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Eastern Michigan Eagles vs. Western Michigan Broncos men's basketball preview: Showdown in the mitten

Which Michigan team will secure its 14th overall win of the season?

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Eastern Michigan Eagles conclude a two-game home stand in conference play this Saturday when they host in-State rival Western Michigan. In what should be a highly anticipated matchup for MAC sports fans, the Eagles (13-7, 2-5 MAC) and the Broncos (13-7, 4-3 MAC) are going into Saturday's game with the same overall record. This is a MAC West showdown you do not want to miss.

This game will be the second game of the season for the Eagles in which they face an in-state MAC rival. EMU previously faced Central Michigan a week ago and CMU won that game 65-51.

Though that loss was indeed a bad look, the Eagles are now coming off of an impressive 36-point win over Ohio earlier this week. Against the Bobcats, the Eagles stepped up their defensive effort and shut down Ohio's leading scorer Maurice Ndour to secure their second MAC victory. With EMU playing the way it's been playing lately, the Western Michigan Broncos are sure to see a different Eagles team on Saturday than the one that went 0-3 to start conference play.

Unlike EMU, WMU has yet to play against an in-state MAC rival. The Broncos have, however, secured the better MAC record so far. During the middle of January, they went on a four-game winning streak; two of those wins were by double figures. On the other hand, they have suffered three conference losses to just two teams: the Akron Zips (lost twice) and the Buffalo Bulls (lost once).

The Broncos boast a veteran offensive threat, thanks to senior guard David Brown. Brown recently scored a career-high 35 points in a double-overtime win against Ball State. Junior forward Connar Tava and senior guard Austin Richie are also no strangers to putting up high-scoring numbers.

Can EMU's much-improved defense put a stop to WMU's high-scoring offense? We'll just have to wait and see.

Tip-off on Saturday is set for noon.