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MAC Bandwagon Podcast, ep. 83: Expect the unexpected

There were some surprising results in MAC basketball this week, as a few of the favorites stumbled unexpectedly, and a few dark horses emerged

Illustration: James H. Jimenez; photos courtesy of Wikipedia Commons, James H. Jimenez, Kenneth Bailey

Happy Friday folks! The temperatures have warmed a bit this week, a subtle reminder that spring is right around the corner. The temperature has been consistently high in MAC basketball over the past month, and this week was no exception. We had quite a few surprising results, and a few potential contenders have emerged who we may have written off just a few short weeks ago.

On the men’s side of things, the most surprising result of the week was Ball State’s 93-83 victory over Toledo on Friday night. The Cardinals shot a blistering 50.8% from the field and raced out to a 20 point first half lead on the way to handing the Rockets only their second conference loss. Unfortunately for Cardinals fans, Ball State followed up their upset with a disappointing home loss to Central Michigan, 89-85 in overtime. The Chippewas have emerged as one of the great stories in the MAC over the past few weeks. having won four of five games to get themselves back into contention for the MAC tournament.

Elsewhere in men’s hoops, Kent State has started to round into form, as the Flashes have now won five in a row after wins over EMU and Bowling Green this week. Rob Senderoff’s team faces an important stretch this week, with games against Akron, Toledo, and Ohio.

On the women’s side of the fence, Ball State continued their strong form and have now won five in a row. A large part has been due to the emergence of freshman guard Ally Becki, who earned MAC Player of the Week honors after averaging 21 points and eight assists per game. The Cardinals have a big match up on Saturday, as they travel to Kent State. The Flashes are the other contender for hottest team in the conference, as Todd Starkey’s team has a four game winning streak of their own.

It was a tough week for Western Michigan. Entering the week, the Broncos sat third in the MAC with a 6-3, but an 0-3 week (which included disappointing home losses to Miami and Akron) has Western on shaky ground. The Broncos have a few chances to right the ship this week, with winnable games coming up against Bowling Green and Northern Illinois.

As always, thanks for stopping by this week folks. We’ll be back next week with a MAC baseball season preview. Have a great week, and we’ll see you back here next Friday!