Western Michigan will play Eastern Michigan in the quarterfinals of the Mid-American Conference men's basketball tournament Thursday night. WMUK's Gordon Evans spoke with Mlive Kalamazoo reporter Scott DeCamp.
The Broncos ended the regular season with a record of 19-11 and won the MAC West Division. They enter the tournament as the third-seeded team and earned a bye to the quarterfinal round. (Western news release for Thursday's game).
Eastern Michigan advanced to the quarterfinals with wins over Northern Illinois and Miami. DeCamp says Western should be better rested having not played since Saturday. The Eagles have won two games in three days, including Wednesday night's victory over Miami at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. DeCamp says that may help the Eagles since the large arena used for NBA games has a different background than most college arenas. But he says late in the game the Broncos are likely to be the better rested team.
Western Michigan coach Steve Hawkins had said that preparation was difficult because they weren't sure who there opponent would be, and Eastern Michigan and Miami play very different styles. DeCamp says Eastern Michigan will be happy to play a slower game where both teams score in the 40's. The Broncos and Eagles split two games during the regular season, both winning close games on their home floor.
DeCamp says the keys for Western in the MAC tournament are defense, especially by their guards and limiting turnovers. The winner of the Mid-American Conference Tournament will earn an automatic bid the NCAA tournament.
Among Western Michigan University's honors this season was Senior David Brown being named the MAC's sixth man of the year.