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Tuesday, March 6, 2007

MAC Tourney Party Guide

Posted By on Tue, Mar 6, 2007 at 2:55 PM

The Mighty, Mighty Zips are preparing to party at the Cavs practice court.
C-Notes loves the Mid-American Conference Tournament like the 144 sons we never had. These four days of logic-bending roundball bliss, ending with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, are the last refuge for those of us smothered by Buckeye Nation. Credit Commissioner Rick Chryst and the gang on Public Square, too, for the slickest stroke since moving the tournament here from Toledo: For the first time, all 12 teams get to scrap at The Q. It'll be interesting to see how this impacts an event that already guarantees drama: In five of the seven years the tourney's been played here, at least one of the four teams granted first-round byes have been upset during the second round. (You hear that, Bowling Green?) MAC fans love the chance to adopt a home court at the watering holes near the arena. Here's where to find your colors: Akron: The Zips open play Thursday at 7 p.m., versus the winner of Central Michigan and Buffalo, and must be expecting to stay a while — they've rented the Cavs' Practice Court from Thursday through Saturday. The court opens at 5 p.m. For twenty bucks (kids 3-12 are $5) you'll get BBQ chicken, wings, pizza and a cash bar. (We've been told Thursday's near sold-out, so you might want to call 330-972-2695.) Kent State: Flannery's (323 E. Prospect; 216-781-RPUB) is hosting the official pre-game party for fans of the Flashes. It starts at 7 p.m. Thursday, two hours before the team tangles with Western Michigan or Northern Illinois. Toledo: This year, Harry Buffalo (2120 E. Fourth St.; 216-621-8887) is the only spot friendly to the top-seeded Rockets. Call in sick — the party starts at 10 a.m. Thursday, and tipoff is at noon. The most interesting spot to crash could be the Winking Lizard (811 Huron Rd., E.; 216-589-0313), where Bowling Green and Ohio University, first-round opponents Wednesday at 3 p.m., are both holding their pre-games. But while OU has invited fans for a civilized 1:30 p.m. gathering, BG might be partying harder for its two-time defending tournament champion women's team, ranked 20th in the country. They're starting at 12:30 p.m. Fourth-seeded Miami isn't doing squat unless they make the semis. They'd better be ready, though. They get the whoever survives the Winking Lizard. — Jason Nedley

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