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2021 MAC Men’s Basketball Preview: January 30

We’ve got four great games on deck Saturday as the MAC race continues to take shape.

NCAA Basketball: Toledo at Xavier Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve got a great slate of Saturday basketball in the MAC as seven of the eight teams in action boast a .500 or better record in conference play. As we inch closer to the end of the regular season, each game going forward will have major ramifications in the MAC standings.

A handful of games involving the NIU Huskies have been delayed this week, due to the university pausing all basketball activities post-positive COVID tests. The contests affected include NIU vs. EMU (Sat., Jan. 30) and NIU vs. WMU (Tuesday, Feb. 2.)

All times and dates are subject to change.


Western Michigan Broncos (2-10, 1-6 MAC) at Miami RedHawks (7-5, 4-3 MAC)

This contest features a wildly inconsistent RedHawk team that is coming off of a 90-81 home loss to Toledo following three consecutive victories, while the Broncos are on a six-game losing streak. Miami has a solid trio of scorers in Dalonte Brown, Dae Dae Grant, and Mekhi Lairy as they all average over 12 points per game in MAC play. Greg Lee is a guy to watch for the Broncos as he leads the team with 52 rebounds in league games to go with his 12.4 points per game.

The game will tip off on Sat., Jan. 30 at 2 p.m. EST, and air on ESPN3.


Toledo Rockets (14-4, 9-1 MAC) at Bowling Green Falcons (10-5, 6-3 MAC)

Meanwhile, the MAC-leading Rockets remain on the road as they take on a Falcons team that is 2.5 games back of the MAC lead and would love to snap a two-game skid. JT Shumate had a coming out party against Miami last week, scoring 33 points on a perfect field-goal percentage. Justin Turner is the engine that makes the Falcons go as he has averaged over 20 points, five assists, and three rebounds in conference action.

The game will tip off on Sat., Jan. 30 at 5 p.m. EST, and air on ESPN+.


Ball State Cardinals (6-7, 4-4 MAC) at Akron Zips (9-3, 7-2 MAC)

Since dropping road decisions to EMU and NIU, the Zips have been on a tear as they have won five straight games to keep pace with Toledo in the MAC standings. On the other side, Ball State has been the definition of inconsistent as they have not won or lost more than two consecutive games in league play. Keep an eye out for BSU’s Ishmael El-Amin and Akron’s Bryan Trimble Jr; they’re the perimeter shooters in this contest (El-Amin: .340 from three-point land; Trimble Jr.: .424) so that matchup could be a huge factor in this game.

The game is set to tip off on Sat., Jan. 30 at 2 p.m. EST/1 p.m. CST, airing on ESPN3.


Ohio Bobcats (9-6, 5-4 MAC) at Buffalo Bulls (6-5, 4-3 MAC)

Last but not least, we have a game between two teams that are trying to stay in the thick of the MAC race in Ohio and Buffalo. Jason Preston is a great all-round player for the Bobcats as he has posted 13.2 points per game, 7.6 rebounds per game, and 7.8 assists per game in conference play. Meanwhile, UB’s Jeenathan Williams has been an offensive force with over 20 points per game in MAC contests this season.

The game is set to tip of on Friday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m., and will air on ESPNU.