This is how the MAC Tournament bracket was designed, right?
It seems like this has been the talking point going into the championship game, starting when the Akron Zips finally fell to the Buffalo Bulls in a 8-point contest late last night. People weren't talking about how the top two teams that won their way throughout the conference season to earn these well-placed bids, but about how everybody else is basically screwed out of this chance. There are a ton of people for the conference tournament's setup, and there are just about as many that are against it. But in the end, the winner of this game is going to the NCAA tournament, and who better than these two from the MAC to take a stab at it?
Top-seed Central Michigan Chippewas have been impressive all year long, and there was no shortage of that in their tournament-opening game last night against the Toledo Rockets in the semifinal round. Chris Fowler with 26, John Simons with 23, how could anything go wrong for them when they're putting up points like that? It also helps that CMU shot double the amount of free throws that Toledo did in the second half, 16 as opposed to eight. More free passes at the charity stripe are always a nice bonus to have.
Akron Zips vs. Buffalo Bulls MAC Tournament Final: Bulls outlast tired Zips 67-59, move on to Finals
The Zips competed for awhile but ultimately couldn't get it done, as fresh legs and solid rebounding led Buffalo to the final
Akron would've been fun to see in this championship game, but a well-rested Bulls team, though didn't play exceptionally well, came out on top in their semifinal matchup.
MAC Player of the year Justin Moss had a "down" game, to say the least. Five points and four rebounds is an uncharacteristic stat line to have for a player that's been great at filling Javon McCrea's shoes, but that's nothing a good night's rest can't change for him. Besides, Buffalo has got some serious depth, having four players reach double-digit scoring against Akron, including Rodell Wigginton who put up 11 points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench.
These two met twice in the regular season already, and CMU came out on top in both instances. The first was an 11-point win in Mt. Pleasant, but was only a one-point victory in Buffalo three and a half weeks after. But it's been exactly one month since the last time these two met up.
Tip off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and can bee seen on ESPN2.