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MAC basketball tournament first round open chat: the beginning of the end

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Eight teams enter, four teams leave.

Connar Tava and Western Michigan have a long road ahead to defend the MAC Tournament title.
Connar Tava and Western Michigan have a long road ahead to defend the MAC Tournament title.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Tonight we will say goodbye to one-third of the MAC's basketball teams, as four squads will suffer defeat in the first round of this year's conference tournament. While top-four seeds Central Michigan, Buffalo, Kent State and Toledo can rest easy until Thursday, the rest of the MAC enters do-or-die territory this evening.

Among the eight schools in danger tonight are defending MAC Tournament champion Western Michigan as well as Ohio and Akron, which combined to win the five tournaments preceding the Broncos' 2014 triumph. Fifth-seeded Bowling Green enjoyed the best regular season of tonight's combatants, narrowly missing out on a double bye due to losing a tiebreaker with Toledo.

Here's tonight's schedule:

Away Home Time TV/streaming/radio
(10) Northern Illinois (7) Akron 7 p.m. GoZips.com (Free)
(12) Ball State (5) Bowling Green 7 p.m. ESPN3 / BCSN
(9) Miami (8) Eastern Michigan 7:30 p.m. EMUEagles.com ($$)
(11) Ohio (6) Western Michigan 8 p.m. WXTQ (Athens 105.5 FM) or WKZO (Kalamazoo AM 590)

We hope you'll join us in the comments tonight. This could be your last chance to root for/against your favorite/least favorite MAC hoops squad.