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No. 8 Ohio Men’s Basketball Hosts No. 9 Central Michigan in MAC First Round on Monday

No. 8 Ohio Men’s Basketball Hosts No. 9 Central Michigan in MAC First Round on Monday

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OHIO MEN'S BASKETBALL 2019-20 • GAME 31
Monday, March 9, 2020 | 7 p.m. EST | No. 8 Ohio (16-15) vs. No. 9 Central Michigan (14-17) | Convocation Center | Athens, Ohio | ESPN+ | Live Stats | Listen | Ohio Notes | CMU Notes | Tickets

ATHENS, Ohio – The No. 8 Ohio men's basketball team (16-15) begins play at the 2020 Mid-American Conference Tournament on Monday, March 9 when Ohio hosts No. 9 Central Michigan in the First Round. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. inside the Convocation Center. Monday's game can be seen on ESPN+ where Marty Bannister and Toni Roesch will have the call. 

Monday's game can be heard on the Ohio Sports Network from Learfield IMG College. Russ Eisenstein returns for his 12th season as the "Voice of the Bobcats," along with Ohio Alum Rob Cornelius. WXTQ (Power 105) in Athens returns as the 11-station network's flagship. The broadcasts are also available online through TuneIn.com/OhioBobcats and on the TuneIn app.

STORYLINES 
• The Bobcats are 41-32 (.569) all-time in the MAC Tournament and have captured six league tournament crowns. 
• Ohio is making its 39th appearance in the MAC Tournament in 2020.
• Ohio is 10-5 (.714) all-time in the first round of the MAC Tournament and will be the first time since 2014 that Ohio will host a first round game in the Convo. 
• This is the 80th all-time meeting between Ohio and Central Michigan.
• Ohio last played CMU in the MAC Tournament on March 6, 2006 in the First Round, defeating CMU, 82-53. 
• Ohio leads the all-time series, 46-32.
• The Bobcats and CMU last met on last met on Feb. 18 when the Bobcats downed Central Michigan, 77-69, inside the Convo. 
• Ohio is 4-7 against CMU since the start of the 2011-12 season.
• Sophomore guard Jason Preston is currently second in the nation in total assists and fourth in assists per game.  
Jordan Dartis became the all-time leader in three-pointers made on Feb. 8 against Miami. He now currently sites with 311. 
• Ohio has registered an impressive 518-172 (.756) all-time record at the Convocation Center, which opened in 1968.
• Dartis is currently 20 made three-pointers away from setting the new MAC record for three made. Current Central Michigan forward David DiLeo just set the new record on Feb. 7 with 331 made threes.  
Ben Vander Plas was named to the 2019-20 Academic All-American All-District Men's Basketball team on Feb. 20. 
Jason Preston recorded the second triple-double in Bobcats history on Feb. 8, second only to D.J. Cooper who registered one on Dec. 10, 2011 at Portland. 

SCOUTING CENTRAL MICHIGAN
Central Michigan enters the matchup with the Bobcats with an 14-17 record and the ninth seed in this year's tournament. CMU is coming off of an 80-68 victory against WMU on Friday. 

Overall, CMU averages 78.7 points per game, while shooting 43.4 percent from the field, 33.1 percent from three-point range and 74.1 percent from the free throw line. CMU also average 36.5 rebounds, 11.7 assists and 9.1 steals per game. Central Michigan also averages 2.6 blocks and 13.0 turnovers per game.

Opponents are averaging 76.5 points and 37.8 rebounds a game, while shooting 45.9 percent from the field, 37.6 per- cent from three-point range and 71.3 percent from the free throw line. Opponents average 13.8 assists, 16.5 turnovers, 6.5 steals and 3.4 blocks per game.

Individually, David DiLeo leads CMU with 14.7 points per game, while grabbing 5.1 boards and shooting 40.3 percent from three point range. Dallas Morgan adds 13.8 points a game, while Kevin McKay averages 12.9 points and shoots 40.0 percent from the field. 

SCOUTING OHIO
The eighth seeded Bobcats are 16-15 on the season after defeating Miami, 67-65, in Oxford. 

Overall this season, the Bobcats are averaging 71.0 points, 35.2 rebounds, 14.4 assists and 6.5 steals per game. The Bobcats are shooting 44.4 percent from the field, 34.5 percent from three-point range and 68.9 percent from the free throw line. 

