CLEVELAND (AP) — David Brown scored 32 points, Tucker Haymond added 21 and Western Michigan earned its first trip to the NCAA tournament in 10 years by beating Toledo 98-77 on Saturday night in the Mid-American Conference championship.
The top-seeded Broncos (23-9) won their first title since 2004, and along with it, the league’s automatic spot inside the NCAA brackets.
Shayne Whittington added 20 and 13 rebounds for WMU, which had to overcome an 18-point deficit in the semifinals to sneak past Akron. The title game was much easier for the Broncos, who pulled away in the second half, outrebounded the Rockets 46-27 and set the tournament record for points.
Julius Brown and Rian Pearson scored 22 apiece to pace Toledo (27-6). The Rockets set a school record for wins this season, but their hopes of making the NCAA field for the first time since 1980 hinged on them winning this tourney.