The Miami RedHawks will take on the Ohio Bobcats in the semi-finals of the MAC Women’s Basketball Tournament on Friday. At stake is a spot in the conference championship finals, of course, but also at stake is a possible trip to the NCAA tournament. Currently Ohio is 33rd in RPI rankings. I believe a win over Miami, who is in the top 50, would push Ohio from bubble team into one that would receive an at-large bid. Miami is likely in a situation where they must win out, though a win over Ohio coupled with a close championship game loss to a well regarded CMU team could give them an at-large bid.
- When: 30 minutes after the first game, which starts at 11 A.M, or roughly 1 P.M. Friday, March 15th, 2019
- Where: Quicken Loans Arena
- Watch and stream: ESPN +
Scouting the RedHawks
Coach Megan Duffy has the RedHawks playing at a high level in just her second season. Helped, of course, by feisty point guard Lauren Dickerson, the team is on the verge of greatness. They like to run a lot of UCLA cuts that tends to open up easy buckets for Savannah Kluesner and Kendall McCoy. A nice by product of that motion offense is a lot of open looks outside for Leah Purvis. However, this team is more about effort and defense, and holds teams at 60.4 points per contest.
Scouting the Bobcats
Ohio runs. They run on offense and they run on defense. CeCe Hooks shoots over 55% from the floor because she gets to the basket, both in the half court and on the break. When defenses collapse, she does a good job getting outside looks to a lot of talented shooters, like Amari Burke. The key to containing the Bobcats offense is protecting the ball against their relentless defensive pressure.
This is a rivalry game with everything on the line. These games are never easy to predict. On paper, Miami has several edges. Their do everything point guard can hit threes. They have a couple of tall forwards that can score close, which is a weakness of the Bobcats defense. While Duffy has a lot of experience coaching, she is just in her second year as a head coach, while Bob Boldon at Miami has already taken a team to the NCAA tournament. There might be a slight edge for Ohio there, but if there is, by how much I am not qualified to say. Both coaches have done an outstanding job this season. I am comfortable predicting this will be a great game. Since you all want a number, I am going to say Miami 66-65.