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WMU, CMU hoops get tournament offers, but decline

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Central Michigan declined to play in any third-tier tournaments.

Michigan had five Division I schools eligible for men's postseason basketball tournaments.

Michigan and Michigan State are off to the NCAA Tournament, and Oakland is playing in the National Invitation Tournament. But Central Michigan and Western Michigan are done for the season.

Both Mid-American Conference schools had interest from multiple tournaments — including the third-tier CollegeInsider.com and CBI tournaments — but both schools declined.


Central Michigan coach Keno Davis told The News late last week his banged-up team was done, even with the nation's leading scorer, Marcus Keene, decimal points from technically averaging 30 points for the season. And on Sunday night, Western Michigan coach Steve Hawkins told The News he had been informed by university officials that the school is committed only to the NCAA and NIT for now.

"There will be other schools in the MAC that accept bids and others that turn them down," Hawkins said. "Work has to be done in the conference to discuss further the commitment we need toward these, and any other, tournaments that are postseason rewards but outside the NIT and NCAA."

Cost always is a concern when considering lower-tier postseason invitations, especially if you're not a Power Five school with a big-bucks budget.

Central Michigan finished 16-16, with eight consecutive losses to close the season, despite the play of Keene, who averaged 29.96875 points.

Western Michigan also was 16-16, winning a MAC West championship and nine games in a row before losing in the second round of the MAC tournament.

The other state Division I programs, Detroit Mercy (8-23) and Eastern Michigan (16-17), did not qualify for postseason play, because they finished with a losing record.