James H. Jimenez: All right... it's time to break the new guy! Er, break in the new guy. Nah, I meant break. I mean seriously, your last name is COFFIN. I could make a nice one out of the broken rowboat and Buster Bronco's preserved tears by the end of this preview. Especially since the Chippewas are obviously winning this game.
Justin Coffin: This row boat is well intact. What's also intact is basketball dominance. WMU goin' up on a Saturday.
JHJ: Let me look at my pocket schedule right quick. Oh yeah, you lost to Eastern, who has had a terrible conference season. And you have also lost three of the last four games coming into this next matchup. And ya'll are about to walk in to McGuirk Arena, the home of your hated rival, which has suddenly become one of the most hostile environments in the MAC. It will be practically inhospitable when ya'll take the floor. Especially since CMU is oh, I dunno, 14-1 AT HOME THIS SEASON.
JC: 2 of those losses were to Buffalo and Akron. And, I hope you enjoy than record at home because the defending MAC champs are coming to town and adding a loss! We only struggle against the zone anyway. Does CMU play zone?
JHJ: Nah man, we play mano a mano. Ain't 'bout that zone life. Also, pardon me, but we won vs. Buffalo, too. And rallied from double-digits to bring the Akron game close. And last I checked, this isn't 2013-14. Central is doing very well overall and has a good chance to advancing in the MAC Tournament with a good draw. Western is middling in the MAC, to say the least. A defending MAC champ shouldn't let Miami come within single digits, even in a victory.
JC: Well, we beat Buffalo as well, by 20 I might add. And didn't lose to Ball State. So.
JHJ: But even then, That's no excuse for your team's performance. It's time to face reality, yo. #3MU is one of the most efficient teams on offense not just in the MAC, but in the NCAA. With the smarts of Chris Fowler (who put up 42 vs. BGSU!) and the athleticism/pure heart of Braylon Rayson leading the offense, CMU is practically unstoppable, especially at home.
JC: Well, while the science of being "due" is debatable, I'd say CMU is ripe for the upset on the 7th, if you could call it that. Chips haven't eclipsed 80 points in the last 4 games, including 53 vs the Flashes. While the Broncos are a middling road team and there is no timetable for Austin Richie's return, the Brown and Gold are playing well considering they are missing 11 PPG and run-stopping 3 pointers. On top of that, give me David Brown any day. He's going to be the game changer on the 7th and I'm looking for 30 points from DB.
JHJ: The game against Kent was an anomaly; a poor shooting night, combined with impressive defense. Besides, Kent is one of the best teams in the MAC. One player averaging 11 PPG is nice, but CMU distributes the ball efficiently, with Luke Meyer and Austin Stewart able to take the load off of Rayson and Fowler. Combine that with Blake Hibbits (a starter last year,) and Josh Kozinski off the bench (a 3 point shooting robot,) and you have a relatively deep team to face.
JC: I would say without a doubt both teams are deep even without Richie on the floor for WMU. Much is made of CMU's efficiency, but lost in all of that is that the Broncos are no slouch when it comes to offensive efficiency, ranking in the top 70 in points and FG% categories. Regardless, most of this may not matter much as the MAC East leading Kent State team can't crack the top 100 in any category on the season. This is a game that can play right into WMU's hands as a stingy defensive team that forces you to out-shoot them for 40 minutes. CMU is certainly up to that task against anyone in the country, but that team up north hasn't been shooting the lights out as of late. I see that trend continuing into Saturday.
JHJ: I think your argument feeds right into why Central could win. Just like Western could be due for an upset, Central could be due to return to their scoring prowess against Western. Western could play to Central's game by doimg that, or Central could dive to the inside with their newfound height (Rayshaun Simmons, Meyer, etc.) A rivalry game environment, combined with a potentially potent offense could spell doom for the Broncos.
Anyway, I've won this argument. CMU wins as well, 75-64.
JC: WMU will do the arguing for me, and write this down, WMU 72 CMU 70. David Brown at the buzzer. Or some combination of that. This game starts and stays close with that MAC title pedigree proving victorious.