MAC Basketball Week in Review: 'Tis The Season

WMU swarmed Missouri as well as they could last week. - Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

UMass is handed their first loss, while Miami bags a couple of W's and Toledo stays perfect. Akron gets set for a Christmas trip to Hawai'i and look at NIU hover near .500! Teams are sorted by win-loss records.

Toledo 11-0 RPI: 44 BBState: 7
LAST WEEK
(W) Arkansas State 78-65
(W) Cleveland State, 71-67
THIS WEEK
Saturday: vs. Coppin State
Nostalgia comes when you least expect it, and when they said the Rockets began 10-0 for the first time since 1998, my childhood blushed. That 98-99 Rockets team was one of my favorites, and I vividly remember Justin Hall's layup to beat Ohio State (a Final Four team) in Savage. I also remember that team completely imploding and never making the NCAA tournament. Childhood sucks sometimes.
Kent State 9-2 RPI: 145 BBState: 65
LAST WEEK
(W) Charleston, 58-54
THIS WEEK
Saturday: vs. Cleveland State
Kent State wins in so many ways, and yet winning despite staying under the 60-point mark is one of the rarer accomplishments for them. They're a weird Bucknell loss and a narrow Seton Hall defeat from hanging right up there with Toledo, but they're just one of a handful of MAC teams that have made this one of the more impressive OOC slates the conference has seen in a while.
Akron 5-2 RPI: 83 BBState: 57
LAST WEEK
(W) Oral Roberts, 74-64
(W) Detroit, 79-60
THIS WEEK
Sunday: vs. Oregon State in Hawaii
Tuesday: vs. TBA
Wednesday: vs. TBA
Saturday: at South Carolina
While all other MAC teams are spending Christmas with their loved ones, the Zips are going to enjoy the holidays in Hawai'i. Advantage: push. They're in a solid field, so their next two games could be against any of the following: Iowa State or George Mason on Tuesday, then South Carolina, Saint Mary's, Boise State or Hawai'i on Christmas. Why they could potentially play SC again on Saturday is beyond me. Nor is why they took their long weird break around Novemberween. Having said all that, at least they look pretty good again.
Ohio 7-3 RPI: 82 BBState: 83
LAST WEEK
(L) UMass, 83-71
THIS WEEK
Sunday: at Richmond
I think the Bobcats are starting to understand their place. They're a perennially-dangerous team dwelling in the 50-100 RPI level. Definitely a level to be proud of, and maybe after four years the fans are hoping for more, but that's a level that'll make them a MAC contender every year. But it's not enough to beat a team like UMass, who is playing like a top 25 team.
Eastern Michigan 7-3 RPI: 74 BBState: 55
LAST WEEK
(W) Oakland, 81-79 (OT)
THIS WEEK
Saturday: at Duke
Eastern is going to be a dangerous team if they can get everyone involved, just like what happened in this Oakland overtime win. Mike Talley, who averages less than seven a game, put up 21 points and nine assists. And Darrell Combs, who contributes about eight a game, scored nearly that in overtime: seven of the team's 11 points. They may only lose to Duke by 20!
Western Michigan 6-5 RPI: 199 BBState: 194
LAST WEEK
(L) Missouri, 66-60
(L) Drake, 71-68
(W) Prairie View A&M, 92-53
THIS WEEK
None
Two losses is the worst possible outcome, but I think back to how WMU stole a win against Wyoming in last year's CBI. Steve Hawkins gets his team to come up with some inspired road performances. Quietly, David Brown is averaging 20 points a game. Keep an eye on them next year, as they're done with 2013 games. They pick things up January 2 against NAIA opponent Siena Heights, who enjoys torturing themselves against MAC teams.
Central Michigan 6-5 RPI: 293 BBState: 210
LAST WEEK
(L) Jacksonville State, 82-73
THIS WEEK
None
