The latest AP women’s basketball poll was released today, and no MAC teams made the top 25. That wasn’t a shock. Also not a shock, both the Ohio Bobcats and Central Michigan Chippewas were teams that were in the “receiving votes” category. As the fate would have it, those two very teams are scheduled to play Wednesday.
The two teams are similar, in that they can score in bunches. Central Michigan has the edge with regards to experience, however the game is on the Bobcats home floor. I expect a barn burner type of game where the team with the ball last wins. I also expect the winner to crack the top 25, or get really close, while the loser will still be well regarded.
While the season is still young, it is never too early to talk about the NCAA tournament. Obviously an NCAA ranking is a big feather in the cap, even if it doesn’t last all season. The women still pay attention to the RPI, and currently Central Michigan is ranked 30th, while the Bobcats are 45th. Both would garner serious consideration at an at-large team if the season ended today. Buffalo, Northern Illinois, and Toledo are all in the top 100, which not only helps Ohio and CMU, but gives those three schools a chance to climb in the rankings. If Ohio and CMU keep winning, even with a slip up here and there, I think the MAC is going to be a two bid league again. Buffalo still has a chance to earn an at-large bid, based both on their sweet 16 run of a year ago, and the season that Cierra Dillard is having. Obviously this situation is ever evolving, but I think the dream scenario for the MAC right now is Ohio and CMU to both keep winning, and then Buffalo sweeping the MAC tournament, and a three bid league is still on the table.