What a week it has been in MAC basketball action. Bowling Green, a dark horse candidate, was out in the first round, while Northern Illinois, one of the hottest teams in the MAC going in, was trounced before ever getting to Cleveland. Eastern Michigan and Akron made hugely unexpected runs in the MAC Tournament, guaranteeing the first MAC West vs. MAC East final since the mid-2000's.
The madness did not end there.
Central Michigan and Buffalo benefited greatly from the MAC's unique triple-bye system and made it to the final game last night, an offensive affair that was a nail-biter until the very end. Thanks to contributions from Shannon Evans and Xavier Ford (who emerged as a key figure in the Bull's offense during tournament week,) Buffalo clinched their first ever Division I NCAA tournament bid in school history by a score of 89-85. Their last appearance in the postseason was in 1965, in the NCAA Division II Basketball Championships.
The Bulls are not the only team waiting for their seeding. Central Michigan, by virtue of their regular season championship and number one seeding in the MAC Tournament have clinched an automatic bid into the NCAA's National Invitational Tournament (NIT.)
Western Michigan, last year's representative in the NCAA Tournament, and BGSU both accepted bids into the College Insiders Tournament (CIT.) Toledo and Akron declined invites to post-season tourneys.
Buffalo finds out their fate at 6 p.m. on ESPN, while CMU gets their matchup at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU.