Twelve things you should know about tournament week

With the Mid-American Conference Tournament occurring this week, I have been asked to look at the top 12 must-know facts for tournament week.

As a senior, I have seen my fair share of MAC Tournament games, including two championships. Thus, here are 12 things you will need to know about this week’s tournament:

1. Student seats are not usually that great. Most of the time you are stuck in one of the last sections in the lower bowl, but sometimes students find their way to get closer to the floor.

2. In the 29-year history of the MAC Tournament, Ball State has won the most championships with seven. Kent State is second with five.

3. Usually students do not sit in their assigned seat according to their ticket. There are a few designated sections for students, and seats are usually first-come, first-serve. So if you get a first-row ticket, do not expect to show up at game time and sit in the first row.

4. Teams have won back-to-back championships just twice since 1980: Ball State in 1989 and 1990 and Kent State in 2001 and 2002. All four of those teams went on to win at least one game in the NCAA Tournament.

5. Try to get a ride if you can. Parking can be a pain, and finding a ride is always a plus during tournament week. If you go multiple days, carpool with your friends, alternating drivers each day.

6. Ever since first-round byes started in 2000, every team that won the MAC Tournament has had a bye. In other words, no team has ever won four straight games to win the MAC championship.

7. Other than the first game of each day, do not expect any games to start on time. The MAC schedules games two hours apart, and they always get off track.

8. The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds have met the most in championship games, nine times, and the No. 1 seed won seven of those. Additionally, the No. 1 seed has won the most championships – 17 out of 21 title game appearances – and the No. 2 seed has lost the most championship games – eight out of 14 total appearances.

9. If your team wins the championship game, good luck rushing the court. For the first time last year, students were forbidden to rush the court. Leaving the building frustrated is never good after the biggest win of the season, so do not get your hopes up.

10. Do not expect overtime. Since the year 2000, 105 MAC Tournament games have been played, and only five of those went into overtime. In addition, the championship game has only gone to overtime twice in 29 years.

11. Make sure you know exactly how to get home. Just because you managed to get up to Cleveland does not mean it is just as easy to get home. One-way streets and strange street signs can make for a long night.

12. All 12 teams are eligible for the tournament. Of those teams, the No. 6 seed is the highest-ranked seed to have never made a championship game, while the lowest seed to make the championship game was a No. 9 seed – Miami in 2000.

ZGuest columnist Dan Knopp is a senior business management major and a member of Ford’s Fanatics. Contact him at [email protected].