably the finest, and it delivered an outright division title to the Bulls.
On Rian Pearson's final home game, it was Justin Drummond who led the Rockets to a second-half surge over Eastern Michigan
Buffalo soundly beat the Bowling Green Falcons Saturday before a near capacity crowd. The win gave the Bulls their first outright MAC East divisional title EVER. Javon McCrea led the way with a career-high 34 points and left the floor in the final minutes to a standing ovation.
Take a bow Javon. pic.twitter.com/fAggFzkBgq— Rodney McKissic (@RodneyMcKissic) March 8, 2014
In terms of seeding this game set the ninth and 10th seeds. With BG's loss the Falcons settle for the 10th seed while Kent State holds onto the ninth seed. A full recap of the game is coming soon.
This means that only the 7/8 and 11/12 seeds are still up for grabs. Those seeds will be decided with the outcome of the Ball State vs. NIU game which is on right now.
Having already clinched the No. 2 seed in the 2014 MAC Tournament, Toledo wasn't fighting for a tournament seed Saturday, but it was fighting for a share of the MAC West & regular season titles, and with the win over EMU it wrapped both up. The Rockets finish the season tied with WMU atop the MAC standings and atop the West Division. With the win Toledo has clinched it's first regular season championship (shared or otherwise) since 2007.
The Rockets won't play again until next Friday in the semifinals. After the game head coach Tod Kowalczyk made it clear his team wasn't satisfied with a share of the regular season championship.
"It's been 34 years, I think it's about time we hang another banner for the NCAA tournament" - Coach Kowalczyk— RocketNation (@RocketNation_) March 8, 2014
With the triple bye the team only has to win twice to capture a MAC Tournament Championship and an automatic bid in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
Miami falters in the final minute, allowing Ohio to spoil Senior Day at Millett Hall.
Ohio stormed back from a 6-point second-half deficit Saturday afternoon to down their rivals, Miami, 82-76 in overtime. With the win Ohio has locked up the No. 5 seed in the upcoming MAC Tournament. By default that means Eastern Michigan, which needed a win over Toledo and an Ohio loss to get the five seed, has now claimed the sixth seed in the MAC Tournament.
Your clinched seeds for MAC Men's Hoops Tournament: 1. Western Michigan, 2. Toledo, 3. Buffalo, 4. Akron, 5. Ohio, 6. Eastern Michigan— Jeremy Guy (@JGuyMAC) March 8, 2014
The bottom half of the tournament seeding has yet to be determined. Miami, which could have locked up the No. 7 seed with a win, could wind up with the eighth seed if NIU beats Ball State Saturday evening. Kent State could wind up with the No. 10 seed if Bowling Green beats Buffalo Saturday afternoon. A Bowling Green loss would make it KSU 9, BG 10.
The 11th and 12th seeds are dependent on how Ball State performs Saturday evening vs. Northern Illinois. A Cardinals win gives them the 11 seed, CMU the 12, but a loss gives CMU the 11 seed, BSU the 12.
A big second half by Demetrius Treadwell deterred a Kent State season sweep.
It's like the Dancing with the Results rewards show, but on DVR so you can skip right to the results you want!
It wasn't easy, but the Zips got it done on Senior Night.
The top 4 seeds are set after a wild Friday night of MAC hoops action. But the final 8 are all up for grabs, and with some pretty whacky scenarios to boot.
Western Michigan clinched their first Regular Season MAC Championship in 10 years with a huge second half to down rival Central Michigan 78-64 on the road.
YES WE CAN!
You've waited all week to cast your finals vote - DO IT!
Hundreds of your votes have been cast, and we may or may not have paid attention to any of them. Let's see where we stand as we head to the semifinals at the Q.
There's only one set of games to go before the bracket is set for Cleveland. Want to know if there's any hope of your team moving up from where it currently stands? Here are all the possibilities.
We've reached the quarterfinals in our hypothetical MAC tournament - time to cast your vote and decide who's moving on.
Almost 150 of you voted on the results of the MAC tournament's first round - check in for the results and come with us as the tournament moves to Cleveland.
Hopefully we don't have to rely on tiebreakers to help us determine the seeding for the MAC Tournament, because this gets messy.
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