MAC champion Central Michigan and runner-up Buffalo are both 11th seeds in the NCAA tournament.
Central (28-4) will play No. 24 LSU (19-9) at 11 a.m. Saturday at Ohio State’s Value City Arena. Sixth-seeded LSU finished fourth in the SEC and has an RPI of 29 (out of 349 Division I teams). Central’s RPI is 15. RPI is a rating system that takes into account a team’s record and strength of schedule.
Buffalo (27-5) will play sixth-seeded South Florida (26-7 and ranked 19th in the latest AP poll) at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Florida State in Tallahassee. South Florida finished second to No. 1 Connecticut in the American Athletic Conference. Its RPI is 14; Buffalo’s is 22.
Central made the NCAA by winning the MAC Tournament with a 96-91 victory over Buffalo in Saturday’s finals. Buffalo received an at-large bid; this is the first time the MAC has had two teams in the NCAA tournament since Kent State and Toledo made it in 1996. (That was the year KSU beat Texas A&M for its only NCAA tournament victory.)
Three MAC teams made the Women’s National Invitational Tournament.
Ball State (24-6), playing in its sixth straight WNIT, hosts Middle Tennessee (18-12) Thursday. Middle Tennessee tied for third in Conference USA and has an RPI of 112. Ball State finished third in the MAC and has an RPI of 44.
Toledo (17-14) will play at Wright State (23-10) Friday. Wright State finished third in the Horizon League and has an RPI of 84. Toledo’s RPI is 85. Kent State knocked Toledo out of the MAC Tournament with an 80-76 overtime win at Toledo.
Miami (21-10) will host Duquesne (23-7) Thursday. The Redhawks finished fourth in the MAC this season. Under new coach Megan Duffy, Miami had 11 more wins than it did in 2016-17, the second best improvement in Division I. Duquesne finished second in the Atlantic 10 Conference and has an RPI of 74. Miami’s RPI is 78.