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2018-19 MAC Men’s Basketball Previews: Feb. 1-2

One game tonight and five more on Saturday to keep you entertained.

NCAA Basketball: Miami (OH) at Buffalo Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Just because it’s not -20 anymore doesn’t mean you still can’t sit around your house and watch TV all day. Especially since Saturday has a slew of MAC games for you to watch...including two key match ups that will determine the top spot in both the MAC West and MAC East


Friday, February 1st

#18 Buffalo Bulls (19-2, 7-1 MAC) at Bowling Green Falcons (14-6, 6-1 MAC)

Game Info:
When: 8:00 p.m. EST
Watch: CBSSports Network
Where: Stroh Center — Bowling Green, OH
Odds: Buffalo has an 80% chance to win according to ESPN’s BPI predictor

The Bulls will head to BGSU in a battle for first place in the MAC East. The Falcons are just a half game back of the first place Bulls at the moment, thanks in part to going 10-1 in their last 11 games, while Buffalo has won eight of their last nine. Buffalo’s C.J. Massenburg has scored double-digits in every game but one this season and is averaging 22.5 points per game in the last four contests. The Falcons will be relying on Demajeo Wiggins (12.6 points, 11.7 rebounds per game) and Justin Turner (18.9 points, 3.7 assists per game) to have big games if they’re going to upset the Bulls.

Prediction:
Buffalo Bulls - 82
Bowling Green Falcons - 72


Saturday, February 2nd

Kent State Golden Flashes (15-5, 4-3 MAC) at Ball State Cardinals (11-10, 2-6 MAC)

Game Info:
When: 12:00 p.m. EST
Watch: CBSSports Network
Where: Worthen Arena — Muncie, IN
Odds: Ball State has an 79.6% chance to win according to ESPN’s BPI predictor

Kent State will take on the struggling Ball State Cardinals Saturday afternoon. Ball State has dropped six of their last seven and will need Tayler Persons to have a big game if they want to right the ship against KSU. The Golden Flashes are led by Jaylin Walker, who’s averaging 23.3 points per game but has been hot lately and, over the last three games, is averaging 29.3 points.

Prediction:
Kent State - 74
Ball State - 65


Miami RedHawks (11-10, 3-5 MAC) at Eastern Michigan Eagles (9-12, 3-5 MAC)

Game Info:
When: 12:00 p.m. EST
Watch: ESPN+
Where: Convocation Center — Ypsilanti, MI
Odds: EMU has an 58.2% chance to win according to ESPN’s BPI predictor

Miami enters the game having won three of their last four, but falling on Tuesday to Toledo. EMU, however, has lost four of their last five and will hope to turn the tide here. Look for RedHawk guard, Nike Sibande to have a big night offensively. As for the Eagles, Elijah Minnie and James Thompson IV should be enough to hold off Miami and stop the skid.

Prediction
Miami RedHawks - 68
EMU Eagles - 74


Toledo Rockets (17-4, 5-3 MAC) at Northern Illinois Huskies (12-9, 5-3 MAC)

Game Info:
When: 3:00 p.m. EST
Watch: ESPN+
Where: Convocation Center — DeKalb, IL
Odds: TOL has an 58.1% chance to win according to ESPN’s BPI predictor

The Rockets and Huskies face off for first place in the MAC West. And while this is common place in football, it’s a rare occurrence in basketball. Jaelen Sanford is the Rockets’ best scorer, averaging 16.3 points per game. But Toledo relies on their stout defense that only gives up 68.9 points per game and averages 40 rebounds, 4.5 blocks, and 5.1 steals per game. The Huskies will look to Eugene German and Levi Bradley if they’re going to win. German nets 20.5 points per game while Bradley averages 15.2.

Prediction
Toledo Rockets - 75
NIU Huskies - 65


Akron Zips (12-8, 4-3 MAC) at Ohio Bobcats (11-9, 3-5 MAC)

Game Info:
When: 3:30 p.m. EST
Watch: ESPN+
Where: Convocation Center — Athens, OH
Odds: Ohio has an 50.8% chance to win according to ESPN’s BPI predictor

Both teams have won two of their last three games and will look to keep their winning ways up here. Akron’s Daniel Utomi leads the way for the Zips, scoring 14.1 points per game with Jimond Ivey right behind at 13.6 points. Jason Carter is the biggest threat for Ohio, as he drops an average of 16.2 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.

Prediction:
Akron Zips - 75
Ohio Bobcats - 68


Western Michigan Broncos (6-17, 0-7 MAC) at Central Michigan Chippewas (15-6, 4-4 MAC)

Game Info:
When: 4:30 p.m. EST
Watch: ESPN+
Where: McGuirk Arena — Mt. Pleasant, MI
Odds: CMU has an 80.1% chance to win according to ESPN’s BPI predictor

The Broncos have dropped 10 of their last 11 games and they are the only team without a conference win. The Chips, however, sit just a game down of first place and will look to keep pace with the winner of NIU/Toledo. Michael Flowers and Seth Dugan will try to end the Broncos suffering. The duo nets 15.6 points per game each and Dugan adds 8.8 rebounds per game. For CMU, Larry Austin Jr. averages 17.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game.

Prediction:
WMU Broncos - 66
CMU Chippewas - 77