MAC Tournament Men’s Quarterfinals

Written by on March 14, 2024

No. 1 Toledo Rockets – 59 vs. No. 8 Kent State Golden Flashes – 67

After losing to the Rockets on the road on March 8, the Flashes fell to the No. 8 seed, setting up another matchup with Toledo. 

The Kent State offense only scored 26 in the first half of the meeting on March 8, and it was tough sledding again in the first half of the quarterfinal as they only mustered 28.

Fortunately for the Flashes, their defense came to play, holding Toledo to 24 points on 34.6% shooting. 

As it usually does, Kent State’s offense woke up in the second half and the underdog Flashes opened with a 12-5 run to take a 40-29 lead.

Toledo was able to chip into the lead and bring it down to six with just under seven minutes left, but turnovers and missed free throws allowed Kent to push the lead back to ten.

The Rockets would cut the lead to two possessions on multiple occasions, but their errors proved to be too much to overcome as the Flashes pulled the first upset in the MAC tournament, men’s, or women’s.


No. 4 Central Michigan Chippewas – 56 vs. No. 5 Bowling Green Falcons – 66

As was true for the opening quarterfinal, offense was not easy to find in the first half. 

Central Michigan jumped out to a 10-4 lead, but an elongated 8-0 run by the Falcons gave them the 12-10 lead. 

After going back up 23-19, the Chippewas were held scoreless for over five minutes and gave up seven points in that span. However, five points in the final 45 seconds of the half, including a three-point buzzer-beater, gave them a 28-26 halftime lead.

The game stayed tight throughout the second half, with the difference never being more than two possessions for either team until the final minutes. 

With the game tied at 55-55 with three minutes remaining, Bowling Green’s offense took control, scoring 11 points in the final stretch.

Central Michigan was unable to keep up, and only scored one point in that time.

Bowling Green will take on Kent State in the first semifinal of the men’s bracket on March 15 at 5 p.m. 


No. 2 Akron Zips – 75 vs. No. 7 Miami RedHawks – 63

With Toledo falling to Kent State in the opening quarterfinal matchup, it became Akron’s tournament to lose.

Unfortunately for the Zips, they did not start particularly strong as they found themselves in an early 18–9 hole. 

After exchanging a few baskets, the RedHawks still had a nine-point advantage with under ten minutes to go in the first half.

The lead slowly evaporated when Akron’s defense began to take control, sparking an 18-5 run, which eventually resulted in a 37-35 halftime lead for the Zips.

The run continued in the second half and Akron found themselves up 14 early in the second half.

Miami’s defense did finally put an end to the run while the offense was able to cut the lead to seven with 10:43 remaining. However, the RedHawks went cold, scoring just four points over the next six and a half minutes.

The Zips’ offense again found their rhythm, pushing their lead to fifteen on multiple occasions, and eventually booking their ticket to the semifinals.


No. 3 Ohio Bobcats – 82 vs. No. 6 Western Michigan Broncos – 55

 The final quarterfinal had the slowest start, with just eight combined points through the first six minutes. Unfortunately for Western Michigan, all eight were scored by the Bobcats.

Even though the Broncos’ defense played well while the offense slowly woke up, the Bobcat lead grew to 11 with under eight minutes left in the first half.

Western Michigan put a dent in the lead with a 6-0 run to bring themselves within five, but a 16-8 run by Ohio to close out the half put the Broncos down 35-22 at the break. 

Western Michigan found themselves down 20 but were able to cut the lead to 14. The Bobcats answered, making three straight three-point attempts that were part of an 11-0 run that took just over a minute.

With their lead swelling to 25 with six and a half minutes left, Ohio cruised to victory and advanced to the semifinals.

They will play Akron half an hour after the conclusion of the semifinal matchup between Bowling Green and Kent State.


Photo courtesy: Yasmeen Matthews

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