Here’s a look at the matchups
(CLICK READ MORE TO CONTINUE . . . )
Central Michigan Chippewas (23-8, 12-6 MAC)
at Louisiana Tech.Bulldogs (25-8, 15-3 C-USA)
7:30 p.m.ET/ESPN 3
- The Bulldogs are a No. 3 seed on their side of the NIT brackets. CMU comes in as a No. 6 seed.
- Louisiana Tech reigned as Conference USA regular season champs, but LTU was upset by the University of South Alabama (72-62, OT) in the second round of their conference tournament. Central Michigan fell to Buffalo (89-84) in the MAC tournament finals.
- Central Michigan has lost three of its last five games after posting six straight wins. Louisiana Tech had won four straight and eight of nine before its conference tourney loss.
- The Bulldogs average 72.9 ppg, good for 49th best nationally. CMU is 15th nationally, scoring an average of 78.2 ppg. The Chippewas connect on 46.8 percent of their shots on the season. LTU is hitting at a 44.4 percent clip. The Bulldogs have been good on 31.9 percent of their trey attempts (221/692). Central owns a 37.6 percentage on three-point goals (316/841).
- Three Louisiana Tech players average in double figures: Raheem Appleby (15.2), Alex Hamilton (15.1) and Eric McCree (11.8). Matt Kyser is the leading rebounder (6.7), followed by McCree (5.7) Kyser, a 6-9 senior, has recorded 95 blocks this season. Kenneth Smith leads the team in steels (65). Applebee paces LTU with 66 made triples, more than twice any other player on the squad. The Bulldogs are averaging 68.8 percent on free throws. CMU has netted 72.5 percent of its charity tosses.
- Central Michigan players averaging double figures are Chris Fowler (16.0), John Simons (12.5) and Braylon Rayson (10.7). Three players have made at least 56 triples on the year: Simons (90), Josh Kozinski (73) and Rayson (56). Simons has connected on 45.7 percent of his trey attempts and is also the top rebounder (6.5). Fowler is averaging 6.1 assists per contest.
- The Chippewas made a big leap forward this year, winning the regular season championship and finishing as runner-up in the tournament after a 10-21 (3-5 MAC) record in 2013-14. They were picked for 11th in a 12-team league in a preseason media poll. Keno Davis is in third year as head coach of the Chippewas
Bowling Green Falcons (20-11, 11-7 MAC)
At St Francis (PA) Red Flash (16-15, 9-9 NEC)
7:00 p.m. ET
The Falcons have lost three of their last four games and five of their last eight. All three wins were against teams among the bottom of Mid-American conference standings (Ohio, Miami, Ball State). St Francis has also struggled down the stretch, losing five of its last seven. The two wins were both against Mount St. Mary’s.
The last Red Flash outing was a 62-48 loss to the OTHER St Francis (of Brooklyn). Yes – there are two St. Francis schools in the Northeast Conference. Bowling Green’s last outing was a 73-67 MAC tourney setback to Eastern Michigan.
-- St. Francis owns a 43.9 field goal percentage overall and has connected on 33.6% of trey attempts. The Red Flash were successful on 67.4 percent of their free throws.
Forward Earl Brown (6-6, 206) is the only SFU player averaging in double figures. He averages 15.9 ppg and a team-best 8.0 rebounds. He averages 35.4 minutes per contest. Sophomore guard Malik Harmon is just off double figures with 9.5 ppg.
Bowling Green has hit 43.5 percent of its field goals overall and 34.0 percent of threes. The Falcons have made 71.2 percent of free throws.
Senior Forward Richaun Holmes (6-8, 232) owns a team-best 14.8 ppg average and is also tops in rebounds (7.9 rpg). Jevon Clark is also in double figures (10.4 ppg). Zach Denny is at 9.4 ppg and 5.3 rpb.
- Denny (47), Anthony Henderson (41) and Clarke (40) lead the team in 3-point goals. Denny has a team-best 52 steals.