Game Notes: CMU Kicks MAC Tourney Off With Buffalo
Courtesy: Tim Fitzgerald/CMU Athletics
Trey Zeigler will look to lead the Chippewas to a win at Buffalo on Tuesday night in the first round of the FirstEnergy MAC Men's Basketball Tournament.
Central Michigan (10-20) at Buffalo (17-12)
Tuesday, Mar. 8, 7:00 p.m., Amherst, N.Y., Alumni Arena

BROADCASTS
WEB •    Free Audio CMU Sports Network | Game Notes
Free Live Stats | FirstEnergy MAC Tournament Bracket .pdf
RADIO • WCFX 95.3 FM (Mount Pleasant) — Play-by-Play : Don Chiodo

Storylines

A Central Michigan win over Buffalo would...
...send the Chippewas to their fifth straight Mid-American Conference tournament quarterfinal game in Cleveland, Ohio.
...improve head coach Ernie Zeigler ’s record in first-round games to 4-0 and record versus Buffalo to 5-2.
...mark the second time in five seasons that the Chippewas eliminated the Bulls from postseason play, having defeated UB in 2007, 80-74, in Cleveland.
....earn the Chippewas their first win in Buffalo in three tries this season, having lost to Buffalo and Niagara both in February.
...advance the Chippewas to the Quarterfinals of The FirstEnergy MAC Tournament, where they would play No. 1 seed Kent State on Thursday.

PROBABLE STARTERS


  Name Ht. Wt. Yr. GP-GS PPG RPG Other Notes
(1) G 23
  Derek Jackson
6-0
170 Fr. 30-15
7.4
2.0
1.6 SPG
Led all MAC freshmen in steals per game
(2) G 0
  Trey Zeigler
6-5 190 Fr. 30-29 16.5
5.4
2.16 APG
Now owns CMU single-season freshman scoring record with 496 points
(3) G
24
  Antonio Weary
6-3 215 Sr. 30-16
3.0
3.0
.343 FG%
Leads team with 57 career starts
(4) F 31   Jalin Thomas
6-4 200 Sr. 27-27
16.2
5.3 58 3PT FG
Finished regular season ranked 5th in the MAC in scoring average
(5) C
10   William McClure 6-7 240 Sr. 30-25 3.3
5.8 1.2 BPG
Averaging 3.0 blocks per game over last five contests

GAME PREVIEW
All-Time Series
The Chippewas have met the Bulls the fewest times of any other Mid-American Conference opponent. The two teams are meeting for just the 22nd time in program history, with CMU holding a 12-9 edge.

Looking to Make it Five
The Chippewas have advanced to the quarterfinal round of the MAC Tournament all four seasons under head coach Ernie Zeigler . Three times CMU won its first-round game, and last season the Chippewas received a first-round bye. If the Chippewas make it to the semifinal round this year, it will be the first time under Zeigler.

Versus Buffalo in the Postseason
CMU has met Buffalo just once in the MAC postseason, defeating the Bulls, 80-74, in Cleveland in the first round of the 2007 tournament. It was Ernie Zeigler ’s first postseason game with the Chippewas, who had to withstand 63 percent shooting by the Bulls in the second half to secure the win.

Greater Upsets Have Happened Before
When the No. 9 Chippewas go on the road to eighth-seeded Buffalo, they will be looking to repeat history. Twice Central Michigan has been the underdog at an on-campus site and come away with a first-round victory. In 2000, the No. 13 Chippewas defeated No. 4 Akron, 75-73, and two years later No. 12 CMU won at No. 6 Ohio, 65-56. In 1990, at a neutral site, the seventh-ranked Chippewas defeated No. 2 Kent State and No. 3 Miami to advance to the championship game.

Weary Has Most Postseason Experience
The most experience Chippewa is also the current player with the most postseason experience. Senior Antonio Weary has three MAC Tournament starts under his belt, starting twice in 2009 and once last year. Three players who started last year’s semifinal game against Western Michigan are considered likely starters heading into the 2011 tournament. Weary and fellow seniors Jalin Thomas and Will McClure combined for seven points and 10 rebounds in last year’s postseason appearance.

In the MAC Tournament
The Chippewas are making their 19th appearance in the MAC Tournament. They have won the event twice, led by NBA players Dan Majerle (1987 MAC Tournament MVP) and Chris Kaman (2003 MAC Tournament MVP).
    •    All MAC teams qualified for the tournament beginning in 2000.
    •    From 2000-06, all first-round games were played at campus sites, a format that returned last         season.
    •    CMU is 3-4 in the tournament under Zeigler, 13-16 all-time, and 6-7 in Quicken Loans Arena/        Gund Arena.
    •    The Chippewas have not reached the semifinals since winning the 2003 tournament.


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