It wouldn’t be the MAC Tournament or March Madness without an upset, right?
The seventh-seed Northern Illinois Huskies did just that on Thursday night, stunning the second-seed Toledo Rockets, by a final of 80-76 in their quarterfinal game in Cleveland. The Rockets had won the previous two meetings vs. the Huskies in the regular season.
Eugene German had a monster game for the Huskies with 27 points on 11-of-15 from the floor and seven rebounds. Dante Thorpe had 18 points and Levi Bradley had 13, including several big pressure free throws in the game’s waning seconds to seal the win.
Toledo had five players with double figure point totals, led by Marreon Jackson and Luke Knapke (17 apiece,) Nate Navigato (15) and Jaelan Sanford (13).
Knapke hit two big three pointers down the stretch, including one that tied the game at 68-68 with 2:50 left to play. But then, consecutive baskets by German and late free throws from Bradley delivered the upset win for Northern Illinois.
The Huskies are now 17-16 on the season and advance to the semifinals tomorrow evening against the winner of the Bowling Green/Ball State quarterfinal game, which tips off at approximately 9:00 p.m. EST Thursday evening. The Rockets finish the year 25-7 and will await word on postseason invitations.