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MAC Men’s Basketball Weekly Preview Guide

It’s getting close to the conference schedule, and these games should tell us much.

NCAA Womens Basketball: MAC Conference Tournament-Ohio vs Eastern Michigan Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Soon, Christmas will be upon us. After that, the New Year and lists of things we will do that will make our lives better. As those lists become unfulfilled, the MAC basketball season will kick into high gear. There are very few opportunities left to try and assess how the conference season will go.

In this weeks big game preview, along with “resume building” and “national footprint” type games, I included a few that will be a good litmus test.

Cleveland State Vikings @ Ohio Bobcats

Saturday, December 17th, 2 PM

OU has a been perplexing this season. At times, they look really good. At times, they don’t. While Cleveland State isn’t exactly a juggernaut this season, they are a solid team.

Rob Edwards and Bobby Ward are a couple of guards that can lite it up in a hurry for the Vikings, and they are a streaky team. If OU wants to win this game, and eventually the MAC, they need to play a steady game, and withstand the Cleveland State runs.

Antonio Campbell should be able to dominate in the middle, like he has done for most of the season, while the bevy of guards should be able to keep the Viking attack in check.

I just have a sneaking suspicion it wont go that way, and Cleveland State pulls off the upset in the Bobcat’s house. Or at least makes it an exciting basketball game.

Marshall @ Akron

Saturday, December 17th, 7:30 PM

Live Stream: ESPN 3

Marshall is a good basketball team that is already 2-0 against the MAC. They also score a metric tonne of points. They are averaging 86 points a game. Five Thundering Herd are averaging in double figures, led by Jon Elmore and his 23.6 points a game. He is also dishing out 7 assists per contest.

Marshall is also giving up 84 points per contest. This could be the perfect remedy for Akron, who scored 43 in their last contest. To be fair it was against a top 10 team, but 43?

After dropping their first game to Youngstown State, the Zips rattled off 6 wins. Then they dropped 2 out of 3. Again, to be fair, both losses were to top 10 teams.

I’ll be watching this game because I want to see how Akron reacts to those losses, and because I don’t want Marshall moving to 3-0 against the MAC. Yes, I am still bitter they left the MAC.

The Zips are number 1 in our power rankings for a reason. If I am going to keep them there, they need to defend the honor of the MAC, by gawd.

Wright State @ Kent State

Sunday, December 18th, 4 PM

Live Stream: ESPN 3

Sometimes when I watch Kent, I see a potential MAC contender, other times, I see a middle of the road MAC team.

Wright State is a middle of the road mid-major. They are sitting at 7-4 with a close lose to Toledo. They also have lost 3 out of the last 4. I know they want to win this game in a big way.

If Kent is going to compete, they need to win this game. Isaiah Johnson and Antino Jackson are a good duo to build a team around, and sometimes the team responds. Sometimes, they do not. I am not ready to call KSU a contender, but I am close. A win here could push me over the edge.

Eastern Michigan @ Syracuse

Monday, December 19th, 7 pm.


Zone-a-zone. EMU and Syracuse both try to play the game the same way. Good bigs, with a zone defense.

After dropping their first two games to very good teams, the Eagles have won 6 of their last 7. The Orange are 2-3 in their last 5. Trends, and the eye test, tell me the Eagles have a really good chance at an upset here.

I also know the Orange are loaded, and want to win this game in a bad way. If EMU can win here, they are a MAC contender, no doubt in my mind. If they lose, well, it’s just another loss to a perennial power from the MAC this season.

I really hope the Eagles win.