What should be an interesting 2023 Mid-American Conference men's basketball tournament tipped off in Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland on Thursday.
The Akron Zips are trying to become the first team to repeat as MAC champs since Buffalo went back-to-back in 2018 and 2019. The Zips face quite a challenge to earn the MAC's automatic to the NCAA tournament again.
Toledo, Kent State and Ball State join Akron with more than 20 regular-season wins. Each team won double-digit conference games. Meanwhile Ohio, Buffalo and Northern Illinois are bunched together in the Nos. 5-7 seeds, but all of them have at least one regular-season win over one of the top four seeds.
Kent State returns to March Madness:Kent State basketball's NCAA Tournament seed, opponent and site announced ... Hoosiers next for Flashes
Kent State wins MAC Tournament:Kent State men's basketball writes its Hollywood ending to win 2023 MAC Tournament title
Kent State's MAC Tournament run:Kent State withstands Akron comeback, advances to MAC men's basketball title game
Kent State's MAC Tournament run:Kent State men's basketball "locked in" during MAC tournament rout of Northern Illinois
2023 MAC tournament scores
Final | Saturday, March 11
Game 7: Kent State 93, Toledo 78 | FINAL | Game Story
Semifinal | Friday, March 10
Game 5: Toledo 82, Ohio 75 | FINAL
Game 6: Kent State 79, Akron 73 | FINAL | Game Story
Akron vs. Kent State, Round 1:Akron Zips men's basketball takes control of MAC with win over Kent State
Akron vs. Kent State, Round 2:Sincere Carry wills Kent State to redemption over Akron entering MAC Tournament
Quarterfinals | Thursday, March 9
Game 1: Toledo 91, Miami 75 | FINAL
Game 2: Ohio 90, Ball State 70 | FINAL
Game 3: Kent State 76, Northern Illinois 57 | FINAL | Game Story
Game 4: Akron 101, Buffalo 77 | FINAL | Game Story
All-MAC basketball team:Xavier Castaneda, Enrique Freeman, Sincere Carry earn spots on 2023 All-MAC basketball team
Who is the top seed in the MAC men's basketball tournament?
Toledo enters the tournament as the No. 1 seed after going 16-2 in league play, a game better than KSU. The Golden Flashes won the only meeting between the two, 75-63 at Kent on Jan. 10. The Rockets have won 15 straight since that loss dropped them to 1-2 in league play (they'd also lost their MAC opener 90-83 at home vs. Ball State on Jan. 3). The Rockets have scored 84 or more points in their last six wins, with four of those coming by at least 21 points.
2023 NCAA tournament automatic bids:2023 men's NCAA Tournament automatic bids: Who has secured spots in March Madness?
What were the final 2022-23 MAC men's basketball standings
Toledo ......................... 16-2 ... 25-6
Kent State .................. 15-3 ... 25-6
Akron ........................... 13-5 ... 21-10
Ball State ..................... 11-7 ... 20-11
Ohio ............................. 10-8 ... 18-13
Buffalo ........................... 9-9 ... 15-16
Northern Illinois ......... 9-9 ... 13-18
Miami ............................ 6-12 ... 12-19
Bowling Green ........... 5-13 ... 11-20
Central Michigan ...... 5-13 ... 10-21
Eastern Michigan ...... 5-13 ... 8-23
Western Michigan .... 4-14 ... 8-23
2023 MAC tournament bracket
— #MACtion (@MACSports) March 4, 2023
Is the 2023 MAC tournament streaming?
The MAC tournament streams on any service that offers ESPN such as Hulu Live and YouTubeTV. The game broadcasts will also be available on the ESPN+ app.
How to watch the 2023 MAC tournament on TV
First-round tournament games on Thursday will be streamed on ESPN+. The semifinals Friday are on CBS Sports Network. The championship game Saturday is on ESPN2.
Xavier Castaneda, Sincere Carry among top players to watch in MAC tournament
Twelve of the MAC's top 15 scorers from the regular season are in the tournament, including guards Xavier Castaneda of Akron and Sincere Carry of Kent State. Castaneda leads the MAC in scoring at 21.4 points per game (23.0 in league play). Carry is fifth in the MAC in scoring at 17.4.
Akron forward Enrique Freeman is the lone MAC player averaging a double-double, at 16.5 points and 11.1 rebounds per game.
Toledo is the lone team with three players ranked in the top 15 in scoring — RayJ Dennis Toledo (19.4, second), Walsh University-transfer JT Shumate (16.5, eighth) and Setric Millner Jr. (15.9, 10th). Dennis also leads the MAC in assists per game (5.9).
Other players ranked among the MAC's top 15 scorers are:
Miami's Mekhi Lairy (17.4, fourth) and Morgan Safford (15.2, 13th)
Ohio's Dwight Wilson (15.9, 11th)
Northern Illinois' David Coit (15.7, 12th)
Buffalo's Curtis Jones (15.1, 14th)
Ball State's Jarron Coleman (14.5, 15th)
Who won last year’s MAC tournament?
No. 4 seed Akron knocked off top-seeded Toledo in the semifinals and No. 2 seed Kent State in the championship game on March 12.
Akron basketball wins 2022 MAC title:University of Akron blasts rival Kent State to earn berth in NCAA tournament
When is Selection Sunday for the NCAA tournament brackets
The winner of the MAC tournament finds out Sunday evening who and where it will play in the NCAA tournament. The NCAA tournament brackets are revealed on CBS, starting at 6 p.m.
This article originally appeared on The Repository: MAC basketball tournament schedule, bracket, TV, livestream info