We got some hot #MACsketball action coming in on Friday as four teams have compelling non-conference games in the early part of the season. Teams will be looking to find their identity and you the fan will likely have the opportunity to watch all these games on Friday.
Alabama vs. Ball State
The first game on the docket for today is a doozy as the Ball State Cardinals take on Alabama in the second game of the Charleston Classic. The Cards have looked good against some of their better competition this season with Tayler Persons, Tahjai Teague, and Trey Moses all averaging double-figures, but the Tide are on the rise in the SEC with former NBA coach Avery Johnson at the helm. The game will be available on ESPNU.
North Dakota State vs. Miami
With their games against Butler and Midway not really being representative of the quality of teams in the MAC, the Miami RedHawks will get a better sense of who they are as they open the Island of the Bahamas Showcase at 2 p.m. against NDSU. Look for Nike Sibande to continue to look like a top-tier MAC player in this tournament while Dalonte Brown plays effective basketball. Fans can watch the Showcase games through a BD Global Sports webcast for a fee of $9.95 per game or $24.95 for the whole tournament.
Ohio vs. South Florida
The Ohio Bobcats will face their first true test of the season at 4:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network as they open Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic against South Florida. Both teams are 2-0 while USF has four scorers in double figures in scoring and Jason Carter looks to be a dominant player for the ‘Cats with 20.5 points per game, 8.5 rebounds per game, and three assists per game.
Chicago State at Akron
This game might not be as an attractive viewing experience as some of the others today but at 7 p.m. on ESPN3, the Akron Zips have the opportunity to create some momentum heading into the star-studded Cayman Islands Classic next week. CSU is 0-4 with three blowout losses while the Zips have three players that average 15 points per game or more with Daniel Utomi leading the way with 16.5 points per game.
Liberty at Kent State
Coming on strong at 7 p.m. on ESPN3 are the Kent State Golden Flashes as they host Liberty as part of a four-game home stand. Both teams are 2-0 but there is quite a disparity between the teams they have played so far (KSU opened with a good Cleveland State program while LU’s last game was against Trevecca Nazarene, a decent D2 program in basketball). Jalen Avery should have himself a night as he averages 20 points per game and has attempted 17 three-pointers in two games (making seven of those) while Philip Whittington has dominated the boards to the tune of 11 rebounds per game.
Weber State vs. Central Michigan
Rounding out the action will be the Central Michigan Chippewas as they take on Weber State in the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas at 8:30 p.m. on FloHoops. Kevin McKay has helped power the Chips to a 3-0 start with 17 point per game and seven rebounds per game. WSU is coming off of a recent win over San Jose State, so this looks like a competitive contest in the early part of the college basketball season.