MAC Announces Men's and Women's Conference Basketball Schedules

Updated 9/12/2000
Cleveland, Ohio -- Following the record-setting crowds at the 2000 Mid-American Conference Men's Basketball Tournament, the move of the 2001 championship to a more fan-friendly weekend format highlights the 2000-2001 MAC mens basketball schedule, released today by the league office.

The MAC also released its 2000-01 women's conference basketball schedule as Kent State looks to defend both its regular season and conference titles from a year ago. The 20th MAC Womens Basketball Tournament will open on Saturday, March 3, with first round games on campus sites, before moving to Cleveland for the quarter-final through championship rounds. Kent State and Toledo have met in the last five MAC Womens Championship games.

The 2001 mens basketball tournament, the 22nd in league history, will open Monday, March 5, with first round games on campus sites. The tournament then moves to Clevelands Gund Arena on Thursday (quarter-finals), Friday (semifinals) and Saturday (championship game), March 8-9-10. The MAC Championship game will be carried live nationally on ESPN2 with a tip-off time of 7 p.m. (ET).

Two nationally-televised league contests, part of the MAC's expanded relationship with ESPN, highlights the regular season schedule. Akrons visit to arch-rival Kent State on Saturday, January 6, will air on either ESPN or ESPN2, while a rematch of last year's title game occurs on ESPN2 when Miami plays at Ball State on Sunday, February 11 at 1 p.m. (ET). ESPN is presently carried in 78 million households, while ESPN2 reaches 72 million homes.

The balance of the MACs men's television package, which is syndicated by ESPN Regional Television, will be released at the MAC Basketball Media Days, Oct. 18-19 in Cleveland.

This season marks the second of full divisional play, featuring round-robin competition within the divisions and crossover matchups which highlight traditional MAC rivalries. Last years West Division race finished in a tie between Ball State and Toledo (both 11-7). The East Division had Bowling Green (14-4) edge Kent State (13-5) by one game for first place with three other teams, Akron, Marshall and Ohio, (all 11-7) in a tie for third. The MAC featured five 20-win teams a year ago -- the most in league history -- and over 33 percent of the league's conference games were decided by six points or less.

The competitiveness and balance of the leagues 1999-2000 regular season extended into the post season. After a year which was highlighted by 21 overtime games (6 double ot, 2 triple ot) involving at least one MAC team, the opening round of quarterfinal games at Gund Arena were decided by a total of six points with two of the contests going overtime. Record attendance was established for a MAC Tournament with the largest single-session crowd at a neutral site with 8,127 for the Sunday night quarterfinal games that saw Ball State beat Toledo, 64-63 in overtime and Ohio defeating Kent State 69-68, and with the largest total attendance for a neutral site with 27,940 for all four sessions.

The women's conference schedules follow:

2000-2001 MAC Women's Conference Schedule
Wednesday, January 3
*Akron at Bowling Green
*Buffalo at Miami
*Eastern Michigan at Central Michigan
*Kent State at Ohio

Thursday, January 4
*Marshall at Ball State

Saturday, January 6
*Akron at Buffalo
*Ball State at Central Michigan
*Bowling Green at Ohio
*Eastern Michigan at Kent State
*Marshall at Northern Illinois
*Toledo at Miami

Tuesday, January 9
*Central Michigan at Bowling Green
*Northern Illinois at Eastern Michigan

Wednesday, January 10
*Ball State at Western Michigan
*Kent State at Buffalo
*Miami at Akron
*Ohio at Toledo

Saturday, January 13
*Akron at Kent State
*Buffalo at Ohio
*Central Michigan at Miami
*Northern Illinois at Ball State
*Toledo at Bowling Green
*Western Michigan at Marshall

Tuesday, January 16
*Central Michigan at Marshall
*Northern Illinois at Toledo

Wednesday, January 17
*Miami at Kent State
*Ohio at Ball State
*Western Michigan at Eastern Michigan

Saturday, January 20
*Akron at Western Michigan
*Ball State at Marshall
*Buffalo at Eastern Michigan
*Kent State at Toledo
*Miami at Northern Illinois
*Ohio at Central Michigan

Monday, January 22
*Bowling Green at Kent State

Wednesday, January 24
*Ball State at Akron
*Bowling Green at Northern Illinois
*Eastern Michigan at Ohio
*Marshall at Buffalo
*Toledo at Central Michigan
*Western Michigan at Kent State

Saturday, January 27
*Ball State at Eastern Michigan
*Buffalo at Bowling Green
*Central Michigan at Northern Illinois
*Marshall at Akron
*Ohio at Miami
*Western Michigan at Toledo

Tuesday, January 30
*Kent State at Miami

Wednesday, January 31
*Bowling Green at Western Michigan
*Eastern Michigan at Akron
*Northern Illinois at Buffalo
*Ohio at Marshall
*Toledo at Ball State

Saturday, February 3
*Akron at Ohio
*Buffalo at Marshall
*Central Michigan at Western Michigan
*Eastern Michigan at Northern Illinois
*Kent State at Bowling Green
*Miami at Ball State

Monday, February 5
*Eastern Michigan at Toledo

Tuesday, February 6
*Akron at Central Michigan

Wednesday, February 7
*Ball State at Toledo
*Miami at Marshall
*Ohio at Bowling Green
*Western Michigan at Buffalo

Thursday, February 8
*Northern Illinois at Kent State

Saturday, February 10
*Ball State at Buffalo
*Bowling Green at Akron
*Kent State at Central Michigan
*Marshall at Eastern Michigan
*Northern Illinois at Ohio
*Toledo at Western Michigan

Monday, February 12
*Bowling Green at Miami

Wednesday, February 14
*Akron at Marshall
*Buffalo at Kent State
*Central Michigan at Eastern Michigan
*Miami at Ohio
*Toledo at Northern Illinois
*Western Michigan at Ball State

Saturday, February 17
*Buffalo at Akron
*Central Michigan at Toledo
*Eastern Michigan at Ball State
*Marshall at Bowling Green
*Miami at Western Michigan
*Ohio at Kent State

Monday, February 19
*Western Michigan at Northern Illinois

Wednesday, February 21
*Ball State at Northern Illinois
*Bowling Green at Eastern Michigan
*Marshall at Miami
*Ohio at Buffalo
*Toledo at Akron
*Western Michigan at Central Michigan

Saturday, February 24
*Akron at Miami
*Bowling Green at Buffalo
*Central Michigan at Ball State
*Kent State at Marshall
*Northern Illinois at Western Michigan
*Toledo at Eastern Michigan

Tuesday, February 27
*Kent State at Akron
*Northern Illinois at Central Michigan

Wednesday, February 28
*Buffalo at Toledo
*Eastern Michigan at Western Michigan
*Marshall at Ohio
*Miami at Bowling Green

Saturday, March 3
MAC Womens Basketball Tournament
First Round
(at campus sites)

Tuesday-Saturday, March 6-10
MAC Womens Basketball Tournament Quarterfinals-Finals
(dates and times TBA, Cleveland, Ohio)