Expectations were high for women’s basketball this preseason, and so far, those expectations have been met. 11 of the MAC teams managed a winning record in the non-conference slate, including Ball State going a perfect 11-0. The only team with a losing record, Eastern Michigan, has looked much better this year compared to last, and they have actually scored more points than their opponents on the year.
As of the 28th, the RPI has the undefeated Cardinals ranked 24th. Buffalo is 38th and Toledo is 62nd. These rankings give all three of these teams an outside chance at an at large bid to the NCAA tournament. Along with those rankings, Central and Western Michigan are both inside of the 100, also improving the strength of the conference. Miami and Ohio are both in the next 25.
Conference play begins Saturday. Right off the bat, we get the surprisingly undefeated Ball State taking on one of the preseason favorites, 8-3 Central Michigan in a huge match up. 8 other MAC teams get their start as well, while Toledo and Ohio do battle on New Year’s Eve.
On the eve of conference play, I would only be shocked if three teams won their division. The other 9 all have a shot. Of the three, 2 would be a shock, but not unbelievable, and I would only call EMU winning impossible because of the strength of the division.
My favorite in the East is Buffalo, and I can’t call a favorite in the West. I expected Toledo and Central Michigan to be the favorites. Ball State has been impressive, and Western Michigan and Northern Illinois are lurking. This might be the most competitive division race in all of college basketball.
While all these thoughts may seem random, there is a very good reason for that. I have been running 103 temperature. I should be back in bed, or at a doctors, but I felt compelled to let everyone know just how awesome this MAC women’s shootyhoops season is going to be!