MAC Basketball Team Peaks And Valleys

Most of the country identified the MAC basketball year with OHIO's run to the Sweet 16, but we know better: there was much much more. So how did all 12 teams do? Naturally some better than others, but all is relative. Let's take a look at each team's high points and low points. For "Top Performance" I went by efficiency, culled from Basketball State.

Akron Zips — 22-12, 13-3 MAC

PEAKS: Winning their first MAC regular season title in school history. OOC road victories at then-ranked Mississippi State and never-ranked-but-still-good Marshall. Zeke Marshall winning MAC Defensive Player of the Year and Quincy Diggs winning Sixth Man of the Year..

VALLEYS: Losing five of six in a non-conference stretch, albeit against tough competition. Finishing the season losing five of eight including the MAC Championship Game and the NIT opener at Northwestern.

TOP PERFORMANCE: Zeke Marshall: 21 points (7-for-10, 7-for-10 FT), 7 blocks, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 TOs vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff on December 15

Buffalo Bulls — 20-11, 12-4 MAC

PEAKS: A 29-point curbstomp at Dayton. Mitchell Watt being named MAC Player of the Year and Javon McCrea also earning first team All-MAC. Earning the No. 2 seed in the MAC. Beating Akron twice.

VALLEYS: Losing promptly to OHIO in the MAC semifinals.

TOP PERFORMANCE: Javon McCrea: 29 points (14-for-17, 1-for-2 FT), 13 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists, 6 TOs vs. Youngstown State on December 10

OHIO Bobcats — 29-8, 11-5 MAC

PEAKS: Gee, where to begin. How about making the Sweet 16 with victories over Michigan and South Florida. Big OOC victories at Oakland, Northern Iowa and Marshall. Almost beating North Carolina.

VALLEYS: Losing to Robert Morris to cap the end of the nonconference season. Losing to BGSU, Toledo and Eastern Michigan (although not in a row). Pretty much the entire overtime of the UNC game.

TOP PERFORMANCE: Walter Offutt: 23 points (8-for-13, 2-for-2 FT, 5-for-7 3P), 7 rebounds, 2 assists vs. Buffalo on February 22

Kent State Golden Flashes — 21-12, 10-6 MAC

PEAKS: Winning at West Virginia in that weird 24-hour marathon thingy. Getting to 20 wins yet again. Justin Greene earning first team All-MAC.

VALLEYS: Getting spanked by USC-Upstate in the first round of the CIT. Probably not how they pictured this season to end.

TOP PERFORMANCE: Chris Evans: 23 points (9-for-10, 2-for-3 FT 3-for-3 3P), 6 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 assists, 1 block, 1 TO vs. Toledo on January 28

Eastern Michigan Eagles — 14-18, 9-7 MAC

PEAKS: Winning the MAC West outright. Beating OHIO. RobMurphy winning MAC Coach of the Year.

VALLEYS: A ton of bad nonconference losses, followed by losing to Northern Illinois in the first round of the MACT.

TOP PERFORMANCE: Darrell Lampley: 37 points (12-for-26, 11-for-11 FT, 2-for-10 3P), 4 steals, 2 assists, 1 rebound, 2 TOs vs. Colgate on December 1

Bowling Green Falcons — 16-16, 9-7 MAC

PEAKS: Beating OHIO and Temple. Lots of dunks, too. And Torian Oglesby broke an NCAA record for most consecutive field goal attempts made with 26.

VALLEYS: Losing to CMU in the first round of the MAC Tournament. Never winning more than two games in a row except for one four-game streak.

TOP PERFORMANCE: A'uston Calhoun: 29 points (12-for-17, 5-for-5 FT, 0-for-1 3P), 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 TOs vs. Buffalo on January 21

Toledo Rockets — 19-17, 7-9 MAC

PEAKS: Winning WAY more than four games in a season, which is what they did the last two years. Won a MAC tournament game and reached a postseason tournament, winning a game in the CIT. Juice Brown broke out as the MAC Freshman of the Year.

VALLEYS: That weird damn midseason stretch where they went 4-12. Included in that stretch was losing a basketball game 41-38 to EMU.

TOP PERFORMANCE: Juice Brown: 29 points (10-for-15, 2-for-3 FT, 7-for-11 3P), 7 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 TOs vs. Florida-Gulf Coast on December 22

Western Michigan Broncos — 14-20, 6-10 MAC

PEAKS: Winning two games to reach the quarterfinals was about as much of a salve that they felt.

VALLEYS: Starting 0-6 didn't help. Neither did finishing the regular season losing eight of ten games. And then they learned Matt Stainbrook was transferring.

TOP PERFORMANCE: Matt Stainbrook: 32 points (14-for-16, 4-for-5 FT), 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 steal, 1 TO vs. South Dakota State on November 12

Ball State Cardinals — 15-15, 6-10 MAC

PEAKS: The opening game against Arizona proved to be a good omen, then the win over Butler was even sweeter.

VALLEYS: Everything else, including the retention of Billy Taylor as head coach.

TOP PERFORMANCE: Jarrod Jones: 22 points (6-for-8, 9-for-11 FT, 1-for-1 3P), 13 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 TOs vs. SIU-Edwardsville on December 6

Miami RedHawks — 9-21, 5-11 MAC

PEAKS: Julian Mavunga was quite good! And while they didn't have many victories, three of them were against the RPI top 100: Belmont, Buffalo and Dayton.

VALLEYS: Mostly before the season began. Allen Roberts was injured for the year and Orlando Williams was suspended/kicked off the team for a theft. Oh, and Charlie Coles retired.

TOP PERFORMANCE: Julian Mavunga: 19 points (3-for-7, 13-for-17 FT), 19 points, 8 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 5 TOs vs. Eastern Michigan on February 1

Central Michigan Chippewas — 11-21, 5-11 MAC

PEAKS: The Michigan MAC Trophy! A win over Bowling Green in the MAC Tournament! Trey Zeigler showed signs of improvement! Woohoo!

VALLEYS: And then Ernie Zeigler was fired, causing not only Trey but Austin McBroom to transfer. They lost a ton of games to teams that weren't Michigan-based, including a loss to NIU and a home loss to 6-24 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

TOP PERFORMANCE: Trey Zeigler: 33 points (15-for-25, 2-for-7 FT, 1-for-4 3P), 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 3 TOs vs. Toledo on February 22

Northern Illinois Huskies — 5-26, 3-13 MAC

PEAKS: A win in the first round of the MAC tournament is the holy grail of any lowest-seed team. Plus they had victories over Miami and Toledo. And most of them have their health.

VALLEYS: Pretty much everything else, obviously, but it should be noted that they did lose their exhibition game to Division III Carthage College (who finished 12-13 on the year) as well as transitional Division I school Nebraska-Omaha, their only D-I win of the year.

TOP PERFORMANCE: Abdel Nader: 24 points (8-for-13, 5-for-5 FT, 3-for-6 3P), 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 4 TOs vs. Central Michigan on February 26

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