March 7, 2012
MAC Tournament Central
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CLEVELAND, OHIO - The No. 3-seeded Ohio Bobcats (24-7, 11-5) begin play at the 2012 Mid-American Conference Tournament on Thursday evening when they take on No. 7 Toledo at 9:30 p.m from Quicken Loans Arena.
Michael Reghi will provide the play-by-play and Steve Mix will have the color commentary for SportsTime Ohio. You can also hear all the action as Voice of the Bobcats Russ Eisenstein will have the play-by-play call on the Citizens Banks IMG Ohio Sports Network with Rob Cornelius providing the color commentary.
Tickets for all 2012 First Energy MAC Men's Basketball Tournament rounds in Cleveland may be purchased online by clicking here or by calling the Ohio Athletics Ticket Office at 800-575-CATS (2287). Ticket prices for the men's tournament games are $32. Please note that your credit card will only be charged for each round Ohio advances.
Prior to the Men's MAC Tournament game, join fellow Ohio alumni, students and fans for the Bobcat Bash! The event will be held at Zocalo Mexican Grill (2071 East Fourth Street), just two blocks from Quicken Loans Arena. Enjoy FREE appetizers and special pregame appearances by the Marching 110, Rufus, and the Ohio Cheerleaders! If the Bobcats advance, the event will start two hours prior to tip-off
- The Bobcats are making their 30th MAC Tournament appearance and currently hold an overall record of 33-25
- Ohio is third all-time in tournament wins behind Ball State (37) and Miami (36)
- The ‘Cats have five MAC Championships, tied with Kent State for second-most all-time. BSU leads the way with seven, but none since 2000
- The Green & White are 11-16 all-time in quarterfinal games and have only advanced out of this round
once since 2005
- The last two times Ohio won its quarterfinal game, 2005 and 2010, it won the MAC Tournament
- Ohio has reached the MAC Quarterfinals every season since 2004, tied for second among current active streaks with Akron
- The Bobcats have been the No. 3 seed three times prior to this season and are 3-3 all-time in that position
- The ‘Cats went 2-1 in 1988, reaching the MAC Championship, lost their lone contest in 1997 and split a pair of games in 1999
- Ohio has reached the 20-win mark for the 13th time in program history and second time under current
Head Coach John Groce
- This year’s team became the fastest Bobcat squad to win 20 games. The 1994-95 team held the mark, capturing their 20th victory on Feb. 22 against Western Michigan
- The 1993-94 team holds the school record for wins as it went 25-8 and reached the NIT
- Ohio 12-1 start to the season tied the best start for a program in team history, matching the 1920-21 and 1939-40 squads
- The Bobcats are fourth in the nation in steals per contest (9.5), seventh in the nation in turnover margin (+4.3) and rank eighth nationally in guarding the perimeter (28.4%)
- Ohio is also excelling in turning its opponents over, ranking No. 1 in the nation in turnover percentage
according to KenPom’s national standings (27.4%)
- This year’s Bobcat team is ranked third all-time, limiting its opponents to 62.5 points per game. The 1983-84 team holds the record at 58.7 points per game
- Overall, the record for the Bobcats under Coach Groce when they are able to hold their opponents under 70 points is 58-19 (.753)
OHIO VS. TOLEDO
- This will be the 120th meeting between these two teams with the Bobcats holding a 65-54 advantage in the all-time series
- Ohio is 4-1 all-time vs. Toledo in the MAC Tournament, including a win in the first round last season; The Bobcats are 2-1 against the Rockets in quarterfinal games (L, ‘93; W, ‘99; W, ‘01)
- The Bobcats have won four of the last five and seven of the last nine against the Rockets overall
- Ivo Baltic averages 13.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg and is shooting 57 percent from the floor in four career contests against UT
- Ohio clawed back from a 13-point deficit in the second half but fell at Toledo earlier this season, 77-73
- Cooper paced the Bobcats with 18 points and game-high five assists, Nick Kellogg finished with 13 points, 11 in the first half, and Reggie Keely finished with 11 points and led Ohio with seven rebounds
COOPER’S CAREER MARKS
Cooper broke the all-time assists mark against Kent State last week, a record that had stood since 1990 (Dennis Whitaker, 651). The junior also owns Ohio’s top two single-season marks (263 in 10-11, 218 in 2009-10) and led the league in helpers the past two seasons. He currently ranks 26th in the nation with an average of 5.6 per contest.
Cooper is also one of 33 1,000-point scorers in Ohio history. His 422 points this season have seen him move past former teammates DeVaughn Washington and Tommy Freeman, as well as Fred Moore, Lewis Geter, Frankie Baumholtz, John Canine, Bunk Adams, Jerry Jackson, Don Hilt, Sonny Troutman, Kirk Lehman, Gerald McKee, Vic Alexander, Robert Tatum, Curtis Simmons, Sanjay Adell and Steve
Esterkamp with 1,472 career points.
His 244 steals currently rank him second all-time as he passed former ‘Cats Paul Graham and Dennis Whitaker this season. Cooper now trails only all-time leader Sonny Troutman’s Ohio record, 259. Cooper also owns the single-season mark in that category (93 in 2009-10) and currently ranks 12th nationally with an average of 2.4 steals per game.
When Ohio won its 20th game of the season, the Bobcats became the first team from the Mid-American Conference to reach that mark. Of the 13 Division 1 men’s basketball programs in the state of Ohio, the Bobcats, were the third team to reach the 20-win plateau along with nationally-ranked Ohio State and Cleveland State.
This season on the gridiron, Ohio Football won 10 games for the first time since 1968 and captured the first bowl win in school history. Currently, only 11 other Division 1 schools can boast a 10-win football team and a 20-win basketball team (Alabama, Baylor, BYU, Cincinnati, Kansas State, Michigan, Michigan State, Oregon, Southern Mississippi, Stanford and Wisconsin).