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Ohio senior Miles Brown, 2, jumps to block a pass from Western Michigan sophomore, Owen Lobsinger, 20, during the game at the Convo on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023.

Men's Basketball: Everything to know about Ball State

Ohio will be in Cleveland this week for the Mid-American Conference Tournament, starting with a quarterfinal matchup against Ball State on Thursday.

Since Jeff Boals took over as head coach, Ohio is 5-1 in MAC Tournament play, including a victory over Ball State in the first round last year.

The Bobcats enter this year’s tournament as the No. 5 seed, the same position they were in two years ago when they won it and went on to upset Virginia in the NCAA Tournament.

Here is everything to know about Thursday’s matchup:

Game Information

Opponent: Ball State

Time: 30 minutes after the end of Toledo vs. Miami, likely around 1:30 p.m.

Location: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (Cleveland)

How to watch: ESPN+

How to listen: The Varsity Network

Follow live stats here

Meet the Opponent

Head Coach: Michael Lewis (first season)

Probable starters

01 Demarius Jacobs

02 Luke Bumbalough

03 Mickey Pearson Jr.

05 Payton Sparks

12 Jaylin Sellers

Statistical leaders

Points: Jarron Coleman (14.5 points per game)

Rebounds: Sparks (8.7 rebounds per game)

Assists: Coleman (3.9 assists per game)

Blocks: Jacobs (36)

Steals: Jacobs (42)

Field goal percentage: Sparks (59.1%)

3-point percentage: Sellers (46%)

Free throw percentage: Jacobs (82.7%)

Matchup History

Ohio has absolutely dominated Ball State recently, winning 16 of the last 19 matchups between the two. This includes a streak of eight consecutive wins for Ohio from 2012 to 2017.

Under Boals, the Bobcats are 5-1 against the Cardinals and have won each of the last five, including a 76-71 win in The Convo on Jan. 10, the Bobcats’ first MAC win of the season.

In the first round of the MAC Tournament last year, Ohio beat Ball State 77-67 behind 44 combined points from Mark Sears and Jason Carter. Miles Brown also had 13 in the win.

Player(s) to watch

Ball State has four players - Coleman, Sellers, Sparks and Jacobs - who average between 12 and 15 points per game. In fact, the Cardinals are the only team to qualify for the MAC Tournament without a single player averaging more than 15 points per game. Coleman, Ball State’s leading scorer, has missed the last two games with turf toe and his status for Thursday is still up in the air.


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