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2021 MAC Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament Finals Preview: #1 Bowling Green Falcons vs. #2 Central Michigan Chippewas

The Falcons and Chippewas meet in Cleveland to determine which of them will gain the automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 11 Women’s Akron at Bowling Green
Do we like the Falcons or the Chippewas?
Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

So it has come down to this: the top two seeds in Mid American Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament are going to face each other to determine which of them will be guaranteed a ticket to the Big Dance.

In some ways, it’s a bit surprising we’ve reached this conclusion; between the randomness of conference tournaments and the potential effects of COVID, I wouldn’t have predicted the end result to be so chalk. But here we are, with everything over but the crying.

Bowling Green and Central Michigan have only faced each other once this season. That was down in Bowling Green, where BGSU used a 14-point run that started at the end of the third quarter and expanded into the fourth to pull away from the Chippewas en route to a . 76 to 67 victory. In that game, Lexi Fleming would contribute 20 points to the Falcons. Molly Davis would contribute 18 points to the Chippewas. Bowling Green dominated inside the paint by scoring 50 points to Central’s 36 points. The Bowling Green bench was a bigger factor by going 22 to 4. The Falcons out-rebounded the Chippewas by 9.

On average, the Chippewas have scored 73 points while allowing 73 points. Central Michigan has a 45.6 field goal percentage while holding their opponents to a 43.2 field goal percentage. The Chippewas have been 76.6 percent from the charity stripe, while their opponents have been 76.1 percent. On average, the Chippewas hold a 36 to 35 rebounding advantage. They are also even with their opponents in turnovers. Central Michigan averages 7.5 steals per game, while their opponents have 5.5 steals per game. Central gets 2.5 blocks per game against their opponents 1.9 blocks per game.

The Falcons average 73.8 points per game (amongst the highest in the league) and hold their opponents to 62.9 points per game. They hold a 42.8 field goal percentage versus their opponents 39.4 percent. The Falcons are 73.8 percent at the free throw line versus 69.9 percent for their opponents. On average, the Falcons get out-rebounded by 3 rebounds per game. They cause more turnovers for their opponents though. The Falcons also have 10.6 steals per game versus 6.6. They also get outblocked.

Overall, Bowling Green leads the all-time series 17-12. Prior to this season’s win, the Falcons have lost six times in a row to the Chippewas. In the post-season, the Chippewas and Falcons have faced off three times and the Chippewas have won two of those games. The last time they have met in the post-season was 2013.

Based on all of that, I would say that the Falcons are probably the better team defensively, and should pick up the win, as chalk as everything has been up to this point. But the old adage goes you can throw all that out the window come championship time. At any rate, it ought to be a good game.