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2016-17 MAC Men’s Basketball Power Rankings: Week 15

After Akron, it gets complicated

NCAA Basketball: Akron at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The race is extremely close in the West, with 2 games separating the top from the bottom. The East, and the entire MAC, is pretty much decided, with Akron in commanding position. The top 4 seeds in the MAC tournament, and the bye that comes with it, are the most important part of the standings. If the season ended today, Ball State would get the 4th spot. The season doesn’t end today, and there are 5 teams just one game back.

#12 Miami RedHawks

(10-16 overall, 3-10 MAC)

The worst record in league play this far into the season will generally put you in the basement. The good news for the Redhawks is that they are a young team.

#11 Bowling Green Falcons

(11-15, 5-8)

Only 2 games separate the Falcons from the 4th seed. Even though they are 11th in our rankings, they aren’t out of the race yet.

#10 Western Michigan Broncos

(10-15, 6-7)

It’s not how you start, but how you finish, and the Broncos are living that dream right now. After winning 4 of their last 5, they are only one game outside of the top 4.

#9 Eastern Michigan Eagles

(13-13, 5-8)

The Eagles have been in a free fall for two months, losing 7 of their last 8. Even with the losses piling up, the Eagles are only 2 games back, so they certainly have time to turn it around.

#8 Kent State Golden Flashes

(14-12, 6-7)

After losing 4 straight, the Golden Flashes have won 5 out of 8. While not great, they have played their way back into the middle of the pack.

#7 Toledo Rockets

(13-13, 6-7)

The Rockets have been all over the place this season, and are a really hard team to figure out. They beat Kent by 20, after losing to them by 24. That pretty much sums it up.

#6 Northern Illinois Huskies

(14-12, 6-7)

An overtime loss in a game where they led most of the way is what separates the Huskies from 4th place. It’s crunch time.

#5 Central Michigan Chippewas

(16-10, 6-7)

If we were ranking teams on how fun they are to watch, the Chippewas certainly make a case for number 1. However, the old saying is that defense wins championships, and they have none. They’ll need to step it up on that end of the floor if they want to win it all.

#4 Ball State Cardinals

(16-10, 7-6)

One of only 4 MAC teams with a winning conference record, the Cardinals lead the West. However in this MAC season, life can come at you fast. With a couple of losses, they could be in last place.

#3 Buffalo Bulls

(14-12, 8-5)

The Bulls have been on a roll, which is terrifying to the rest of the league. Winners of the last 2 MAC tournaments, they seem to be positioning themselves to win a 3rd consecutive tournament, a feat that has never been accomplished.

#2 Ohio University Bobcats

(16-8, 8-5)

Not too many teams could lose the reigning MAC Player of the Year to injury and stay in contention. The loaded Bobcats did exactly that.

#1 Akron Zips

(22-4, 12-1)

In a shock to no one, the Zips are number 1. They have climbed up to number 37 nationally in the all important R.P.I. rankings.