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Ohio Men's Basketball Heads Back To Oxford For 2018 MAC Tournament First Round Matchup With Miami

Ohio Men's Basketball Heads Back To Oxford For 2018 MAC Tournament First Round Matchup With Miami


By Mike Ashcraft

2018 MAC Tournament: Championship Central | Bracket (PDF)
Listen: Ohio IMG Sports Network
Live Stats: Gametracker

ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio men's basketball team (14-16, 7-11 MAC) will enter the 2018 Mid-American Conference Tournament presented by VisitMyrtleBeach.com as the No. 10 seed and will be heading to Oxford, Ohio, for a first-round matchup with No. 7-seeded Miami (15-16, 8-10 MAC) on Monday (March 5) at 7 p.m. ET at Millett Hall, the conference office announced on Saturday (March 3).

Monday's game will be streamed live on WatchESPN and the ESPN app, with Steve Baker and Randy Hollowell on the call. The contest will also be broadcast on the Ohio IMG Sports Network, with 'Voice of the Bobcats' Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius on the call. Radio pregame coverage is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET with 'Countdown To Tipoff.'

The Bobcats will be visiting Millett Hall for the second time in four days, as Ohio closed out the 2017-18 regular season with a 75-66 victory over the RedHawks on Friday (March 2). Ohio swept the 2018 regular season series from their MAC East Division archrivals, marking the third-straight year the Bobcats have swept Miami. In the first meeting of the season between the two squads, the Bobcats prevailed over Miami in overtime, 92-87, on Feb. 17 at the Convocation Center in Athens. Ohio has now won 14 of the last 15 meetings against the RedHawks -- including each of the last seven contests.

Monday's game marks the seventh time Ohio will face a team in its MAC Tournament opener that it played in its regular season finale. The situation last occurred in 1997, when the Bobcats lost at Western Michigan, 82-73, in the regular season finale, then, as the No. 3 seed fell to the No. 6-seeded Broncos, 74-68 in the quarterfinals. The year before, the Bobcats beat Ball State, 87-67, in its final regular season game but then, as the No. 4 seed, dropped an 86-80 decision to the No. 5-seeded Cardinals in the quarters. In 1993, Ohio lost its regular season finale at Toledo, 85-73, then, as the No. 4 seed, lost to the No. 5-seeded Rockets, 85-84, in overtime. In 1992, the Bobcats defeated Bowling Green, 61-55, in the regular season finale, but, as the No. 4 seed, fell to No. 5-seeded Bowling Green, 56-46. In 1987, Ohio lost its regular season finale to Bowling Green, 56-53, then, as the No. 6 seed, fell to the No. 3-seeded Falcons, 52-51, in the quarters. The 1984 campaign saw the Bobcats finish the regular season with a 53-49 win over Kent State but then, as the No. 2 seed, fall to the No. 7-seeded Golden Flashes in the quarters, 57-53.

Ohio will be facing Miami in the MAC Tournament for the first time since March 12, 2014, when the Bobcats earned a 63-55 win over the RedHawks in the second round at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The Bobcats are 7-3 all-time against the RedHawks in league tournament action, but the two teams have never met in the first round.

The Bobcats are 41-30 (.577) all-time in the MAC Tournament -- including 2-3 (.400) under head coach Saul Phillips -- and have captured six league tournament crowns. Ohio is making its 37th appearance in the MAC Tournament in 2018. Last year, the Bobcats locked down the No. 2 seed in the 2017 MAC Tournament presented by VisitMyrtleBeach.com for the second year in a row, earning a bye to the quarterfinals. Ohio topped No. 7-seeded Toledo in the quarters, 67-66, before falling to No. 6-seed and eventual tournament champion Kent State, 68-66, in the league semifinals. 

Ohio is 10-3 (.833) all-time in the first round of the MAC Tournament and will be playing a first-round game for the first time since March 9, 2015, when the No. 11-seeded Bobcats fell to No. 6-seeded Western Michigan, 82-74, in Kalamazoo, Mich. The Bobcats will be playing a MAC Tournament First Round game on the road for the fifth time. The Bobcats are 2-2 all-time in MAC Tournament First Round road games, Ohio took down No. 8-seeded Ball State, 85-77, in overtime as the No. 9 seed on March 7, 2010, in Muncie, Ind. Ohio went on to win the MAC Tournament and advance to the second round of the NCAA Championship that season. No. 10-seeded Ohio dropped a 56-54 decision at No. 7-seeded Bowling Green on March 8, 2004. The No. 11-seeded Bobcats earned their first-ever MAC Tournament First Round road win on March 10, 2003, with a 79-77 upset at No. 6-seeded Akron.
Ohio enters the MAC Tournament as the No. 10 seed for just the second time and for the first time since suffering the first-round loss at Bowling Green in 2004. Since 2000, when the league expanded the tournament field, the No. 10-seed is 0-18 all-time in the MAC Tournament. Last year, No. 10-seeded Bowling Green fell at No. 7-seeded Toledo, 77-62.
The winner of Monday's matchup between Ohio and Miami will punch its ticket to Cleveland to square off with No. 2-seeded Toledo (21-10, 13-5 MAC) on Thursday (March 8) at 6:30 p.m. ET at Quicken Loans Arena. The game will be streamed live on WatchESPN and the ESPN app. The Bobcats went 0-2 against the Rockets in the 2018 regular season, losing 91-57 on Jan. 16 at the Convo and 82-74 on Feb. 13 at Savage Arena in Toledo.
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