It could be a wide-open MAC Women’s Basketball Tournament.
Central Michigan had by far the best league record (16-2), but the lost two of its last three, including to ninth-place Toledo. The Chippewas won nine games by eight points or fewer.
No. 2 Ball State (13-5) lost its second-to-last game at 10th-place Northern Illinois. No. 3 Kent State 011-7) lost twice — by 13 and 14 points — to No. Buffalo, a team it could meet in the quarterfinals.
Ohio (11-7) had lost four in a row before it beat Miami in its last game. Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan were tied or a game apart in the battle for the fourth seed all season.
The seventh through 12th seeds all defeated at least one team in the first division.
MAC women’s Tournament Central, with schedule and ticket information.
All games are on ESPN+, which costs costs $4.99 a month. All men’s and women’s MAC Tournament games except those on network TV. ESPN+ will stream the MAC gymnastics championship and many spring sports, including most championships. ESPN+ includes all MAC games except a handful on free channels, including CBS Sports. It includes many other mid-major conferences and some original programming.
Links to Monday’s games are noted in the pairings.
Here are tonight’s first-round matchups. Winners will advance to the quarterfinals at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland Wednesday.
- No. 12 seed Bowling Green (3-15 MAC, 10-20 overall) at No. 5 Western Michigan (10-8, 17-12). The teams split in the regular season. Game starts at 7 p.m. ESPN+ link: https://es.pn/2IwrLNi.
The winner will play No. 4 Ohio (11-7, 18-11) at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in Cleveland.
- No. 11 seed Miami (4-14, 11-19) at No. 6 Buffalo (9-9, 18-11). The teams split in the regular season. Buffalo has won five in a row; Miami has lost eight in a row. Game starts at 5 p.m. (The Buffalo men play at 7:30.) ESPN+ link: https://es.pn/3cDe0KN.
The winner will play No. 3 Kent State (11-7, 18-11) at about 8 p.m. Wednesday.
- No. 10 Northern Illinois (7-11, 11-18) at No. 7 Eastern Michigan (9-9, 14-15). The teams split. Game starts at 7 p.m. ESPN+ link: https://es.pn/39DceqQ.
Winner plays No. 2 Ball State (13-5, 21-9) at about 5:15 p.m Wednesday.
- No. 9 Toledo (7-11, 12-17) at No. 8 Akron (8-10, 15-14). Toledo won the only meeting in the regular season. Game starts at 7 p.m. ESPN+ link: https://es.pn/2TMW0F4.
The winner will play No. 1 seed Central Michigan (16-2, 23-6) at noon Wednesday.