This season has flown by and if it ended today, the four teams with a bye in the MAC tournament would be Buffalo, Toledo, Ball State, and Western Michigan. However, things aren’t that simple. With only 6 games left for each team, 3 teams are only one game back from the final spot and a couple more are lurking. This is our best guess on how the season will finish up.
#12 Ohio Bobcats
(3-9 MAC, 10-14 overall)
The Bobcats 4-OT thriller against Indiana State seems like ancient history. So does the promise this season showed. The injury bug bit again and the remaining schedule is tough. Things look bleak, but there is still talent on this team so you never know.
#11 Akron Zips
(4-8 MAC, 11-13 overall)
Some Zips fans might be upset that Akron is ranked below a team they just beat. Well, while recent history is the most important, there is far too much suck from the Zips this year to overlook. The talent is there, so I honestly wouldn’t write the Zips off, even though the record says I should. They are still at 11, though.
#10 Central Michigan Chippewas
(4-8 MAC, 15-10 overall)
The Chips were the shock of this non-conference season, but have fallen back to earth a bit in league play. The talent is there, the defense is mostly solid, so don’t be shocked if they make a bit of a run at the end of the season.
#9 Northern Illinois Huskies
(4-8 MAC, 11-14 overall)
Some of you might think I have the Huskies ranked too high because I am riding the wave of their win over Buffalo, and you might be right. Playing Toledo tough might also be a factor, but the real reason I probably reached on the Huskies is Eugene German, who is averaging 20 per this season. He is fun to watch.
#8 Eastern Michigan Eagles
(5-7 MAC, 14-11 overall)
By far the most frustrating team to figure out. The talent is there, and it seems to be in the right places, but the Eagles are much like they were last season. Some games they look like a contender, some games they don’t.
#7 Kent State Golden Flashes
(6-6 MAC, 12-13 overall)
A week or two ago, Kent reminded me a lot of the team last season. Peaking at the right time. Instead they have taken a few steps back, but with a talent like Jaylin Walker, anything can happen.
#6 Miami RedHawks
(6-6 MAC, 13-12 overall)
What a job by first year coach Jack Owens. The thing about this team is that there is still some gelling to do. If they peak at the right time, they could make some noise. Not too many people saw that coming.
#5 Bowling Green Falcons
(6-6 MAC, 15-10 overall)
Coach Huger has this squad on the cusp of big things. The Demajeo Wiggins project is still proceeding quite nicely, while the younger talent is gaining steam.
#4 Western Michigan Broncos
(7-5 MAC, 15-10 overall)
Their only loss in the last 5 games is a 6 point loss to Buffalo. Much like last season, coach Hawkins has improved the team over the course of the season. Thomas Wilder is averaging 18.9 points and over 4 rebounds and 4 assists a game. He still has another gear, I am just waiting for him to find it. Or more specifically, waiting for him to get into the rhythm of the game a little better. Wilder is a smart guy and he plays like he is thinking too much at times.
#3 Ball State Cardinals
(7-5 MAC, 16-9 overall)
It’s not often a team is streaky on offense and defense. However, this team is. Loaded with young talent, they will be a force next season. When they put it together on both ends, they are a force this season.
#2 Toledo Rockets
(10-2 MAC, 18-7 overall)
I almost pulled the trigger and put the Rockets number 1. This team is loaded and Fletcher is playing like a MAC Player of the Year. The Rockets played the Bulls the first game of the conference season in their only scheduled game this year. Don’t be shocked if they meet again in the conference championship game.
#1 Buffalo Bulls
(10-2 MAC, 18-7 overall)
It is difficult to find faults in a team that is 10-2 in the conference and those two losses were by a combined 5 points. However, something to ponder, the Bulls have given up over 80 in 4 straight. That’s largely an effort issue and can be easily corrected, however it is something to pay attention to as the Bulls head down the stretch.