Last night was the first night for MAC on MAC Shooty hoops action, so of course I have some knee jerk reactions to the games. It wouldn’t be opening day if sports prognosticators didn’t make a giant deal out of one game. Here are some overreactions to all 6.
Central Michigan Chippewas 75, Ohio Bobcats, 50
The Bobcats are plagued with injuries this season but they have still performed fairly well in the non-conference schedule. Central Michigan has an impressive record but I wasn’t completely sold on them since the schedule was relatively weak.
Well, I am sold now. This Chippewas team can still score, but has an impressive defense to go with. It wasn’t all the Chippewas defense as Ohio was cold, even from the free throw line, but the defense was a factor. Central Michigan also killed them on the glass.
As for Ohio, I am sure they will be fine once they get healthy and their legs back.
Ball State Cardinals 72, Eastern Michigan Eagles 62
The Cardinals had a brutal non-conference schedule and still managed to compile a 9-4 record, with Trey Moses still not fully healthy to start the season. Eastern Michigan was more of the unknown coming into this game.
Even though they lost by 10, I still feel the Eagles are a contender. Junior Paul Jackson had a rough night, which happens in basketball. James Thompson IV had some foul issues, including a technical foul that I thought was questionable. I wasn’t there, so I can’t say for certain.
Ball State continues to get better and are still a relatively young team.
Miami RedHawks 77, Bowling Green Falcons 72
The Falcons struggled from outside, so this loss doesn’t concern me too much. However, they got killed on the glass, including 17 rebounds from freshman Delonte Brown. I still believe in the Falcons, but they have to get that fixed.
I wasn’t expecting much from Miami on the season but they actually look like a pretty good team. There is definitely some young talent there.
Western Michigan Broncos 87, Akron Zips 75
I didn’t think the Zips would be great this season and they are not. They are still a solid team that hung with Western Michigan early.
Senior Thomas Wilder was terrible early in this game, at least shooting, and then like a veteran picked it up and helped the Broncos pull away. I thought WMU would contend for the MAC regular season championship, and I still do. Having a veteran like Wilder will only help.
I thought the Zips would be around .500 in the MAC, and still do.
Buffalo Bulls 104, Toledo Rockets 94
When the Bulls are clicking, they are nearly unstoppable. Much like last season, Toledo reloaded with the help of a graduate transfer. Tre’Shaun Fletcher had 27 in this game.
After one game, I am ready to crown the Bulls the MAC East champs.
I don’t know how Toledo fits into an ultra competitive West. They could be a good team and still finish 5th.
Northern Illinois Huskies 75, Kent State Golden Flashes, 61
This was an ugly game with some impressive individual performances. I don’t expect much out of Kent this season. As for Northern Illinois, I really like some pieces, but they just don’t seem to have it together yet. In a division as loaded as the MAC West, that’s bad news.
Then again, maybe I was cranky and overly critical after watching a full day of awesome hoops action!