Ohio is holding opponents to 68.8 points, 33.9 rebounds, 11.2 assists and 6.1 steals per game. Opponents are also shooting 42.2 percent from the field, 33.6 percent from three-point range and 77.7 percent from the free throw line. 

Ohio is averaging 12.6 turnovers per game, while forcing opponents to turn the ball over 12.9 times a game.  

Jason Preston leads the Bobcats with 16.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game. Ben Vander Plas averages 15.4 points per game and 6.8 rebounds, while shooting 48.9 percent from the field. Jordan Dartis adds 13.0 points per game. 

OHIO IN THE MAC TOURNAMENT
The Bobcats are 41-32 (.569) all-time in the MAC Tournament  and have captured six league tournament crowns. Ohio is making its 39th appearance in the MAC Tournament in 2020. 

Ohio is 10-5 (.714) all-time in the first round of the MAC Tournament and will be the first time since 2014 that Ohio will host a first round game in the Convo. The Bobcats will be playing a MAC Tournament First Round game on the road for the sixth time. 

Ohio enters the MAC Tournament as the No. 8 seed.  Ohio last played CMU in the MAC Tournament on March 6, 2006 in the First Round, defeating CMU, 82-53.

ROAD TO CLEVELAND
The 2020 MAC Basketball Tournament will once again be held at Rocket Mortgage Field House in Cleveland. This year's tournament will begin on March 9 with first round games on campus before moving to Cleveland (March 12-14). The tournament semifinal games will air on CBS Sports Network, while the title game will be played on Saturday, March 14 on ESPN2. Ohio will be looking to earn in its seventh MAC tournament crown in program history and first since 2012.

The winner of the 2020 MAC Basketball Tournament will earn the league's automatic bid to the 2020 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship field. Selection Sunday is March 15, 2020. 

The winner of Monday's matchup between Ohio and CMU will punch its ticket to Cleveland to square off with No. 1-seeded Akron (24-7) on Thursday (March 12) at 12 p.m. ET. The game will be streamed live on WatchESPN and the ESPN app. The Bobcats went 0-2 against the Zips in the 2020 regular season. 

ALL TIME VS. CMU
This is the 80th all-time meeting between Ohio and Central Michigan.

Ohio last played CMU in the MAC Tournament on March 6, 2006 in the First Round, defeating CMU, 82-53. 

Ohio leads the all-time series, 46-32.

LAST TIME VS. CMU
The Bobcats and CMU last met on last met on Feb. 18 when the Bobcats downed Central Michigan, 77-69, inside the Convo. 

THE JAY PRESTON SHOW
Preston scored 11 points, while setting a new career-high in assists (13) and steals (7) while playing all 40 minutes. 

Preston's seven steals was the first 7+ steals game for a Bobcat since 2010 when D.J. Cooper has eight against St. Bonaventure. 

Preston was masterful on Nov. 13 at Iona. Scoring a career high 27 points, going 10-of-17 from the field, 2-of-4 from three-point range and 5-of-5 from the free throw line. He also grabbed a team-leading and career-high 14 rebounds, dished out five assists and had two steals. 

This season, Preston is averaging 16.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists, while shooting 51.0 percent from the field and 72.3 percent from the free throw line. 

Preston was named the MAC East Co-Player of the Week on Nov. 18 for his play the week of Nov. 11. 

On Nov. 22 against Utah, Preston scored 21 points, going 8-of-16 from the field, while dishing out four assists. 

On Nov. 30 against Detroit Mercy, Preston finished the game with 20 points, eight rebounds and 12 assists. 

On Dec. 8 against Tennessee Tech, Preston finished the day with 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. 

Preston was named the MAC East Co-Player of the Week for the second time this season on Dec 9. 

Preston was named the MAC East Player of the Week for the third time this season on Dec 30. 

Preston tied his career high on Jan. 14 at Buffalo, scoring 27 points, going 11-of-21 from the field, 2-of-3 from three-point range, while dishing out six assists and grabbing 10 rebounds. 

Preston tied his career high again on Jan. 21 against Toledo, where he scored 27 points, going 11-of-21 from the field, while grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out eight assists. 

Preston recorded the second triple-double in Bobcats history on Feb. 8, second only to D.J. Cooper who registered one on Dec. 10, 2011 at Portland. 

