CLEVELAND -- For the fourth-consecutive season under head coach Ernie Zeigler, the Central Michigan men's basketball team will play a quarterfinal game in the Mid-American Conference Tournament. The No. 2 seeded Chippewas will face No. 7 Western Michigan in Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday at Noon.
The Chippewas won their second-consecutive MAC West Division title and earned a bye through the opening round of the tournament. It's the first-ever meeting between the two in-state rivals during postseason play. The game will be broadcast on FSN Detroit and ESPN360.
Live stats and a live audio stream will be made available for free to all fans. CMU Sports Zone subscribers can watch CMU's run through the tournament as part of their subscription. The MAC is also offering single game and tournament packages, where fans can catch all the action from Quicken Loans Arena.
Crown ‘Em -- The Chippewas finished tied atop the MAC West Division last season and won this year’s crown outright, claiming the program’s fourth West Division title since 1998. It’s the first time since the conference went to divisional play that Central Michigan has won back-to-back division titles, and the first time the Chippewas have won a division title outright since 2002-03.
All-Time Series -- The Broncos lead the all-time series, 50-85, in a series that dates back to 1908. The home team has won 17 of the last 23 meetings. The road team won both meetings a year ago for the first time since 1984, including the Chippewas’ first win at Kalamazoo since 2003. CMU is 4-4 against WMU under Ernie Zeigler, with the home team winning six of the eight meetings.
15-Plus -- The Chippewas have already won 15 games this season, the most since the 2002-03 campaign (25-7, 14-4 MAC). The nine league wins are also the most since that campaign.
First Time for Everything -- Despite meeting 135 times on the hardwood, in-state rivals Western Michigan and Central Michigan have never faced off in the MAC Tournament.
Against the Field in Postseason Play -- On the Maroon and Gold’s path to the championship game, CMU is 2-0 vs. Eastern Michigan and 1-2 vs. Akron, having never faced Western Michigan in the MAC Tournament. Among the four potential teams CMU would face in the finals, the Chippewas are 1-0 vs. Buffalo, 1-1 vs. Miami, 1-3 vs. Ohio and 4-1 against Kent State in MAC Tournament action.
In the MAC Tournament -- The Chippewas are making their 18th appearance in the MAC Tournament. CMU has won the event twice (1987 and 2003), led by NBA players Dan Majerle (1987 MAC Tournament MVP) and Chris Kaman (2003 MAC Tournament MVP).
- All MAC teams qualified for the tournament starting in 2000.
- From 2000-06 all first-round games were played at campus sites, a format that returned this season.
- CMU is 3-3 in the MAC Tournament under Ernie Zeigler, winning a first-round game in each of his first three seasons.
- CMU is 13-15 all-time in the MAC Tournament, 6-6 all-time in Quicken Loans Arena/Gund Arena.
- The Chippewas have not reached the MAC Tournament semifinals since winning the tournament in 2002-03.
- CMU has advanced to the quarterfinals seven previous times since the tournament expanded in 2000.
- The Chippewas are 1-6 in their seven appearances in the quarterfinals since 2000.