Jacksonville State isn't a game the Chips should lose, but it's a road game against an unfamiliar opponent, so who knows what can happen. Also, Jacksonville State is in Alabama and not Florida, so that could have been part of the confusion. They're done for the year, and cap their OOC schedule on January 3 against NAIA's Marygrove College.
Bowling Green 5-5 RPI: 106 BBState: 123
LAST WEEK
(W) Morehead State, 67-61
THIS WEEK
Sunday: vs. Detroit
Richaun Holmes is averaging 20 points and six blocks in his last four games. Those 24 blocks would have been good for the team lead for BGSU's entire 2005-2006 season, a year in which Dan Dakich seemingly forgot that tall players are beneficial in basketball.
Buffalo 4-4 RPI: 232 BBState: 172
LAST WEEK
(L) Manhattan, 84-81 (OT)
THIS WEEK
Monday: vs. Binghamton
This school said goodbye to Khalil Mack, the best defensive player to don a Bulls uniform, during a blowout loss in the Idaho Potato Bowl. In a related story, Javon McCrea posted a double-double with three steals and three blocks in an overtime loss.
Northern Illinois 4-5 RPI: 180 BBState: 253
LAST WEEK
(W) @Loyola (IL) 55-49
THIS WEEK
Wednesday: at UC-Riverside
November 24, 2010. That was the last time, prior to Wednesday, that NIU won a nonconference road game, and it was against Maryland-Eastern Shores. I'm seeing a bit of the spunk in this team not unlike Rob Murphy's first year EMU. And this is Mark Montgomery's third in DeKalb. But they're playing good defense and keeping the tempo down. In their three D1 victories they've averaged 60 points a game, and no more than 64. Also, yes RPI is a flawed metric, but holy crap they have a sub-200 one.
Miami 3-6 RPI: 215 BBState: 225
LAST WEEK
(W) Wright State, 59-56
(L) UMKC 69-55
(W) Tennessee State, 79-64
THIS WEEK
None
The decisive win against TSU puts them at 1-12, which makes me wonder: how did John Cooper's team get so barren two years after his departure? But enough about the past; Miami won two games this week, tripling their win total on the year. Wright State ain't a bad little program either. Their next game is a week from today against Southern Illinois.
Ball State 2-7 RPI: 233 BBState: 308
LAST WEEK
(L) Marquette 91-53
(L) Southern Illinois, 66-58
THIS WEEK
None
It's not getting much better. While searching for silver linings, at least the SIU game was the first time in some time that the Cardinals were competitive late in the contest. Their last game of the year is against James Madison, and hopefully somebody gets BSU a jump shot for Christmas.
Massachusetts (Atlantic 10) 10-1 RPI: 2 BBState: 9
LAST WEEK
(W) @Ohio, 83-71
(L) Florida State, 60-55
THIS WEEK
Saturday: vs. Providence
Tripped up in Florida, our MAC half-brothers finally were tripped up by an athletic team who blocked and outrebounded them en route to the narrow upset. It was bound to happen sometime, and while this may knock them out of the top 25, they're still a heck of a team that will get back there soon.
TOP MAC PERFORMANCES
Demetrius Treadwell (Akron): 22 points (5-8 FG, 12-15 FT), 13 rebounds, 2 assists vs. Detroit
J.D. Weatherspoon (Toledo): 18 points (5-8 FG, 8-9 FT), 8 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals vs. Cleveland State
Will Felder (Miami): 19 points (6-11 FG, 7-8 FT), 8 rebounds, 3 blocks, 3 assists vs. Tennessee State
Joshua Oswald (Miami): 11 points (5-5 FG, 1-1 3PT), 11 rebounds, 2 assists vs. Tennessee State
Cameron Black (BGSU): 11 points (5-8 FG, 1-2 FT), 12 rebounds, 5 blocks, 2 assists, 2 steals vs. Morehead State
John Simons (CMU): 18 points (6-11 FG, 1-4 FT, 5-9 3PT), 9 rebounds, 3 steals vs. Jacksonville State
Nathan Boothe (Toledo): 14 points (6-10 FG, 2-2 FT), 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks vs. Cleveland State

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