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MAC Men’s Basketball Preview: Ball State Cardinals at Toledo Rockets

A huge game right off the rip

NCAA BASKETBALL: JAN 03 Ball State at Kent State Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Ball State Cardinals head to Toledo to take on the Rockets in the first conference game of the year. The Rockets are off to a blistering start at 12-1, while the Cardinals are 9-4. Both teams have show ability this season, with the Cardinals having a more difficult schedule. No one game has ever proven anything ever, but this game will certainly have me leaning one way or the other for the favorite in the West.


Game Details

Who: Ball State Cardinals at the Toledo Rockets

When: Friday, January 4th, 2019 at 7 P.M EST

Where: Savage Arena, Toledo, Ohio

Watch: CBS Sports Network

Line: Toledo -6 per vegasinsider.com


Players to Watch

Tayler Persons, Guard, Ball State: The point guard has an it factor, but also likes to put the point in point guard. Sometimes this is great, sometimes it leads to an offense that doesn’t quite click. He’ll need to spread the ball around in this game, as the Rockets can score.

Trey Moses, Center, Ball State: The big man has battled injuries. He will need to keep the Rockets as a perimeter team. If the Rockets can get easy buckets, then their outside shots start dropping more frequently, and they are a tough out.

Jaelen Sanford, Guard, Rockets: The 6’4 guard is averaging 17.8 points per game. When he is clicking and his shots are dropping, the Rockets seem to score every time down the floor. When he struggles, the Rockets tend to slow down as a team, on both ends of the floor.


Prediction

This will be a shooters game, where both teams are running the floor and chucking up shots. Look for Toledo to gain an edge and get crowd momentum, only for a veteran Cardinals team to keep battling back. Eventually, the Rockets will hit a few more shots on their home floor, giving them a slight edge, 88-83.