UT women, BG men start tourney play

Chase for automatic NCAA tournament berth begins today


Two of the four local teams will begin play in the Mid-American Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournaments today as the tournaments open with first-round games held at campus sites.

The Bowling Green State University men will travel to DeKalb, Ill., for a first-round contest at Northern Illinois that will start at 8 p.m.

Meanwhile the University of Toledo women will host a first-round game against Ohio today at Savage Arena tipping at 7 p.m.

Should the Rockets, who are the tournament’s sixth seed, beat Ohio, they will advance to Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland for a second-round game against the winner of the Western Michigan-Miami game. That contest will be played Wednesday at roughly 2:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, the BG women, who are the tournament’s top seed after claiming the MAC regular-season title, will not play until Friday. Bowling Green will play the winner of a Thursday contest between Buffalo and an opponent to be determined starting at noon.

With a victory the Falcons would advance to the MAC championship game on Saturday at 1 p.m.

On the men’s side, should Bowling Green, which is seeded 10th, knock off the Huskies, they would face the winner of the Central Michigan-Eastern Michigan contest at Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday at roughly 9 p.m.

The Toledo men claimed the tournament’s second seed and will not play until roughly 9 p.m. on Friday at “The Q,” when the Rockets face the winner of a Thursday contest between Buffalo and a team to be determined.

The men’s MAC championship game will be played Saturday starting at 6:30 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN2.

MAC tournament


No. 11 Ohio at No. 6 Toledo

Time: 7 p.m.

Records: OU is 9-20, 4-14 MAC; UT is 14-15, 9-9

Radio: 1230

Series: UT leads 43-20

Notes: The winner will advance to Wednesday’s second round to face No. 10 Miami or No. 7 Western Michigan. The game will tip at roughly 2:30 p.m. at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena. ... UT beat OU twice in the regular season, but both games were competitive. The Rockets came back from 21 points down in the second half at OU to win 64-62 on Jan. 26. In the Feb. 15 rematch at Savage Arena, Ana Captosto’s 3-pointer broke a tie with a minute left and UT went on to win 62-58. ... UT and OU have met five times in the MAC tournament, with the Rockets prevailing each time. ... The Bobcats have dropped 13 of 14 games. ... They rank last in the MAC in field goal percentage (35 percent) and field goal percentage defense (43 percent). ... UT, which entered the final day of the regular season seeking the fourth seed, has dropped four of five but has been largely competitive throughout. ... UT has advanced to the semifinals of the MAC tournament the past three seasons.


Bowling Green at Northern Illinois

Time: 8 p.m.

Records: BGSU is 12-19, 6-12 MAC; NIU is 14-16, 8-10

Radio: 1470, 99.1

Series: BGSU leads 30-26

Notes: The Falcons open Mid-American Conference tournament play on the road as the 10th seed against seventh-seeded Northern Illinois. … The winner of this contest will face the Central Michigan-Eastern Michigan winner in the second round at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena Wednesday. … BG saw a seven-game winning streak against the Huskies snapped when NIU won 45-36 at the Stroh Center on Jan. 12. … In that contest the Falcons shot just 29.3 percent from the floor and turned the ball over 17 times. … The Falcons have won three in a row at Northern Illinois. … The Huskies rank last in the MAC in scoring offense at 63.0 points per game, while BG is next-to-last at 63.1 points. … NIU is second in scoring defense (63.6 points) while the Falcons are third (64.5). … The Huskies do not have a double-figure scorer; Darrell Bowie averages 9.9 points per game, while Jordan Threloff averages 9.1 points. … The Falcons have lost three in a row, five of their last six and eight of their last 10. … NIU has won four straight at home. … BG’s Richaun Holmes has tied the school record with 159 career blocked shots. … The Falcons need one win to reach 1,300 in the program’s 99-year history.