If you don’t follow the Mid-American Conference too closely, then you’d probably head into this season thinking that Central Michigan would be the runaway favorite to repeat as champ. With Butch Jones not being the choice at West Virginia to replace Rich Rodriguez and quarterback Dan LeFevour back in the saddle, there are two very good reasons why.
In recent weeks, the Rise & Fall series has chronicled the progress (or regress) of college basketball's major conference teams. But if I equated each team to a civilization, I was mistaken. It is really the NCAA conference that equates to a burgeoning civilization or nation, each with its sometimes stable and sometimes rotating member states. Like civilizations, the prestige and power of conferences wax and wane..
CLEVELAND – For second time in two days Akron has exacted some revenge against teams that beat them earlier in the season.
Tonight it was Western Michigan that felt the revenge wrath of the Zips as they fell to Akron 73-62.
In a game where Akron (23-9) consistently led and led by double digits starting at the end of the first half It came down to the Zips’ strong shooting performance.
Akron shot a blazing 58.7 percent (27-46) from the field versus 44.7 percent (21-47) for Western Michigan (20-12).
CLEVELAND – With four quarterfinals games today I am just going to get the highlights of the games and try to give fans a flavor for what is going.
Game One: WMU vs EMU
Led by David Kool’s 24 points No. 2 seed Western Michigan (20-11) beat No. 7 seed Eastern Michigan (14-17). In a game that Eastern Michigan never led, they did make it interesting when at the 10:34 mark they tied the game at 34-34 when Jarrad Axon made two foul shots, but that was a fleeting moment of joy as the Broncos closed it out to end Eastern Michigan’s season.
The No. 7 seed Eastern Michigan beat No. 10 Ball State 59-55 to put the Cardinals out of their misery and moved into the semifinals against No. 2 Western Michigan at noon. Justin Dobbins led the Eagles with 21 points, including a put-back that gave them a 45-44 lead and led to an 8-0 run to pull away from Ball State.
“We expected them to play well. They had nothing to lose. They are a much better team than that record indicates.”
- Eastern Michigan coach Charles Ramsey