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5 Teams Are In Contention for a First Round Bye in the MAC Tournament

What a great day for basketball

Syracuse v Western Michigan Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Akron locked up the number 1 seed a while ago. What’s left are 3 more byes for the MAC tournament that starts on Monday. Five teams are sitting at 10-7 and none of them play each other tonight, in the last night of MAC regular season shootyhoops. How much fun is that? My only complaint is that the games aren’t staggered throughout the day. Today certainly has a feign illness and call off work to watch basketball all day feel. Throw in the snow, and it makes the call that much easier. Oh well.

With that many teams, and that many possibilities, I am not going to look at tie-breakers beyond head to head for each team. If it’s more than 2 teams, it goes record within the tied teams. Below, I am going to do a quick preview of each team’s game tonight, and how they fair in head to head tiebreakers with each team.

Miami RedHawks at Ohio Bobcats

Miami is the worst team in the MAC, and they just knocked off Akron. It would be folly to think Ohio has this game wrapped up. The Convocation Center is going to be rocking, and all of Athens will be buzzing, so it will certainly be a daunting task for the RedHawks.

For the RedHawks to pull off the upset, they will need to limit turnovers and stop freshman phenom Jason Carter. Last time these two teams tangled, Carter had 25 points and 11 rebounds.

For the Bobcats, if Kenny Kaminski has a good game, I don’t see them losing. He was 0-4 and scoreless against Miami. In fact other than Jaaron Simmons, and Carter, none of the starting Bobcats had a good game.

Ohio head to head: Buffalo 1-1, WMU 1-1, BSU 1-0, and Kent 1-1.

Bowling Green Falcons at Buffalo Bulls

Buffalo knocked off the Falcons the last time they played, 88-74. The Falcons, like the rest of the MAC, are hard to pin down. They are a solid defensive team, though they lack scoring.

Buffalo is a similar team, though better at scoring. Alumni Arena will be rocking, so things are looking good for the Bulls. The only way I see them losing is if they go ice cold from outside, and stubbornly keep chucking up jumpers. Which they are capable of doing both.

Buffalo head to head, OU, 1-1, WMU 1-0, BSU 1-1, and Kent 1-1.

Central Michigan Chippewas at Western Michigan Broncos

The Chippewas knocked off the Broncos the last time these two teams met in one of the most exciting games of the year. Marcus Keene was able to hit a three with Thomas Wilder draped all over him, to clinch the victory.

I expect more of the same this time around. Two of the best guards in the country doing battle. What gives the Broncos the edge for me is that they are playing much better team defense and it’s on their home court.

WMU head to head, OU 1-1, Buffalo 0-1, BSU 1-1, and Kent 1-0.

Northern Illinois Huskies at Ball State Cardinals

After starting off the season playing well, the Huskies have lost 6 of their last 7, including a heart breaking overtime loss at home to the Cardinals.

The Cardinals play solid defense, especially in the middle, and are good shooters. If they are hitting, they are a tough team to beat. The only way I see NIU winning this one is if the Cardinals go cold.

Ball State head to head, Ohio 0-1, Buffalo 1-1, WMU 1-1, and Kent 0-1.

Akron Zips at Kent State Golden Flashes

The last game of the night is at 9 p.m. on ESPN 2. These two teams are trending in opposite directions. After locking up the MAC regular season title, the Zips have lost three out of their last 4, including a three point loss at home to Kent.

The Golden Flashes have won 5 in a row, and 9 out of 12. Jimmy Hall is one of the most consistent players in the conference, and has had a double double in his last three outings.

Trends and home court tell me the Golden Flashes should win, but I really have no idea what to expect.

KSU head to head, Ohio 1-1, Buffalo 1-1, WMU 0-1, and BSU 1-0.