Preston was named the MAC East POW for the fourth time this season on Feb, 10.

The week of Feb. 10. Preston was sensational, averaging 20.5, 9.5 rebounds and 9.5 assists in two games. 

Preston was named the MAC East Co-Player of the Week on March 2 for his performance the week of Feb. 24. 

On March 6 at Miami, Preston led the Bobcats to a thrilling come-from-behind victory with just under three minutes to go. Overall, he scored 24 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out seven assists. 

OHIO IN THE NCAA
Jason Preston is currently second in the nation in total assists and fourth in assists per game. Preston is also ranked eighth in minutes per game. 

Jordan Dartis enters the week ranked 34th in the nation in three-point field goals per game and 66th in total 3-point field goals made. 

As a team, Ohio ranks 70th in assists per game and is 59th in three-pointers made per game. 

IN THE MAC
The Bobcats are second in field goal percentage, first in rebounding defense and second in total assists. Ohio is also second in the conference in assist/turnover ratio. 

Jason Preston in first in the conference in assists and in minutes played. He is also sixth in the conference in scoring and eighth in steals. 

Jordan Dartis is fourth in the conference in three-pointers made. 

BVP BACK FOR ROUND TWO
This season and redshirt sophomore forwards Ben Vander Plas is picking up where he left off last season. 

Vander Plas is averaging 15.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Vander Plas is also shooting 48.9 percent from the field. 

On Nov. 16 at No. 10 Villanova, Vander Plas led Ohio with his first double double of the season, scoring 19 points and grabbing 10 boards. 

On Dec. 8 against Tennessee Tech, Vander Plas led the way with 21 points, going 8-of-16 from the field and 3-of-7 from three-point range, while grabbing 11 rebounds, dishing out four assists and grabbing four steals. 

Vander Plas was named the MAC Male Scholar Athlete of the Week on Dec. 12. 

On Dec. 21 against Morehead State, Vander Plas was clutch, tying his career-high with 24 points while also recording 11 rebounds in the victory. 

In Jan. 11, Vander Plas scored a career-high 25 points against Bowling Green. Vander Plas finished the day, 10-of-15 from the field and 5-of-9 from three-point range. 

Vander Plas was even better on Jan. 14 at Buffalo, setting a new career-high, scoring 28 points, going 11-of-20 from the field, 4-of-6 from three-point range and grabbed five rebounds. 

The week of Jan. 13, Vander Plas averaged 25.0 points per game, 8.0 rebounds and shot 55.9 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from three-point range.

Since the start of conference play, Ben Vander Plas is averaging 16.9 points per game and 7.0 rebounds, while shooting 46.8 percent from the field and 30.0 percent from three-point range. 

JORDY'S BACK, TELL A FRIEND
Jordan Dartis made his return to the court on Nov. 5 against St. Bonaventure. The game marked his first game on the court since March 5, 2018. 

In the game, Dartis scored 19 points, hitting three threes and going 7-of-15 from the field. 

On Nov. 13 at Iona, Dartis scored 13 points and went 3-of-9 from the field. 

On Nov. 24 against Middle Tennessee State, Dartis went off, finishing the game with a season-high 32 points, going 9-of-18 from the field, 8-of-13 from three-point range and 6-of-8 from the free throw line, while grabbing two rebounds and dishing out four assists. 

Dartis continued his hot streak on Nov. 30 against Detroit Mercy when he scored 26 points, 18 of while came in the first four minute of the game. 

Dartis was named the MAC East Co-Player of the Week on Dec. 2. 

This season, Dartis is averaging 13.0 points per game, while shooting 38.9 percent from the field and 37.4 percent from three-point range. 

On Dec. 21 against Morehead State, Dartis was on fire, leading the Bobcats with 25 points while hitting five threes in the Bobcats' victory. 

On Jan. 7 against EMU, Dartis caught fire once again, leading the Bobcats to victory with 26 points and eight made threes. 

Jordan Dartis became the all-time leader in three-pointers made on Feb. 8 against Miami. He now currently sits with 311. 

UP NEXT
With a win, the Bobcats will take on No. 1 Akron on the MAC Quarterfinals on Thursday, March 12 at 12 p.m. inside Rocket Mortgage Field House. 

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