Sports (Spectator)

Mid-American Conference Basketball Tournament

When: March 7-10 2012

We here in the heartland of America are a blessed lot when it comes to our college basketball. The ever-plucky Mid-American Conference has long been dominated by schools populated with sons and daughters of Northeast Ohio, and its top teams seem to cause trouble for somebody at the NCAA Tournament every year. Now the time has come to determine the MAC’s automatic representative for March Madness 2012: The annual MAC Basketball Tournament gets down to business with second-round action Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena. As of this writing, perennial favorites Kent State, Akron, and Ohio have all sprinted to the front of the pack yet again, and have earned the right to watch the opening rounds from the bleachers. Winners of preliminary-round games square off in a pair of contests Wednesday evening. Action for the top seeds begins Thursday, with the winners going on to meet the top two seeds in Friday’s semifinal round. Tipoffs on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are at 7 and 9:30 p.m., and your ticket gets you access to both games. The conference championship begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, with the winner punching its ticket for the proverbial Big Dance. Tickets range from $20 to $54. (Not to be overlooked: The MAC women’s tournament also takes place at the Q each afternoon this week; for more info on their exploits, see the conference website at — Erich Burnett

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