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Western Michigan Broncos vs. Toledo Rockets men's basketball preview

MAC West foes look to separate themselves from the pack.

WMU's Connar Tava defended by Toledo's J.D. Weatherspoon
WMU's Connar Tava defended by Toledo's J.D. Weatherspoon
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday at 7:00 pm ET, the Broncos and Rockets will take the floor at Savage Arena. Both teams are coming off wins that put them at 2-1 in MAC play (along with six other schools in the conference). We've seen competitive games the last few days from the MAC and expect this to be no different.

On Wednesday night the Broncos beat Ball State on a last second tip-in in double overtime. That's two straight wins for WMU after dropping the conference opener to Akron. Toledo is coming off a win at Ohio, and before that took care of Akron at home, 84-67. Now of course the transitive property in sporting contests doesn't mean all that much, but the Broncos might be a little worried that a team that beat them by 20 (Akron), got beat by Toledo by 17.

But what's really important is who's on the court Saturday night and who gets and stays hot out there. Western's red-shirt senior guard David Brown is coming off a career-best 35 points against Ball State in which he hit seven three-pointers. If he is still feeling that hot streak, he will be tough to defend for the Rockets on the perimeter.

On the other side of the court, Western is going to have a tough time containing the high-scoring Toledo forwards J.D. Weatherspoon and Nathan Boone. Boone's height was problematic for Ohio and could prove a similar issue for Western's front men. That being said, we have seen impressive defense in the past couple games from Western's freshman center Drake LaMont and sophomore forward Mario Matasovic. But these two will have to play to perfection to contain Boone and Weatherspoon.

Also look out for Western's junior forward Connar Tava who has been the most consistent scorer for the Broncos all year. His athleticism is tough down low. And we haven't even mentioned Toledo's top scorer Julius Brown, who is putting up 14.9 points per game and will be a handful for the Broncos' Brown and senior guard Austin Richie.

This game is too close to call for me, so I'll leave it to y'all. Who wins this one?