Chippewa men's basketball clinches MAC tournament berth


General: CMU men's basketball team lost to Miami (Ohio) by a score of 75-61 on Tuesday, March 1 in McGuirk Arena.

Photo: Lyon, France freshman Nicolas Pavrette dunks the ball at the game against Miami (Ohio) on Tuesday, March 1 in McGuirk Arena.

Despite a 57-56 loss to Akron in its season finale, Central Michigan has clinched a spot in the Mid-American Conference tournament. 

Thanks to Toledo beating Bowling Green, the Chippewas are officially in the tournament as the No. 8 seed. Their reward is a date with the Rockets, who won the conference's regular season title. 

It's the program's first appearance in Cleveland since 2019, when the Chippewas lost in the semifinals against eventual conference champion Buffalo. 

CMU (7-22, 6-12) finished its first regular season under head coach Tony Barbee with three consecutive losses, but its winning percentage put it ahead of opponents with six wins. Bowling Green would have clinched the final spot had it knocked off Toledo. 

The Chippewas are 0-2 against Toledo this season, with an 82-54 loss in their first matchup at McGuirk Arena and a narrow 68-66 defeat in the rematch at Savage Arena. 

The two teams will play in the first game of the men's MAC Tournament at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 10 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.