Well hello there, friends. It’s your friendly neighborhood Fearless Leader just checking in on things and seeing what’s shaking. What’s that? What are my Valentine’s Day plans, you ask? Other than educating you on the MAC postseason scenarios it’s going to be a real humdinger of a holiday. I’ll probably hang out in my mother’s well-appointed basement, eat some Cheetos, maybe drink some Mountain Dew. I mean, I am a blogger after all. That’s sarcasm. Or is it?
But before all that can pop off we need to do some projectin’ and some prognosticatin’ about how this wackadoodle MAC men’s basketball season is going to turn out. We are five games out from the close of the regular season, and with it the launch of the postseason. Where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday we were poking the NIU bear about Coach Carey and now it’s almost time for March Madness. The time’s they are a-flyin’.
Our friends over at the MAC Sports mothership did the heavy lifting for us this week as they gave a succinct little graphic about what would happen and who would be seeded where if the season ended today. Feast your eyes on this. . .
With five games left, here's how the seedings would shake out if the tournament started tomorrow. #MACtion pic.twitter.com/3A4jWO51jI— #MACtion (@MACSports) February 14, 2018
Throughout this year, it’s been apparent that the Buffalo Bulls and the Toledo Rockets have separated themselves from the field, so it is no surprise that they are in the driver’s seat for the top seed in the conference tourney. But it’s important to note that even though Buffalo has the tiebreaker over Toledo, I think the Bulls have a harder stretch to get to the end of the season. Sure, they avoid the current 3rd-seed Ball State Cardinals unlike the Rockets, but they do play the 4th-seeded Bowling Green Falcons twice, and have a road date with the Miami-Ohio Redhawks.
Ultimately, Buffalo and Toledo are both nearly guaranteed the first round bye and avoiding the campus site opening round games, but that’s about where the known things end. A case could easily be made that there are up to nine teams currently with varying degrees of possibility of landing one of the top four seeds and with it the automatic advancement to Quicken Loans Arena. It’s going to be an absolutely wild finish in the MAC on the men’s side, and you should expect the same when the conference tourney kicks off on March 5 at campus sites.
Once the conference tourney is finished it’s time for the big dance and the subsequent not so big dances like the NIT and CBI. You’ll likely get MACtion in all three if recent years have been any indication. Joe Lunardi has Buffalo a 13-seed in the Boise pod playing Ohio State. That’s suboptimal. Good opponent but an absolutely terrible location. Lunardi also has no school west of the Mississippi River heading to Boise, so if you’re a Buffalo fan and this holds, you should be able to get good tickets since there will be approximately no one there. Of course, bracketology this far out is a virtual crapshoot, so I wouldn’t go buying airfare to Idaho just yet.