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EMU women’s basketball in the WNIT

March 15, 2011

Although the Eagles came up just short against Bowling Green on Saturday, they did manage to play their way not only into the WNIT, but into a decent seed. Although, for some reason, the bracket doesn’t show seeds, based on their position I’d guess that EMU is a #5 seed. Since all games are hosted by the higher seeded team, that gives the Eagles a first-round home game, and their opponent will be none other than our neighbors from 7 miles to the west, the University of Michigan!

My first thought upon seeing the matchup was that this was the only way any Michigan team will ever come to Ypsilanti.

My second thought was that a #12 seed in the WNIT is pretty harsh for a Michigan team that went 10-6 in the Big (11) Ten, to finish tied for third. In the course of their schedule, the Wolverines played 9 games against ranked foes, going 4-5 against them. Of the teams that tied them for third in the conference, Ohio State got a #4 seed in the NCAA tournament, Iowa got a #6 seed in the NCAA tournament, and Wisconsin got a #1 seed in the WNIT, which translate to approximate rankings of 15 for Ohio State, 23 for Iowa, 67 for Wisconsin, and 111 for Michigan. When you add in the fact that the Wolverines went 5-0 against those three opponents, I think there’s a good argument to be made that Michigan was badly, badly misseeded. At the very least, they should have been seeded equal to or above Wisconsin, since their overall record was two games better. RealTimeRPI ranks Ohio State #9, Iowa #18, Michigan #60, and Wisconsin at #82, while they have EMU down at #103.

In other words, not only should you not expect EMU to blow out the Wolverines, this game may be ripe for an “upset”. The Wolverines generally drew between 1,700 and 2,500 fans per game, though nearly 6,000 fans showed up when Michigan State came to town. I’d expect at least 800 and possibly several thousand Michigan fans to make the short drive to Ypsi this Thursday, and while a big crowd is good for EMU’s purse, and might be good for area businesses—oh, wait, there aren’t any businesses around the Convo—a hostile “home” crowd may make things tough on the Eagles.

Tickets aren’t yet available for sale, and when I called the EMU ticket office this morning, they didn’t even know the prices yet, but they expect to know the prices soon, and will have tickets on sale starting at 10 AM today. At that point, you can buy your ticket online at EMUtix.com or call the ticket office at 734-487-2282.

Update: Tickets are now availble. They’re all general admission, and it’s $8 for adults, $4 for students, and $4 for youth (12 and under).

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