MAC Basketball Week In Review: Parity in the USA

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

While eight teams went 1-1 on the week, two MAC basketball teams went a perfect 2-0 and you're never going to guess the second one. Teams sorted by MAC win-loss records.

Toledo 18-3 (6-2)
(W) at Miami, 83-70
(L) at Ohio, 95-90 (OT)
That third loss is probably going to knock the Rockets out of at-large consideration, but this wasn't a 17-1 MAC team — not with the 11th-rated defensive points per possession in the conference. They're going to hit 80 with ease, and that's going to be tough for most teams to match, so enjoy this team for what they are: no longer the doorstop, and still a good bet to return to the NCAA tournament as an autobid, which would break a 35-year drought.
Ohio 16-5 (6-2)
(W) Central Michigan 71-67
(W) Toledo 95-90 (OT)
As thrilling as the Akron-Ohio game was, the Toledo game on Saturday may have topped that, even if it didn't keep up with its number of overtimes. As if it wasn't possible, Maurice Ndour improved on his finest game of the season by living inside and scoring 28 points. He now lives rent-free underneath the basket and even let his landlord approve painting and changing the drapes. He practically owns it.
Akron 14-7 (6-2)
(W) Ball State 73-46
(L) at Kent State 60-57
Other than the near-loss at Ball State, Akron didn't look exactly vulnerable in MAC play. They did lose to Toledo, but the Rockets are a better team. The Kent State loss came out of nowhere, because (1) Kent State does not look like their normal 20-win selves, and (2) no that's pretty much it. But that's the allure of rivalries. They take your sense of understanding and poop on it.
Buffalo 11-7 (5-3)
(W) Western Michigan 84-63
(L) at Bowling Green 74-68
If you didn't know Reggie Witherspoon was fired, based on the fluctuation in performance you'd still think this is his team. The WMU win was impressive, then lost their grip in the final minutes of the BG game. Additionally, Javon McCrea has now double-doubled in five of Buffalo's seven losses.
Western Michigan 12-8 (5-3)
(L) at Buffalo 84-63
(W) Central Michigan 75-72
If it weren't for the two games the Broncos failed to reach 40 points, this loss at Buffalo may have been their most frustrating performance, but nearly blowing a certain lead against Central Michigan has to be a close second.
Miami 9-10 (5-3)
(L) Toledo 83-70
(W) Eastern Michigan 65-61
The result against Toledo was no surprise, but bagging a W against Eastern Michigan is keeping this team on the upper-half of the MAC so far. But being eighth in points per possession and ninth in defensive PPP doesn't bode well for this team. They can keep winning the close ones against the .500-or-worse competition, and they'll unlock the magical secret to success in this conference.
Eastern Michigan 12-9 (4-4)
(W) Bowling Green 69-57
(L) at Miami 65-61
In their last 13 games, EMU has never won or lost more than two games in a row. Prior to that, they had a three-game losing streak after starting 5-0. So this team has finally figured out how to properly play to the middle.
Bowling Green 10-11 (4-4)
(L) at Eastern Michigan 69-57
(W) Buffalo 74-68
Staying in the middle of the conference remains this team's best possible outcome. In retrospect, this was probably not the year to start playing Toledo twice.
Kent State 12-9 (3-5)
(L) Northern Illinois
(W) Akron 60-57
? Look at these two scores over there. Look at them. They were results by the same team in consecutive days. Do you understand what is happening to us? How many rations do you have in your lead bunker. WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON'T HAVE ONE
Northern Illinois 9-11 (3-5)
(W) at Kent State 50-49
(W) at Ball State, 67-65 (OT)
NIU is winning close games on the road, including at Kent State. They were one of two teams to win both games last week, and the other was Ohio. The conference is officially loony again. As you were.
Ball State 4-15 (1-7)
(L) at Akron 73-46
(L) Northern Illinois 67-65 (OT)
The lone Buffalo victory looms more as an anomaly as the season progresses. They were simply overmatched at Akron and probably should have won the NIU game given they outplayed them for 35 minutes, but they let that one slip away. Don't worry: still two more games against CMU are looming down the road.
Central Michigan 7-13 (0-8)
(L) at Ohio, 71-67
(L) at Western Michigan, 75-72
Keno Davis finally got 40 great minutes out of their team this week, but as fate had it, it was 20 minutes at Ohio and 20 at WMU. Okay ... 45 minutes. The Chips had an 18-point lead in Athens with 15 minutes to play and couldn't hold it. Then in Kalamazoo they were down 21 points in the first half, and whittled it down to a one-point deficit near the end of the second half. If the team was just ass-bad, then CMU fans could at least tune out the team. But they're so darn close, which is almost worse, don't you think?
Massachusetts (Atlantic 10) 17-4 (4-3)
(L) at Saint Bonaventure, 78-65
(L) at Saint Joseph's, 73-68
Even our favorite MAC stepbrother is falling victim to conference parity. Having lost three of their last four, they're suddenly in a tie for fifth with Richmond. They still have Saint Louis, VCU and George Washington left to play on their schedule — three teams ahead of them in the standings — so they have plenty of time to catch up. Meanwhile, their offense is sputtering, quickly worsening their tournament at-large seed.
TOP MAC PERFORMANCES
Maurice Ndour (Ohio): 28 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks vs. Toledo
Juice Brown (Toledo): 28 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds vs. Ohio
Glenn Bryant (EMU): 26 points, 10 rebounds, 3 steals vs. BGSU
Chris Fowler (CMU): 27 points, 3 assists vs. WMU
Stevie Taylor (Ohio): 23 points, 4 assists vs. Toledo
David Brown (WMU): 20 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals vs. CMU
Justin Drummond (Toledo): 16 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists vs. Miami
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