Akron, Buffalo earn double-byes in MAC
By Parker Perry
Special to FOX Sports Ohio
The seeds are set, the bracket is made and now it is time to learn who will represent the Mid-American Conference in the NCAA Tournament.
The seedings are as follows:
1) Akron (13-3 MAC)
2) Buffalo (12-4 MAC)
3) Ohio (11-5 MAC)
4) Kent State (10-6 MAC)
5) Eastern Michigan (9-7 MAC)
6) Bowling Green (9-7 MAC)
7) Toledo (7-9 MAC)
8) Western Michigan (6-10 MAC)
9) Ball State (6-10 MAC)
10) Miami (5-11 MAC)
11) Central Michigan (5-11 MAC)
12) Northern Illinois (3-13 MAC)
--View the full bracket of the MAC Tournament by clicking here--
Akron averted a late collapse, clinching the top seed in their final game. UA needed to win just once in their three final games, and nearly failed. After being run out of Athens by a scorching Ohio team, they were defeated on their own floor by Buffalo. However, the Zips were able to overcome a nine point halftime deficit to rival Kent State, and took home a 61-55 victory. They, along with Buffalo, will have byes to the semifinals, needing only two wins to be crowned champion.
Buffalo grabbed their double-bye in front of nearly 6,000 Blue supporters at home Saturday night. Bowling Green pulled to within nine points late, but the Bulls would not be denied. UB will enter the tournament as the hottest team in the MAC, on a three-game winning streak.
The Buffalo win pushed Ohio down to the third seed. The Bobcats and Flashes of Kent State will have a bye to the quarterfinals of the tournament.
Kent State defeated Ohio and Buffalo at home in the final stretch of the season to earn their seed. A senior driven team, they are very experienced in the MAC tournament. A side story to the Tournament is the possibility of a third game between Akron and Kent. Michael Porrini promised not to lose to the Zips again.
“We’ll see them (Akron) on Friday," he said. "We won’t lose to them 3 times, I promise that”
The remainder of the MAC will have to play five games to clinch the automatic bid. Toledo will matchup with Miami at home Monday night, while BG will host Central Michigan in their first game of the Tournament. The Falcons beat the Chippewas by five in their earlier meeting.
Following the first round of on-campus games, the entire tournament shifts to Quicken Loans Arena in downtoan Cleveland.