Women’s MAC Tournament bracket announced

The Mid-American Conference Women’s Tournament bracket was announced yesterday.

The Kent State women’s basketball team clinched a first-round bye and its first matchup is set for Wednesday at 3 p.m.

The 25th annual women’s tournament faces a change in format this year as the matchups are cross-divisional. The No. 3 and No. 4 teams in both the MAC East Division and MAC West are hosting the No. 6 and No. 5 teams Saturday. MAC East No. 4 Ohio plays at MAC West No. 5 Central Michigan.

MAC West No. 1 Eastern Michigan (21-6, 15-1 MAC) will play the winner of the Ohio-Central Michigan game.

The Flashes (19-8, 12-4 MAC) will play the winner of the matchup between MAC West No. 3 Ball State (16-11, 9-7 MAC) and MAC East No. 6 Akron (5-22, 2-14).

The first round also includes MAC West No. 4 Northern Illinois (11-16, 7-9 MAC) at MAC East No. 5 Miami (8-19, 3-13 MAC) and MAC East No. 3 Buffalo (10-17, 5-11 MAC) at MAC West No. 6 Toledo (9-17, 4-12 MAC).

MAC West No. 2 Western Michigan (14-3, 11-5 MAC) will face the winner of the Buffalo-Toledo matchup.

Defending champs MAC East No. 1 Bowling Green (25-2, 16-0 MAC) will play the winner of the Northern Illinois-Miami game. Bowling Green won the MAC regular season title and claimed a perfect MAC record after defeating Miami 71-59 Tuesday. The Falcons are ranked No. 24 nationally and beat the Flashes 81-75 in senior forward Lindsay Shearer’s record-breaking MAC Championship game last season. Shearer scored 44 points, and the Flashes haven’t beaten the Falcons since.

Toledo was the last MAC team to win back-to-back championships in the 1995-1996 season and the 1996-1997 season.

– Kali Price