MEN'S BASKETBALL: Top seeds upset in Cleveland
Ohio continues hot streak with upset of Kent State
CLEVELAND - The Mid-American Conference Tournament was supposed to come down to Kent State University and the University of Akron.
But after ending Ball State University's season Sunday in Muncie, Ohio University knocked out top-seeded Kent State with an 81-64 quarterfinal upset.
The Bobcats were led by shooting guard Armon Bassett with 38 points and seven assists. The Indiana University transfer scored 25 against Ball State.
Kent State's loss combined with No. 2 seed Central Michigan University's setback earlier in the day means both division winners are out of the tournament.
"One thing I can say about our league is the parity in the league," Bobcats coach John Groce said. "We have tremendous parity. It's great for the fans, but terrible for the coaches. That's why I'm bald."
End of the line: The talented Central Michigan backcourt duo of Robbie Harman and Jordan Bitzer saw their career end Thursday in the quarterfinals.
The MAC West Division champions lost 69-60 in an inspired second-half comeback by David Kool and Western Michigan University.
After the game, coach Ernie Ziegler was asked to contemplate life without the two guards he has relied on in his three years in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
"I'm struggling to come to the realization they won't be here," he said. "This program will always be indebted to Robbie Harman and Jordan Bitzer."
For much of Thursday's loss, it looked like Harman and Bitzer would lead the Chippewas into the semifinals of the MAC Tournament. Harman scored 20 points and Bitzer added 15.
The pair did not appear at the postgame press conference because they were so upset.
"Those kids are in [the locker room] bawling their eyes out," Ziegler said.
Testy finish: It took 10 extra minutes, but defending MAC champion University of Akron held off an upset bid from Eastern Michigan University.
The Zips won 97-89 in double overtime, but what happened in the final minute of the game threatened to shadow the rest of the matchup.
Four technical fouls were handed out in the final 55 seconds of the second overtime, resulting in three ejections. In all, seven technicals were awarded during the game.
Zips point guard Humpty Hitchens was the first ejection after he and Jamell Harris got into a scuffle. It was the sophomore's second technical of the game.
Just 12 seconds later, Eagles forward Brandon Bowdry was given his second technical for throwing a forearm at Zips guard Darryl Roberts. When coach Charles Ramsey was informed of the decision, he lost his cool and picked up his second technical of the game.
But Ramsey isn't arguing with the officials' decision.
"The last one, I deserved."
Record night: Eastern Michigan point guard Carlos Medlock poured in 42 points in the quarterfinal game, setting the school record for points in the MAC Tournament.
The total was the second most in tournament history, trailing only the 45 points Ron Harper scored for Miami University in 1985. The previous Eagles' record was 35 points, set by Earl Boykins in 1998. Both Boykins and Harper went on to play in the NBA.
Medlock said he felt like he had to carry his team Thursday.
"Being a senior, I've been trying to put the team on my back all year," he said. "It was nothing special, just something I try to do every day."
Blast from the past: In the game immediately following Medlock's 42 points, Basset added his 38. Bassett's total is the third most in tournament history, tied with former Ball State guard Skip Mills and Bowling Green State University's John Reimold.
Mills scored 38 against the University at Buffalo in 2006, and Reimold tallied 38 in 2005 against the Cardinals.
The 80 combined points from Bassett and Medlock is the most combined points in a single day for a duo in MAC Tournament history.
Flameout: As the Tournament action got underway in Cleveland, news came out of the University of Toledo that coach Gene Cross was resigning.
Cross piloted the worst season in Rockets' history, going just 4-28 this year. One of the four victories came against Ball State University, helping keep it from repeating as MAC West champions.
Cross leaves Toledo with an 11-53 record in two seasons, and just two members of his first recruiting class still on the team.