WNIT: Bowling Green, Toledo, Ball State all advance to the third round

Ronald Martinez

Sigh. Do the MAC women have to do EVERYTHING around here? With the men struggling in postseason play, the women have compiled a 6-3 record for the conference.

I wasn't around much this weekend. So let's catch up.

After Akron's painful loss to VCU, Central Michigan dropped a close one to Oklahoma (despite a great Crystal Bradford performance). Kent State fell to Loyola Maryland in the CIT. And earlier last week, Akron and Miami women both lost in the WNIT first round on the road. After the carnage, here's what's left: Western Michigan remains the last MAC men's team still alive in basketball, with a second round CBI game at Wyoming tonight.

But in the WNIT, there remain three MAC teams in the third round, more than any other conference. The West Coast Conference can get a third if San Diego beats Utah tonight, but for now the MAC is the first:

Toledo

This is probably not a stat they enjoy to share, but in the last three years the Rockets are 11-1 in WNIT games. Their second such win came against Youngstown State after disposing of Butler rather easily. They'll play the Illinois-Eastern Illinois winner sometime this week.

Bowling Green

For those with not much understanding on tempo-free statistics, if a team averages one point per possession in a game, that's pretty good. 158 Division I men's teams averaged that this season. In the women's game, it's phenomenal; just 18 teams accomplished that feat. The Falcons have done that in both WNIT games against SMU and Duquesne. The SMU game looked great; 76 points! But in the 61-54 win over the Dukes, their points per possession was even better. That's because they had 16 fewer possessions. They'll host Drexel on Thursday

Ball State (!!)

Perhaps the last team in, if you went by RPI. It's a flawed number, but a .500 record didn't lie either. Nor does this: 2-0 in the WNIT, having now won 14 of their last 19 games. Suffice to say they were ugly wins, but they went to Minnesota, took a win, then hosted Northern Iowa and edged them too. Mind you they have now played 32 games and are leaning on a seven-person rotation. It's insane. They'll play either Kansas State or Illinois State next, for the chance to play the Toledo/Illinois/EIU winner in the quarterfinals.

Here's the entire bracket. As you can see, we are aboard a speeding train headed straight for a Toledo-Bowling Green WNIT championship game.

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