Day three of the 2012 MAC Tournament is over and there are only three games left that are all trying to grab an automatic NCAA Tournament bid by winning the whole thing. Day three saw the defeat of Western Michigan as the No. 4 seeded Kent State Golden Flashes advanced to the semifinals where they will face the No. 1 seeded Akron Zips. Also winning on Thursday was the No. 3 seeded Ohio Bobcats, who defeated the Toledo Rockets and move on to the semifinals to face the No. 2 seeded Buffalo Bulls.
In the regular season, the Golden Flashes played the Akron Zips twice, losing both times and the Ohio Bobcats faced the Bulls twice, defeating them both times.
Here is the 2012 MAC Tournament bracket and the schedule for Friday night's games.
Game 9: No. 1 Akron Zips vs. No. 4 Kent State Golden Flashes
Game 10: No. 3 Ohio Bobcats vs. No. 2 Buffalo Bulls
The Western Michigan Broncos fell to the Kent State Golden Flashes in their Thursday night MAC Tournament matchup in Cleveland by a score of 76-72. The Golden Flashes takes on the MAC's No. 1 seeded Akron Zips on Friday night in the conference Semifinals. The Kent State lost to the Zips in both of their regular season matchup.
The Broncos were led by Demetrius Ward, who scored 16 points against the Golden Flashes. Flenard Whitfield also chipped in 14 points, and Nate Hutcheson came off the bench to add 13. The Golden Flashes were led by Justin Greene, who scored 23 points, Randal Holt who added 13 points and Chris Evans, who came off the bench to chip in 13 points as well.
The 2012 MAC tournament enters quarterfinal play on Thursday night. No. 8 Western Michigan takes on No. 4 Kent State at 7:00 p.m. in the first game of the night.
The Broncos used a big second half to power by Northern Illinois on Wednesday. Kent State had a bye through the first two rounds of play.
During the regular season, Kent State beat Western Michigan by a final score of 78-73 in overtime.
The Broncos have a tough road ahead of them if they are going to win the conference championship and get a bid to the NCAA Tournament. If they beat Kent State, they would have to play Akron, the top seed, in the semifinals. SB Nation's most recent bracketology prediction has Akron winning the MAC and getting a 14th seed in the East regional.
The quarterfinals of the MAC Tournament will take place Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The winners of Thursday’s two quarterfinal matchups will advance to Friday’s semifinals, where the MAC’s top two seeds, Akron and Buffalo, await after having byes through the first three rounds.
At No. 8, Western Michigan is the lowest remaining seed left in the tournament. The Broncos beat Ball State by six points in the first round and then creamed No. 12 Northern Illinois by 17 in Wednesday’s matchup.
Thursday’s quarterfinal games are:
No. 4 Kent State Vs. No. 8 Western Michigan
Time: 7:00 EST Venue: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland TV: ESFC/ESPN3
No. 7 Toledo Vs. No. 3 Ohio
Time: 9:30 EST Venue: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland TV: ESFC/ESPN3
The winner of Kent State and Western Michigan will take on the top-seeded Akron Zips, while the Toledo/Ohio winner will face the No. 2-seed, Buffalo.
Akron won the regular season MAC crown with a 13-3 record, one better than the 12-4 Bulls.
For more great info on the Mid-American Conference, check out The Hustle Belt. For all your college basketball news and analysis, check out SB Nation’s college basketball hub.
The Central Michigan Chippewas made it out of the first round of the Mid-American Conference tournament by upsetting Bowling Green on Monday, but their run ended on Wednesday night against the Toledo Rockets, 75-72.
Toledo led by 11 points with over four minutes remaining in the game, but the Chippewas turned on the full-court pressure and pulled all the way within one point after an Austin McBroom three-pointer with eight seconds left. Toledo then knocked down two freebies and, unfortunately, McBroom's desperation three-point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark.
Toledo advances to the quarterfinals where they will play No. 3 Ohio Thursday night. Tip off is slated for 9:30 p.m. after the Western Michigan-Kent State game. Winner of the Toledo-Ohio game will play again on Friday night in the semifinals against No. 2 Buffalo.