You're now reading a MAC sports blog, perhaps with the undying hope that I will tell you about MAC basketball and what the heck is going on. You are going to leave this post disappointed, friend and/or stranger. There was a glimmer of light from Saturday, but nope. We're back to mayhem. The state of the conference is such that we're about to declare Robot Police Law just to keep from the looting to happen. Meanwhile, robots already have commandeered our trivia games. They might as well oversee basketball operations.
But we'll start with what we have confirmed at Hustle Belt HQ. While subject to change, this seems pretty bedrock:
• Kent State is the best team.
• Toledo is the worst team.
• There are, I think, 10 other teams in the conference.
You see, Bowling Green is cooling down as they lost at home to Akron by 35. Likewise, Buffalo was ousted by OHIO at home, and Western Michigan maintains a close pace in the West thanks by virtue of Xavier Silas scoring only seven points, even though half of "Flenmetrius" went down with a bendy-wendy ankle.
The shakeup now means the following: BG, Akron, and Buffalo are in a three-way orgy for third place, with OHIO a single game back. Miami will remain a game up after tomorrow's loss to Kent State. WMU still has this doggone half-game lead on Ball State, and that's a race to keep one of your retinas on. CMU and EMU play tomorrow and will actually break a tie in the standings, rather than create another one. Unless they somehow end the game in a tie, which is impossible according to the the rules of NCAA basketball, but I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO BELIEVE ANYMORE.
Statistical morsels from tonight:
• Bowling Green lost by 35, yet only had eight total turnovers.
• Meanwhile, Toledo's Malcolm Griffin had eight turnovers on his own against Ball State.
• Akron made 16 3-pointers, which is 16 more than Bowling Green made.
• Akron also has won eight straight games in BG's Anderson Arena, and will never lose their again as they move to a different stadium next year.
• This was the fourth game in which Xavier Silas was not NIU's leading scorer. With only seven points, he fouled out with about five minutes to play. Nate Rucker led the way with 11 tonight. (The other times: Bryan Hall once and Tim Toler twice.)
• Silas was also the most inefficient shooter on the night: 0.63 PPS (11 shots to score 7). The next worst was Buffalo's Byron Mulkey, coming off the "ESPN.com Feature Natural High" with a 0.81 PPS (13 points on 16 shots).
• The best efficiency, strangely enough, came from Toledo's Reese Holliday: 3.0 PPS (18 points on just six shots from the floor.)
• OHIO-Buffalo had seven official dunks. DeVaughn Washington had three of them.
The Hustle Five:
D.J. Cooper, OHIO: 24 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 steals
Ivo Baltic, OHIO: 24 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists
Mike Douglas, WMU: 16 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds
Reese Holliday, Toledo: 18 points (6-6 FG), 10 rebounds
Chris Bond, Ball State: 18 points (8-12 FG), 10 rebounds, 5 steals, 2 assists