Thanks to Tim's earlier post, we got a look this morning at the current state of affairs on the Men's side of things. Similarly, time is winding down for the women as well, and like the men, UB's Women's Basketball team is also currently in position for a bye into the later rounds of the tournament.
Toledo WBB lost to WMU today, so despite the loss UB hangs onto the 4 seed. WMU is now just one game back of Buffalo and Toledo
Toledo WBB lost to WMU today, so despite the loss UB hangs onto the 4 seed. WMU is now just one game back of Buffalo and Toledo— Bull Run (@UBBullRun) February 24, 2014
The hierarchy for the women with just a handful of regular season games remaining is pretty well set in the very top of the conference. Bowling Green and Central Michigan sit 1-2 and likely won't be caught by the number 3 team, Akron, who is a few games clear of UB and Toledo.
It's at the 4 through 6 spot that there's the first bit of a grouping. UB and Toledo are both 8-6, and Western Michigan is now just one game back of both at 7-7. Thanks to their 51-46 victory over the Rockets way back in the early stages of MAC play, UB holds the tiebreaker over Toledo, a tiebreaker that right now means the difference between a potential meat grinder and sitting pretty to face whatever battered group comes out of the first two rounds. However, should Western Michigan catch UB, they hold the tiebreaker over Buffalo.
With thanks to HustleBelt, the MAC Women's Seeding as it stands today:
1/2 - Bowling Green / Central Michigan (coin flip)
---- Bye to Semi Finals ----
3 - Akron
4 - Buffalo
---- Bye to Quarterfinals ----
5 - Toledo
6 - Western Michigan
7 - Ball State
8 - Eastern Michigan
9 - Northern Illinois
10 - Ohio
11 - Miami
12 - Kent State
Just as with the men, it's unlikely that UB falls below the six spot, since Ball State is yet another game back of WMU and UB holds the tiebreaker over the Cardinals.
Happily, unlike the men, the women have a relatively easy final four game stretch. While the top of the East has been a touch better than the top three in the West Division, the bottom three East schools in Ohio, Miami, and Kent are the clear bottom of the conference. Three of UB's final four games are against these teams, with the fourth a home date against Akron.
By contrast, both Toledo and Western face the bottom three teams in the West and Central Michigan to close out the season. A UB win over Akron is frankly much more likely than either of these two topping CMU, and Northern, Ball State, and EMU are more likely to put up a fight than the dregs of the East.
No game is a gimme, and it did take a clutch Karin Moss layup as time ran out to beat Miami earlier in the season, but If UB is going to secure a bye, they need to win at least three of these final four, and getting some home court payback against Akron wouldn't be too bad either. A 3-1 finish would require Toledo to upset the Chippewas to pass UB.
Despite their injury-depleted roster, if Buffalo can play like they did for much of the Bowling Green game on Saturday, they should go 3-1 at minimum to close out the season and position themselves on the good side of the standings.