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Dance Card: Central Michigan, MAC champions

Who are you if you beat the best team in the conference?

Who? The Chippewas of Central Michigan. Don't ask me how they managed to keep that name.

What? I think I prefer Dragons. Fewer unfortunate implications. Rowdie, who looks a bit like a distant cousin of Otto, appears to limit himself to entertaining other mascots.

Where? Mount Pleasant, Michigan, which is partially located on the Isabella Indian Reservation.

When? March 16th, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Why? They won the Mid-American Conference tournament.

How? Brandie Baker, Jaleesa Olive, and Jessica Schroll each had 14 points to pace six Chippewas in double figures, and Central Michigan turned it on in the second half to take an 86-68 win over Akron.

Surprise? Predicted to finish second in the conference's West Division, they ended up second in the West, three games behind Toledo.

RPI: 53

SOS: 72

Record: 21-11 (12-4 Mid-American)

Good wins: St. Joseph's in Florida. Or Green Bay.

Bad losses: At San Diego.

Who's running this show? Sue Guevara, since 2007; how did she end up hired at Michigan with a degree from Ohio State?

Extra, Extra! The Morning Sun.

Sophomore guard Crystal Bradford is the player to watch for the Chippewas, averaging 15.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. She gets help from a pair of Jessicas, sophomore guard Green and senior forward Schroll, who both average over ten points per game.

Central Michigan has a reputation as a physical team, occasionally sliding over the line into dirty. And Bradford has a reputation for having a temper. Can the Chips keep their cool in the Big Dance?