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Published: Thursday, 3/1/2012

UT, BG wait to see tourney foe

BLADE STAFF

The Mid-American Conference women's basketball tournament unfolds Saturday with four match-ups at campus sites.

Top-seeded Bowling Green, which won the MAC regular-season title, secured three byes and won't play again until March 9 -- a week from Friday -- in the semifinal round at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

Toledo, the third seed which tied Eastern Michigan for the MAC West crown, will bypass the first two rounds and await an opponent to play March 8 in the quarterfinal.

The winners of opening-round games between No. 7 Northern Illinois and No. 10 Western Michigan and No. 6 Akron and No. 11 Buffalo will meet in the second round March 7 in Cleveland, with that winner advancing to play UT in the quarterfinals.

First round games will be played on the campus of the higher seeded team before the remainder of the tournament shifts to Cleveland.

UT (20-8, 13-3) went a combined 5-1 in the regular season against its four possible quarterfinals opponents. The lone loss came in the MAC opener to Western Michigan, a result the Rockets reversed six weeks later by 26 points at home. A quarterfinal win would give the Rockets a third crack at No. 2 Eastern Michigan (21-8, 13-3) in the semifinals. UT dropped both regular-season matchups with the Eagles, including a 54-33 setback last week in Ypsilanti.

Fourth-seeded Miami awaits a quarterfinal meeting with whichever team advances from a grouping consisting of No. 5 Central Michigan and No. 12 Ball State and No. 8 Ohio and No. 9 Kent State. BG (24-5) awaits the quarterfinal winner. The Falcons, who won their eighth straight MAC regular-season title, beat Miami twice, split two games with Ohio, and needed overtime to prevail at Central Michigan.

The championship game is at 1 p.m. March 10.



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