The Mid-American Conference representative has now won their first round game in the NCAA Tournament for three consecutive seasons.
No. 11 seed Central Michigan kept the tradition started by Kent State alive by beating No. 6 seed Creighton Thursday night, 79-73 in Salt lake City, Utah. The MAC is now 4-1 in the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons.
Central Michigan got a season-high 29 points from senior guard Mike Manciel, who shot 9-14 from the field and 11-16 from the free throw line.
Manciel's most important points came with CMU hanging on to a 72-70 lead with under a minute and a half to play. The Chippewas' T.J. Meerman was cut off trying to penetrate inside and kicked the ball out to Manciel, who drilled an open baseline jumper to make it a two-possession game with 1:14 remaining.
Creighton turned the ball over on their next three possessions following the Manciel jumper.
Creighton had 29 wins this season, which tied them with Kentucky for the most in Division-I.
Central Michigan will face Duke on Saturday. The tip-off time is to be announced.