The Christmas holiday allowed many teams to take a break and rest before conference play begins. Only 14 games were played with more than half being played against subpar competition. The upcoming week, which is the last week of non-conference play, provides some interesting match-ups that will tell us the state of some of the most intriguing teams in the conference. Hopefully this week will finally clear up some confusion that everyone has in trying to figure out where in the pecking order these teams stand.
Note: Rankings are compiled through Sundays' games.
|Team (1st-Place Votes)
Akron had the best week of any team in the conference, knocking off both UC Santa Barbara and Iona in Las Vegas to improve to 9-2. The Zips should finish out their non-conference season with wins over South Carolina State and Lipscomb and will be in the driver's seat for the start of MAC play. KenPom has them as the 49th best team in the country ahead of Ohio State, Syracuse and Wisconsin, which is very impressive.
Kent State (7-4) fell a spot after a tough couple of days in Vegas. The Golden Flashes lost to both #18 SMU and Penn State, but were competitive in both games. They really haven't had a bad loss all season, the other two were at Pittsburgh and at Southern Illinois, who have only lost twice all season. A tricky contest at North Carolina A&T awaits this week, and we'll see if the Flashes can bounce back after consecutive road losses.
Nobody really knows how to rank Central Michigan. They were at 7 two weeks ago, dropped to 10 last week and are back up to 8 this week. The Chips sit at 6-5 but don't have any quality wins on their resume; their best win per KenPom was last week against Howard. A trip to William & Mary (7-3) will be a good test for CMU as they try to get some momentum going into conference play.