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MAC Tournament Preview

By: Timothy Columnist
Contact Timothy

MAC Basketball Tournament

March 8 - 13, 2004

Campus / Cleveland, OH

Gund Arena

Tournament Bracket
Updated with Results

Tournament Favorite > Western Michigan
Western Michigan The Broncos of Western Michigan look to be the favorite for this year's MAC Tourney. Wins over USC, UAB, and Arizona State highlight their season. They are led by Mike Williams (18.3 ppg) and Ben Reed (16.8 ppg), who are two of the top five scorers in the conference. The Broncos are getting it done on both the offensive and defensive end with a plus-12 scoring margin.

Tournament Dark Horse > Kent State
Kent State Although Kent State is on top of the MAC East right now, I am going to call them the dark horse. This team did beat Western Michigan the one time they played each other, so Kent State can get the job done. The Golden Flashes are only allowing 64 points a game, and if they can keep that kind of defense up, they might stomp on into March with an automatic bid.

Matchup of Intrigue > Western Michigan vs Marshall
Western Michigan vs Marshall A possible fatal match up for the #1 seed Western Michigan could come in the second round aganist Marshall. The Thundering Herd beat the Broncos in Febuary by a margin of 6. Although the Herd have lost 4 out of there last 6, if Marvin Black scores 30 like he did last time these two teams met, it could be an early exit for the Broncos.

NCAA Tournament Impact
NCAA Tournament No NCAA locks for the MAC. If Western Michigan wins the conference tourney, that will be the only team in from the MAC. However, if another team wins besides the Broncos, there is a chance that WMU could sneak in there, providing they donít flat-out flop in the first or second rounds. What is hurting them is that their bad losses outweigh their good wins. Their only top 50 RPI win was against UAB, but they have two sub-100 RPI losses to Detroit and Marshall.

Tournament Ramblings
This yearís tourney is being held in Clevelandís Gund Arena. Central Michigan won last yearís event over Kent State. A number 1 seed has won the tournament the past two years. The Championship game will be on Saturday, March 13 on ESPN2 at 6:00 PM CDT.

Projected Winner > Western Michigan
Western Michigan Iím going to stick with the favorite for this one. I look for Western Michigan to have too much offensive fire power and too good of a defense to let anyone slip up on them.