Okay, let’s start with the easy stuff. The matchups are as follows.
- First place Bowling Green will play 8th place Eastern Michigan.
- Second place Central Michigan will play seventh place Northern Illinois.
- Third place Ohio will play sixth place Ball State.
- Fourth place Buffalo will play fifth place Kent State.
Bowling Green defeated Eastern Michigan 71 to 64 in their only matchup as the other game was canceled due to COVID. The season leading scorer for the Falcons was Lexi Fleming with 16.9 points. Areanna Combs was the leading scorer for Eastern Michigan. Given that Eastern Michigan lost their last two games, I predict that the Falcons would triumph over the Eagles.
Central Michigan and Northern Illinois split their match ups this season. The Chippewas were led by Micaela Kelly with an average of 23.4 points per game. Chelby Koker was the leading Huskie with 24 points. CMU is coming off two wins to end the season but one of them was a tough win. This could prove to be a tough matchup and as much as I hate to say it, the Chippewas will win.
Ohio and Ball State also split their match ups this season. The Bobcats are led by Cierra Hooks with an average of 23.4 points. Ball State is led by Oshlynn Brown with an average of 19.3 points. I am going to give the nod to Ball State on this one.
Kent State beat Buffalo in their only match up this season as the other one was canceled by COVID. Dyaisha Fair was the leading Bull with an average of 24.1 points per game. The Golden Flashes were led by Nila Blackford with 15 points per game. Buffalo has seemed to come on strong near the end of the season, so I think they will power their way past Kent State.
Ther tournament tips off at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 10, with subsequent games a half-hour after the conclusion of the prior game. All quarterfinal games will be streamed on ESPN+.