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No. 3 Western Michigan (56 percent) overcomes No. 1 Toledo (44 percent)
The Western Michigan Broncos are going to the NCAA tournament! At least, according to you, the reader. Led by seniors Shayne Whittington and David Brown, the Broncos will overcome the dynamic offense of the Toledo Rockets and win their first MAC championship in a decade according to your predictions.
Western Michigan leads for most of the game, but Juice Brown and Rian Pearson light up the second half as the Q goes bonkers, and the Rockets briefly claim a late one-point lead. Nathan Boothe has gotten in foul trouble and the Broncos pound it inside late to Shayne Whittington, who pours in ten points in the last five minutes for the win.
Western Michigan heads to the big dance, probably as about a 12 seed. They're going to be a very tough out, especially against more offensive minded teams. The nightmare draw for them is Syracuse, given how they struggled against the Orange-derivative defense of Eastern Michigan at times. On the other hand, a defensively challenged team like Villanova is a team that the Broncos could give a really stiff challenge.
Toledo is the co-regular season champion and earns an automatic berth to the NIT. As they advanced to the final in this scenario, they still boast a strong RPI ranking and probably get a home game in round one. The Rockets are a good team and the crowd at Savage is raucous as Toledo advances past Xavier in a high scoring thriller. They bow out in the second round on the road, as their suspect defense is exploited by an equally talented team.
Shayne Whittington is your MAC Tournament MVP
If any team wins out from a three seed, they're definitely going to have the MVP, as they'll have won three times. Whittington is a solid choice, though we admit that we were surprised that he won the vote so overwhelmingly. With about 1,100 points, 700 rebounds, and over 100 blocks, Shayne becomes a solid candidate for all-MAC team of this decade, and enters into Western Michigan lore.
The results of the MVP vote (excluding "other"):
Shayne Whittington - 38 percent
Julius Brown - 22 percent
David Brown - 12 percent
Rian Pearson - 9 percent
Justin Drummond - 6 percent
Connar Tava - 3 percent.
Thanks to everyone for voting early and often in Q-gazing's inaugural crowd-sourcing predictions of the MAC Tournament. Good night and merry MAC madness to all!