Mid-American: Miami (Oh.) 70, Kent State 45 (story)
- Total domination.
The RedHawks (18-8, 12-5 MAC) sent a message to the rest of the league, and to the Selection Committee as well, saying that they'd sure like to be invited to that Dance thingy if there's room on the list. But they didn't ask nicely - they held Kent to 11 first-half points on 9% shooting, and former MMBOW Danny Horace
put up yet another double-double (19 and 15). Kent (18-11, 10-7 MAC) slides back down the ladder, while Miami can wrap up the tourney one-seed with a gimmee at Marshall
Adding to the clarity in the Eastern division was 11-6 Ohio's
90-77 steamrolling win over 10-7 Buffalo
, a reversion to the poor defensive play that made the preseason darling Bulls a Bubble team to begin with. While Buffalo's little light may now be hidden under a bushel, Western Michigan's
(18-10, 11-6 MAC) flickered just a wee bit brighter - they demolished Bowling Green
77-52 on former MMBOW Levi Rost's
Senior Night to take the undisputed West lead.Bracket WrapSouthern:
The first round is complete, and it didn't go exactly as planned. (recaps)(N5) East Tennessee State 87, (S4) Furman 84
(N4) Elon 64, (S5) Wofford 58
(S3) Georgia Southern 69, (N6) Western Carolina 57
(N3) Appalachian State 68, (S6) The Citadel 59
Forget the seeding numbers, Elon's win is an upset due to the disparity in records. And just hours after I slagged Tim Smith yesterday, he dropped 37 points on the Furman Paladins - including five treys - and sent them packing. As longtime Mid-Majority readers know, this was Hoop God's final judgment and ultimate payback to a Furman team that had spent its December running up the score on Division III squads
. In the other games, App-State used Total Team Effort to eliminate the Bulldogs (no Mountaineer scored more than 10 points); Western's 22 coughups proved costly in their 12-point drop to Georgia Southern.
Here are today's quarterfinal matchups. In the noon game, lucky Elon draws a Davidson
team that just finished the regular season undefeated. UNC Greensboro
, the North's two-seed, will take on Georgia Southern
at 2:30. ETSU will try to extend its run against N1 and tourney host Chattanooga
at 6:00 pm, and Appalachian State will play S2 Charleston
at 8:30 to round out the slate.Horizon:
In Wednesday's campus-site qualification games, the higher seeds all won out neatly. (recaps)(6) Wright State 61, (7) Butler 57
(5) Illinois-Chicago 84, (8) Cleveland State 65
(4) Loyola (Ill.) 78, (9) Youngstown State 75
The dogfight at six and seven was the best game of the three, as the Wright State Raiders put in a 60% shooting performance in the second half to nip the Butler Bulldogs. Loyola used a one-two inside-outside punch of little DaJuan Gouard (23 points) and big Blake Schilb (22) to ramble over the Penguins of YSU. The win by defending champs UIC was your garden-variety blowout, and now Cleveland State can focus on beeing a good host for the first and second Tournament rounds at their Convocation Center.
The survivors march on to Milwaukee for Friday's second round. Loyola and UIC will face off for the right to face 1 Wisconsin-Milwaukee
, and Wright State draws 3 Detroit to decide who gets 2 Wisconsin-Green Bay
.What's On Tap
In addition to quarterfinal Thursday in the SoCon, the Northeast gets started with their campus-site quarters. The Big South's semifinals tip off tonight as well. Also, what promises to be a wild Atlantic Sun tournament kicks off in Nashville - don't be surprised if the bracket is inverted after today's quarterfinals, all 5-6-7-8 style.Automatic Bids Pennsylvania
(17-8, 10-1 Ivy) clinched the Ivy League
regular season title on February 27.