With Thanksgiving week over and November in our rear view mirror, the state of MAC basketball is currently confusing as hell. We know there is one pretty good team - the Akron Zips - and a couple of other good teams. What about the rest? The rankings shook out so close that teams ranked 4-9 really could be all interchangeable.
Note: Ballots were counted as of midnight, November 29th.
|Rank||Team (1st Place Votes)||Points||Last Week|
|1||Akron Zips (9)||11||1|
|2||Toledo Rockets (1)||33||5|
|3||Kent State Golden Flashes||37||4|
|5||Central Michigan Chippewas||61||2|
|6||Western Michigan Broncos||63||6|
|7||Eastern Michigan Eagles||65||7|
|8||Northern Illinois Huskies||70||8|
|10||Ball State Cardinals||85||11|
|12||Bowling Green Falcons||110||12|
Let's take a minute to digest this.
Akron's a clear number one, we at least know that. The Zips sit at 4-2 with that huge win at Arkansas and a fantastic first half against then-#11 Villanova. They struggled at Green Bay this week but bounced back nicely with a home crushing of Charleston Southern.
Toledo (4-2) had a good showing at the Great Alaska Shootout, going 2-1 in Anchorage with wins over San Jose State and Loyola Chicago, avenging an earlier loss to the Ramblers. Nathan Boothe and Jonathan Williams sit 1-2 in the conference in scoring, and although maybe the competition hasn't been the best this team can flat out put the ball in the basket.
On the flip side, Central Michigan (2-3) just had an awful time in Florida at the Gulf Coast Showcase. The Chippewas went 0-3 and just looked out of sorts against decent competition. Chris Fowler needs to get healthy ASAP, or this team could sleepwalk into conference play with an underwhelming record.
Northern Illinois is a cautious 6-0, mainly because we just don't know how good the Huskies are yet. They haven't played anyone that great yet, but still 6-0 is 6-0. The tests start this week, at they are at Missouri on Friday before traveling to Columbus to take on Ohio State on the 16th. If NIU is still undefeated at this time next week, expect them to jump pretty high.
Even though Ball State (5-2) knocked off Valparaiso (KenPom's 27th ranked team) this weekend, they only move up one spot. Like NIU the Cardinals have looked impressive this year with an improved Bo Calhoun leading the charge. Ball State could wind up being a spoiler this year, and they certainly won't be an easy win on anyone's schedule.