You don't need me to tell you this, but Akron and OHIO are by far the cream of the crop in the Mid-American Conference.
Kent State gave Akron a run for their money, but in all probability that was the Flashes' best shot. Meanwhile, Akron gave Kent State their 'B' game. they missed open threes, was dominated on the boards in the first half and could not knock down a free throw to save their lives. Nevertheless, UA still pulled out a four point victory.
Toledo gave OHIO a scare as well. After jumping to an early lead, the Rockets were reeled in by the Bobcats and put away by game's end. Was it the Rockets best game? Maybe not, but clearly OHIO was the better side. And I don't think it is wrong to predict that Akron will put away Toledo in Toledo this week.
I can't think of an argument for any other team to have a case at the top of the conference. Or to even be in the realm with these two schools. Central Michigan maybe there next season or the year after, but not now. I can not get the Eastern-Akron game from last season out of my head. And the rest MAC East does not provide alternative options now that Buffalo is bad and Kent State is suspicious.
The Mid-American Conference was great last year, as four teams had a legitimate shot at winning the title. This year, we will have to settle for two.
It's a bad thing, but not an awful thing. An awful thing is to only have one juggernaut running around. We could still have that. The two teams have not played each other yet this season, so whose to say that one team is not much better than the other?
But that is probably not the case. Chances are we are about to witness a three game thriller starting February 2nd in Akron.
Akron is on a nine game winning streak. It has run through the MAC, as expected.
Ohio has a five game winning streak going, and has also ran through the Mid-American Conference.
What's not to love?
It's a shame that both of these teams can not make the NCAA tournament. I know that super MAC fan will be upset at me for writing that, but the fact is the chances of either of these teams getting an at-large bid is small. So small that it is not worth talking about now.
It's a shame, but it also provides us MAC fans with intense, in season and postseason, basketball. And at the end of the day that is what I want out of my conference. So it is not all bad.
Akron plays at Toledo on Wednesday and host Buffalo Saturday. Ohio will play on the road throughout the week. They first will travel to Miami for their rivalry game, and then to Kent State over the weekend. Each will likely come out still undefeated in conference play.
Akron and Ohio: stealing parody away from the Mid-American Conference since 2013.