MAC Tournament Primer: Dates, Site, TV Info, Tickets, History, and Current Tourney Outlook

MAC Tournament play begins on March 5th, and if the regular season is any indication, a team from the Eastern Division will earn the automatic bid.

With just two weeks left, Akron holds a two-game lead on Buffalo and Kent State, and the Zips appear to be the early favorites.

MAC Tournament Info

Tournament Site: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH (with First Round games on the home floor of higher seeded teams.)

Tournament Dates and TV Coverage:

  • First Round: Monday, March 5th
  • Second Round: Wednesday, March 7th at 7:00 and 9:30
  • Quarterfinals: Thursday, March 8th at 7:00 and 9:30
  • Semifinals: Friday, March 9th at 7:00 and 9:30
  • Championship: Saturday, March 10th at 8:00 (ESPN2)

Seeding/Bracket Notes: The top two seeds receive byes to the Semifinals; the third and fourth seeds receive byes to the Quarterfinals.

Other links:

zeke-marshall-akron-mac-tournament-preview-sites-schedule-tickets-historyMAC Tournament Outlook

Since the top two seeds receive byes into the Semifinals, there is still a lot to play for over the last four games of the conference season.  As it stands, Akron has the inside track to one of those byes as they look to make a sixth straight appearance in the Championship Game.  Buffalo, Kent State, and Ohio all are within a game of each other for second place, so it’s also worth noting the the top four seeds get a bye into the Quarterfinals.

Simply put, the East dominated intra-divisional play this season, going a combined 30-6 against the West.  In fact, it’s entirely possible that the top five seeds in the tournament will all come from the East.

Akron appears to be the favorite after winning 11 of their first 12 league games, but they still have games remaining against each of the four teams directly behind them in the standings.  The Zips are tough defensively and rely on a balanced attack with nine players averaging at least 16.0 minutes and 5.0 points, led by big man Zeke Marshall with 10.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.1 blocks.

Buffalo, Kent State, and Ohio will also be forces to be reckoned with in the MAC Tournament.  The Bulls have an outstanding frontcourt duo with Javon McCrea (15.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 57.1 FG%) and Mitchell Watt (15.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.5 bpg, 52.6 FG%), which make them a really challenging matchup for opposing teams.  Justin Greene (13.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg) leads five Kent State players who score at least 9.1 points per game, while OU boasts one of the league’s top assist men in D.J. Cooper (13.6 ppg, 5.4 apg, 2.3 spg).

MAC Basketball Tournament History: Champions & MOPs

Year MAC Tournament Champion MAC Tournament Runner-Up MAC Tournament MVP
1980 Toledo Bowling Green Jim Swaney, Toledo
1981 Ball State Northern Illinois Ray McCallum, Ball State
1982 Northern Illinois Ball State Allen Rayhorn, Northern Illinois
1983 Ohio Bowling Green John Devereaux, Ohio
1984 Miami Kent State Chuck Stahl, Miami
1985 Ohio Miami Ron Harper, Miami
1986 Ball State Miami Dan Palombizio, Ball State
1987 Central Michigan Kent State Dan Majerle, Central Michigan
1988 Eastern Michigan Ohio Grant Long, Eastern Michigan
1989 Ball State Kent State Billy Butts, Ball State
1990 Ball State Central Michigan Billy Butts, Ball State
1991 Eastern Michigan Toledo Marcus Kennedy, Eastern Michigan
1992 Miami Ball State Bill Gillis, Ball State
1993 Ball State Western Michigan Steve Payne, Ball State
1994 Ohio Miami Gary Trent, Ohio
1995 Ball State Eastern Michigan Steve Payne, Ball State
1996 Eastern Michigan Miami Brian Tolbert, Eastern Michigan
1997 Miami Eastern Michigan Devin Davis, Miami
1998 Eastern Michigan Miami Earl Boykins, Eastern Michigan
1999 Kent State Miami John Whorton, Kent State
2000 Ball State Miami Duane Clemes, Ball State
2001 Kent State Miami Trevor Huffman, Kent State
2002 Kent State Bowling Green Trevor Huffman, Kent State
2003 Central Michigan Kent State Chris Kaman, Central Michigan
2004 Western Michigan Kent State Mike Williams, Western Michigan
2005 Ohio Buffalo Leon Williams, Ohio
2006 Kent State Toledo Kevin Warzynski, Kent State
2007 Miami Akron Tim Pollitz, Miami
2008 Kent State Akron Haminn Quaintance, Kent State
2009 Akron Buffalo Nate Linhart, Akron
2010 Ohio Akron Armon Bassett, Ohio
2011 Akron Kent State Zeke Marshall, Akron


Click to see Andy’s complete Championship Week Preview.

Note: We will have a complete preview before the tournament starts and seedings/matchups are known.

About Andy Bottoms

While Andy was born and raised in Indiana, he would like to point out that he grew up shooting hoops in his driveway and not against the side of a barn like you see in all the March Madness promos or in the middle of a field like Jimmy Chitwood. Andy ranks among the top bracketologists according to the Bracket Matrix and has provided his projections to Fox Sports for the past three seasons. When not compiling excuses for missing work during the NCAA Tournament, Andy enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters. He is a proud IU graduate and co-hosts The Assembly Call postgame show following every IU game. Twitter: @AndyBottoms


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