College Basketball

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Eastern Michigan (21-13) vs. Toledo (26-5)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Friday, March 14, 9 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Quicken Loans Arena (20,562) -- Cleveland, Ohio. Television: TWSports, ESPN3.com. Home Record: Eastern Michigan 15-3, Toledo 15-0. Away Record: Eastern Michigan 4-10, Toledo 9-5. Neutral Record: Eastern Michigan 2-0, Toledo 2-0. Conference Record: Eastern Michigan 10-8, Toledo 14-4. Series Record: Toledo leads, 49-43.

GAME NOTES: The second semifinal-round contest in the Mid-American Conference Tournament pits the sixth-seeded Eastern Michigan Eagles against the second- seeded Toledo Rockets at Quicken Loans Arena.

The winner advances to Saturday's conference championship game against either Akron or Western Michigan.

Eastern Michigan has had quite the path to get to the MAC semifinal round. The Eagles defeated Central Michigan in the first round, then took down Northern Illinois in the second. On Thursday, Eastern Michigan won against East Division champion Buffalo in an upset, 69-64, to advance to the semifinals.

Toledo began the season 12-0 before back-to-back losses to Kansas and Western Michigan dropped the Rockets from their perfect record. Still, Toledo was able to run through conference play with a 14-4 record, and won the last three games of the season before earning a triple-bye into the MAC semifinal round. The Rockets downed Eastern Michigan, 77-66, in their season finale last Saturday.

Toledo leads the all-time series against Eastern Michigan, 49-43. The Eagles have won six of their last seven games entering this showdown, with the lone loss coming against the Rockets on March 8 in the regular-season finale. The Eagles, though, were one of four conference teams to beat Toledo during the regular season, splitting the series in 2013-14 with the Rockets.

Buffalo held a three-point lead over Eastern Michigan at the half, 32-29, on Thursday night, but the Eagles outscored the Bulls from the free-throw line in the second half, 14-7, and hit 40.7 percent of their field-goal tries to make the comeback run for the win. Karrington Ward led the way for EMU with 19 points in the contest, grabbing seven rebounds as well. Mike Talley was the only other Eagles player to net a double-digit scoring total with 12, hitting 10-of-12 from the free-throw line. Ward contributed to his already team- leading scoring average, boosting it to 12.9 ppg. The big man also leads the team in rebounding with a 6.6 rpg mark. Talley is second on the squad with 10.3 ppg, and Ravel Lee checks in at third with 10.2 ppg.

Toledo got a bit of a scare from Eastern Michigan in Saturday's season-ending win, as the Rockets led by just three points, 35-32. But the home squad came out in the second half and netted 50 percent of its shot attempts from the floor, and was able to add eight points onto the team's lead by the final whistle. Justin Drummond netted 22 points to pace the Rockets, while Rian Pearson contributed a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Julius Brown, who comes into the postseason tournament averaging a team-best 14.8 ppg, scored 13 points against the Eagles, and Jonathan Williams chipped in 12 points in the win. Brown, who dished out seven assists Saturday, tops the squad with 195 helpers on the season. Drummond (14.5 ppg) and Pearson (14.3 ppg) are all solid scorers for the Rockets, and J.D. Weatherspoon (11.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg) is a beast underneath the basket.

The Eagles have an advantage most other teams in the MAC don't - they've already beaten Toledo once this season, so they know the formula. The problem will be Toledo's adaptation, and playing in Ohio will give the Rockets advantage. Toledo's offense will be just too strong for Eastern Michigan, which nets just 66.6 ppg.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Toledo 78, Eastern Michigan 68

03/14 10:35:42 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
7:00pm Tonight
NCCU
DELST
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNC
SYR
 
Final
CHI 84
MIA 96
Final
CLE 108
OKC 98
Final
NOP 109
DAL 106
Final
ORL 99
IND 106
Final
PHO 100
LAC 120
Final
ATL 112
MIN 100
Final
TOR 114
DET 110
Final
SAN 101
MIL 95
Final
GSW 114
BOS 111
Final
DEN 115
WAS 117
Final
LAL 87
HOU 99
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
POR
 
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NYK
SAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
MIN
 
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MEM
ORL
 
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NOP
PHI
 
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UTA
BOS
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
DEN
 
Final
UCONN 66
SFLA 53
Final
GT 62
BC 64
Final
VT 47
UVA 50
Final
OSU 82
IND 70
Final
UCF 46
CIN 56
Final
WICHS 74
DRAK 40
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
MAR 73
FAIR 67
 
Final
HART 61
MAINE 70
 
Final
MAN 71
MON 64
 
Final
PRIN 96
ROWAN 48
 
Final
SIENA 55
PETE 69
 
Final
RIU 53
BONA 48
Final
BING 54
USB 61
 
Final
MLOWELL 50
VERM 61
 
Final
BUT 77
SHU 57
Final
SALA 55
YALE 72
 
Final
PITT 68
LOU 80
Final
ILLST 53
NIOWA 54
Final
GTDNS 69
UMBC 55
 
Final
IONA 87
NIAG 64
 
Final
TENST 55
BEL 63
 
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
Final
VILL 71
CREI 50
Final
MD 68
NW 67
Final
UTAH 77
WASH 56
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AMER
ARMY
 
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OU
CLST
 
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NCCU
DELST
 
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UNC
SYR
 
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WRST
 
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NO
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Final
TEAMFOLI 12
TEAMTOEWS 17
Final
CARTER 28
IRVIN 32