Previous Evening MAC Review: Out of Favor

Robert Morris 79, OHIO 76 (OT) — Their last nonconference game of the year was against a 4-7 NEC team, and the Bobcats blew a 12-point second-half lead. Actually, they controlled the game for the first 35 minutes, but a team that averaged only 62 points a game throughout the season somehow had enough firepower to erase the deficit and basically put the Bobcats in a position to force overtime. What ultimately lodged in their own feet was errant free throw shooting: they drew enough chances but were only 21-of-34 (61.8%), including 3-of-8 in the extra frame. Tommy Freeman launched it from the 3-point line (5-of-10) for 15 points, while D.J. Cooper had a cathartic day: 13 points, eight assists and three steals, but just 2-of-10 shooting, five turnovers, and 8-of-16 free throws.

Your MAC favorites now stand at 7-7 after playing just two true road games. At home they were 6-5. This nonconference schedule should've been one where they blasted out at least ten victories, given how much we hyped them (and rightfully so). But it appears that they're streakier than they are mightier. Not all NCRs are created equal, but with the fourth-best winning percentage in the MAC East, that seems to be right about there they oughta lie heading into conference action, behind Kent State, Akron, and Buffalo.

Kansas 83, Miami 56 — Contrary to popular belief, the RedHawks are not going to play a roving gang of chainsaw murderers. After Ohio State, Duke, Kansas, and San Diego State, they've had enough slaughtering. Did they ever have a lead? Yes, when it was 3-2. So, woohoo. Did they win the second half against the Jayhawks reserves? Almost (36-35)! Leading MU in the losing effort was Orlando Williams scoring 11 points and Allen Roberts off the bench finishing with 10, his first double-digit night since the first game against Towson. Miami was outrebounded 44-16.

So they finish their nonconference tilt at 5-9, yet they played probably one of the five hardest schedules in all of college basketball. I don't know exactly what they learned by losing to elite competition by 20+ points, other than if they drop such games in the MAC, they're having an off night.

And whaddya know: OHIO hosts Miami next Sunday.

Today's MAC games
7 p.m. — Buffalo at Cornell
7 p.m. — Oral Roberts at Akron
7 p.m. — SIU-Edwardsville at Ball State
8 p.m. — Northern Illinois at Iowa State
8 p.m. — Toledo at Alabama

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