The Toledo men’s basketball team (20-7, 15-4 MAC) opens play in the 2021 Mid-American Tournament as the No. 1 seed on Thursday, March 11, against a familiar foe when it faces No. 8 seed Ball State (10-12, 8-9 MAC).
The contest tips off at 11 a.m. in Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse and will be televised on ESPN+, with Rocket Radio Network’s local coverage on WSPD-AM 1370.
The winner of the Toledo-Ball State quarterfinal matchup will meet either No. 4 seed Kent State or No. 5 seed Ohio in the semifinals on Friday, March 12, at 5 p.m.
The Rockets closed out their regular season last Friday in Savage Arena with an 89-70 Senior Night victory over the Cardinals to gain a split of their season series. BSU posted an 81-67 win in Muncie on Feb. 6, one of UT’s four league losses this season.
Marreon Jackson finished his Savage Arena career in style by tallying 22 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for his second triple-double in five games. The Rockets trailed 52-51 with 11:25 to play when Jackson hit back-to-back three-pointers to put Toledo ahead for good. The Cardinals then crept within 63-60 with just under eight minutes remaining when the Rockets exploded for a 21-2 run to put the game away.
Jackson leads Toledo with 17.6 ppg, 6.2 apg (No. 10 nationally), 1.9 spg (No. 3 in MAC) and a 91.2 FT% (No. 7 nationally). Ryan Rollins ranks second in team scoring at 13.8 ppg with Spencer Littleson right behind him at 13.7 ppg. Setric Millner Jr. (12.4 ppg) and JT Shumate (11.5 ppg) also scoring in double digits. Littleson leads the nation with 96 three-point FGs and a 48.5 three-point FG%, while Millner is grabbing a team-high 6.6 rpg.
On Wednesday, Jackson received MAC Player of the Year, Rollins earned MAC Freshman of the Year and Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk was named MAC Coach of the Year.
Seniors Ishmael El-Amin and K.J. Walton lead Ball State with 16.2 and 16.0 ppg, respectively. El-Amin paced the Cardinals with 22 points last Friday, while sophomore Jarron Coleman notched a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.