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2017 MAC Basketball Quarterfinal Preview: Toledo Rockets vs. Ohio Bobcats

Only three points separated these teams the last time they played

NCAA Basketball: Ohio at Georgia Tech Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The men are going to have a hard time topping the excitement the women produced last night, with 3 upsets and every game going down to the wire. The Toledo Rockets and Ohio University Bobcats certainly have a chance. The last time they played, the Rockets edged the Bobcats by 3 in the Convocation Center.

Game Details

  • When: Thursday, March 9th, 6:30 p.m.
  • Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Believeland, Ohio
  • Watch: Spectrum Sports and BCSN
  • Stream: ESPN3 or the WatchESPN app
  • Line: Ohio -2.5

Scouting the Bobcats

The Bobcats are number 1 in the MAC in scoring defense. They got there by forcing teams to take difficult shots. Their wing players are long, and can cover ground.

Offensively, they have one of the best distributors in the game. Jaaron Simmons is 5th in the country, at 6.7 assists per game. He’ll drive to the basket, and either finish or dish. The other guard, Jordan Dartis, leads the MAC in three point field goal percentage, at 45.7%.

Scouting the Rockets

The Rockets bread and butter is their offense. They are tied for second in the MAC in points per game. Jonathan Williams is a slashing guard that can fill it up, and Steve Taylor Jr. is one of the best passing big men around.

Defensively they struggle, especially with effort at times. Only Bowling Green and Central Michigan give up more points per game in the conference.

Players to Watch

Steve Taylor Jr., Toledo: He had a big game last time these two teams played, with 25 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 assists.

Jonathan Williams, Toledo: Third in the conference in scoring at 19.7 points per game, Williams must play big for the Rockets to win.

Jaaron Simmons, Ohio: One of the best point guards in the country, he has stepped up big this season.

Jason Carter, Ohio: Some say he should be freshman of the year in the MAC after the way he stepped in for an injured Antonio Campbell.

Keys to the Contest

Toledo must keep Ohio down early. If they get on a roll from downtown, then the Bobcats are an extremely tough team to beat. It’s Cliche’, but they also have to protect the ball. They are dead last in the MAC in turnover margin.

For the Bobcats to win, they need defensive intensity, and to keep an eye on Jonathan Williams. The guard is extremely good at taking advantage of a transition defense. They’ll also have to figure out a way to control Taylor in the middle. While tall, they don’t really have anyone that can stop him from going where he wants in the lane.


Toledo got the win last time, but in tournament basketball, I error on the side of defense. Ohio wins a close one, 82-80.