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MAC Tournament Preview: (12) Toledo at (5) OHIO

7:00 PM EST, Convocation Center
OHIO: 17-14 (9-7), Toledo: 4-27 (1-15)
TV/Radio: http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/ohio.portal, WSPD/Toledo 1370 AM
Winner plays (4) Ball State at Quicken Loans Arena

Oh my. Can you rate basketball games the way they rate movies? So much bloodshed is going to happen in this game, but we knew that going into the season. Toledo would be the 12-seed and have to play somebody pretty good. Funny that OHIO snuck in as the first non-first-round-bye team. Well, here we are.

Their First Meeting: The Bobcats beat up on the Rockets 71-58, and after that game, the Toledo coach said his team played well. Hey, you have to give them that — they tied them in the second half.

Keys for OHIO: Showing up, putting the jerseys on correctly, making sure everybody is wearing the correct jersey, ensuring the basketballs are properly deflated. D.J. Cooper is going to start off most the plays (and finish several of his own), whether it be down low to DeVaughn Washington or Slavic Ivo Baltic, on the side to Tommy Freeman (who thinks everything inside the arc is made of lava) or Nick Kellogg, and perhaps let someone else have the glory game. To ensure a victory, however, they better just dish it inside — Toledo's big men are too few and too inexperienced to not foul out of the game, and defensively they have hardly anybody who'll offensively rebound.

Keys for Toledo: Smuggle in a bunch of Detroit Pistons. Or pray for a monsoon. It'll require the game of everyone's life on the basketball court should those two gambits fail. Malcolm Griffin is going to need a bunch of help, or he'll creep up to about 10 turnovers again. It's going to require a level of #BOMBARDMENT unseen by human optic nerves. Zack Leahy, Jay Shunnar, Justin Anyijong and Anthony Wright are a quartet of streaky 3-point shooters. It's Griffin's job to find them. On the post, Hayden Humes has to play smart and Delino Dear just needs to eat up some minutes.

Likely Final Score: OHIO 72, Toledo 54