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Predicting the 2014 MAC Men's Basketball Tournament Championship Game

You've waited all week to cast your finals vote - DO IT!

Coach Tod Kowalczyk has led his Rockets to the finals - will your votes put them in the dance?
Coach Tod Kowalczyk has led his Rockets to the finals - will your votes put them in the dance?
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

No time for witty banter - we have reached the finals. This is your big chance to put your nickel down and predict the winner of the MAC's automatic bid to the big dance!

But who is moving on to the nationally televised final?


No. 1 Toledo (62 percent) tops No. 4 Akron (38 percent)

Much as Akron has enjoyed recent success, winning three of the last five tournaments, Hustle Belt readers think their time is up. We sure wouldn't recommend taking Toledo against the spread, but the Rockets do seem to find ways to win.

No. 3 Western Michigan (52 percent) squeaks past No. 2 Buffalo (48 percent)

It's one and done for Bobby Hurley and the Bulls, as apparently the boys from Bull Run failed to show up in sufficient numbers to prop up Buffalo. Western Michigan rides its senior dynamic duo of Shayne Whittington and David Brown to victory


No. 3 Western Michigan vs. No. 1 Toledo

Fun fact #1: The last time even a single West division team appeared in the MAC final was 2006. TWO THOUSAND SIX. That's amazing.

Fun fact #2: The last West division team to appear in the final was Toledo - a seven seed that year.

Fun fact #3: The last West division team to win the MAC tournament was Western Michigan, in 2004.

Fun fact #4: The last time the MAC tournament final had two West division teams was 1996, when Eastern Michigan beat... seven seed Toledo in the championship.

It's the Broncos and the Rockets in the final, a game that promises to be entertaining and high scoring. Western Michigan has controlled the first 30 minutes of each of the two matchups this year. In the first, the Broncos led by as many as 22 before surviving a late Toledo rally that trimmed the lead to as few as four points. WMU survived with an 87-76 win behind 25 from Connar Tava and 19 from Austin Richie. Toledo put four starters in double figures (as usual) led by Justin Drummond with 18.

In the March 1st rematch at Savage Hall, the Broncos again had a big lead late, this time in front by 12 with 3:18 to play. But the Rockets came all the way back to tie in regulation, and beat a tired WMU team in overtime with a final score of 96-85. Again Justin Drummond led Toledo with 28, while Shayne Whittington and David Brown combined for 54 points for Western.

Note that this means that the teams scored exactly the same number of points against each other in the two games combined. Think this is an evenly matched game? One thing about this final: neither of these teams tends to get much from their bench, so you won't have to hear that annoying substitution buzzer very often!

Who's going to the NCAA Tournament?