EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been updated through 2/23 games.
The Michigan MAC Trophy is the annual rivalry trophy given to the best team between the three directional schools in Michigan: Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, and Western Michigan. There are two trophies, both awarded since the 2005-06 athletic year: one for football - which Western Michigan currently owns - and one for men's basketball - which Central Michigan currently owns.
This year's race features some good storylines, especially with all three schools struggling with consistency in the MAC. To recap, here's what each school is aiming to do:
- Eastern Michigan is trying to win their first Michigan MAC Trophy in hoops, having won the award four times in football (including the only two retentions).
- Western Michigan is trying to join themselves (2005-06) and Central Michigan (2009-10) as the only schools to sweep the trophy in both sports in the same year.
So let's check out the standings thus far.
|WESTERN MICHIGAN||EASTERN MICHIGAN||CENTRAL MICHIGAN|
|vs CMU||W 92-85/@ CMU (Mar. 4)||W 99-80/W 71-56||-|
|vs EMU||W 94-86/L 62-73||-||L 80-99/L 56-71|
|vs WMU||-||L 86-94/W 73-62||L 85-92/vs WMU (Mar. 4)|
So what does that all mean?
Well no team is out yet, even if CMU is winless and EMU is almost finished with their schedule CMU is officially eliminated. Let's check the clinching scenarios (NOTE: in the event of a tie, the team that last won retains the trophy. Because there is no precedent in case of a dual 3-1 tie between the two schools that didn't win the year prior, we'll run under the assumption that the LAST team to win the trophy in that tie retains)
Eastern Michigan - They need CMU to beat WMU to avoid the 3-1 tie which would (in theory) give the Broncos the Trophy
Western Michigan - They need to beat CMU to force a 3-1 tie with EMU, which should go to retention (WMU last won in 2014 while EMU has never won)