Last week was a slightly busy week in #MACHoops but really went without a lot of fanfare. It'll be another slow one with finals approaching for most schools. There are only seven games going on from Monday-Friday but Saturday is a monster with just about every team in action.
1. Toledo Rockets (6-0), LW: 1
Last week: No games
This week: Detroit (12/4), at Robert Morris (12/7)
The Rockets didn't play last week but get a healthy dose of competition with solid opponents in Bobby Mo and Detroit. Toledo's already beaten Detroit this year in what amounted to a crazy finish where the Rockets overcame a eighteen point deficit with fourteen minutes to go. The Titans are coming off an impressive win at South Florida, so this'll be another slugfest. Bobby Mo is 0-2 against the MAC this year with losses to Eastern Michigan and Buffalo. They're not a bad team, but Toledo should be able to win even on the road.
2. Kent State Golden Flashes (8-1), LW: 2
Last week: Youngstown State (W), Kennesaw State (W)
This week: Bucknell (12/4)
Kent State won against a better-than-advertised Penguin team and held do-everything Kendrick Perry to just fifteen points on thirteen shots. The Flashes had a little trouble with awful Kennesaw State before putting them away in the end. Bucknell sits at just 3-4 but have a nice win over Penn State. They currently sit at 105 in the KenPom ratings, a couple spots head of Kent (138). Mike Muscala isn't playing anymore, but Cameron Ayers is. Ayers leads the team in scoring at fifteen points per game and shoots free throws at an impressive 95%. The Bison are deep as well as the top six players in minutes played all score over six points per game.
3. Ohio Bobcats (6-1), LW: 4
Last week: Mercer (W), Evansville (W)
This week: at Oakland (12/7)
I said last week that if the Bobcats won both games last week they'd jump Akron, and that's just what they did. It's too hard to put Ohio behind Akron, especially with the quality of competition the 'Cats have beaten. Ohio is actually ahead of Toledo in the KenPom ratings, sitting at 75. Oakland picked up their first win this year over a Non-D1 this weekend and shouldn't be overlooked.
4. Akron Zips (1-2), LW: 3
Last week: Malone (Exh.) (W)
This week: at Cleveland State (12/7)
The Zips didn't look that great against DII Malone but still got the job done. Keith Dambrot try to give the struggling players the most playing time in order to work out the kinks before the rest of the non-conference schedule hits. The Vikings are no slouch as they almost beat Kentucky and blew out Ball State on Saturday. Armed with likely the best backcourt in the Horizon League, Cleveland State will provide a big test to Akron's struggling point guards. It's really hard to judge the Zips right now but if they keep playing average basketball they may start to drop more.
5. Eastern Michigan Eagles (5-1), LW: 5
Last week: at Kentucky (L)
This week: Massachusetts (12/3), at Purdue (12/7)
Now that we're getting in to the meat of the schedule, we're starting to learn a little more about this Eagle team. The loss to Kentucky was expected but it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Massachusetts is a really good team who's offense will test the Eagle Zone. Purdue isn't a great B1G team but they still have some firepower. The Eagles beat them last year in Ypsi, so Purdue will likely be looking was some revenge.
6. Buffalo Bulls (3-2), LW: 6
Last week: Robert Morris (W), Delaware State (W)
This week: St. Bonaventure (12/7)
The Bulls picked up a couple wins this week, but not without some struggles. Bull Run did a nice job of recapping the Delaware State victory as Bobby Hurley expressed some concern with his team. We're finally getting to see what the Bulls will be like this year after a slow start to the season. The Bonnies are a quality opponent with a record of 5-2 and a KenPom rank of 100.
7. Western Michigan Broncos (5-2), LW: 7
Last week: Oakland (W), Cornell (W)
This week: at Northwestern (12/7)
Western Michigan did what they were supposed to do this week, beating two winless teams. It gets a lot harder this week as the face B1G foe Northwestern. The Wildcats are struggling out of the gate and Western Michigan should be able to stay in this one for awhile. After traveling to Las Vegas and playing their ACC/B1G Challenge game at North Carolina State, they'll be jet-lagged and likely sluggish. I wouldn't be surprised if Western Michigan won this one.
8. Ball State Cardinals (2-4), LW: 8
Last week: at Utah (L), at Cleveland State (L)
This week: Valparaiso (12/4)
It was a tough week for the Cardinals as they got blown out by both Utah and Cleveland State. It doesn't get any easier this week against Valpo who took Ohio down to the wire. The Crusaders have played a lot of quality teams this year so their 5-4 record is a little misleading. This is a good team, and the Cardinals will need to play well in order to stop the three game slide.
9. Central Michigan Chippewas (5-3), LW: 9
Last week: at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (W), Jacksonville State (W)
This week: at SIU-Edwardsville (12/7)
The Chips keep picking up wins over bad teams, so I'm hesitant to move them up. SIU-Edwardsville is another terrible team so that should be another easy win. While it is nice to pick up easy wins, it may not help them much during conference play.
10. Northern Illinois Huskies (2-4), LW: 10
Last week: at Nebraska (L)
This week: Dartmouth (12/5)
The Huskies took the L but not without a fight. Not everyone is into moral victories, but the Huskies should be proud of their performance against a B1G foe. Dartmouth has only played two games against D1 competition (1-1), so they're a relative unknown. I don't see the Huskies losing this one off of the high of the Nebraska game, but this is NIU basketball we're talking about.
11. Bowling Green Falcons (2-4), LW: 11
Last week: Presbyterian (W), Oral Roberts (L)
This week: Western Kentucky (12/2), at Xavier (12/7)
The Falcons earned a much-needed win over Presbyterian but couldn't get it done against Oral Roberts in the championship of the Mayan Division in the Cancun Challenge. This week it's the battle of the Bowling Greens as Western Kentucky comes to town. The 'Toppers are 4-2 with losses to only Marshall and Wichita State. Xavier is a good team and should give the Falcons many problems. They will get to see a familiar face in Xavier center Matt Stainbrook.
12. Miami RedHawks (0-4), LW: 12
Last week: No games
This week: IPFW (12/3), at Evansville (12/7)
The RedHawks get a chance to redeem themselves against IPFW, who almost knocked off Illinois the last time out. Evansville is a good team from the Missouri Valley who Ohio just blew out. Miami will be lucky to pull out a victory in either game.