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MAC Basketball Power Rankings: Week 16

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Does BG deserve to be #1?

Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

With just a week left in the season, we know a couple of things. Barring an absolute collapse, Toledo, Central Michigan and Bowling Green are probably (maybe?) going to get top four seeds and Buffalo and Kent State could snatch the last one away. The reality is, three pretty good teams will be hosting first round tournament games. This has been a crazy season in the MAC, and the tournament should prove to be even crazier.

So here are the power rankings for this week:

Rank Team Record Previously Last Week
1 Toledo 19-10 (11-5) 2 L - Northern Illinois, W - Ball State
2 Bowling Green 19-8 (11-5) 4 W - at Ohio, W - at Miami
3 Central Michigan 21-6 (11-5) 3 W - at Eastern Michigan, L - at Northern Illinois
4 Buffalo 19-9 (10-6) 6 W - Akron, W - at Kent State
5 Kent State 19-10 (10-6) 1 L - at Miami, L - Buffalo
6 Western Michigan 18-11 (9-7) 7 W - at Ball State, W - Eastern Michigan
7 Akron 18-11 (9-7) 5 L - at Buffalo, W - Ohio
8 Northern Illinois 12-15 (6-10) 11 W - at Toledo, W - Central Michigan
9 Eastern Michigan 17-12 (6-10) 8 L - Central Michigan, L - at Western Michigan
10 Miami 12-17 (7-9) 9 W - Kent State, L - Bowling Green
11 Ohio 9-18 (4-12) 10 L - Bowling Green, L - at Akron
12 Ball State 7-20 (2-14) 12 L - Western Michigan, L - at Toledo

Literally one vote separated Bowling Green and Toledo. That's how close these teams are. Of course losing at home to Northern Illinois is never good, but Toledo's body of work so far in conference play is better than Bowling Green's in the eyes of our voters. It's really a coin-flip between the two schools, and some one had to be at the top.

Kent State had a pretty bad week, as they got caught up in the Miami basketball machine and also lost a must-win at home against Buffalo. They're on the outside looking in now for a top four seed, and lost the tiebreaker with Buffalo as the Bulls swept the season series. The Flashes go to Bowling Green then get Akron at home, so getting a top four seed will really tough.

How about Northern Illinois? They picked up two huge wins this week over two of the top three teams in the conference. No one wants to play a hot team going into March, and NIU could upset a home team in the first round of the MAC Tournament. I wouldn't want to play the Huskies at all if they're going to keep playing like they have been.

Here are the last two games for each contender:

Team Opponent
Toledo @CMU, EMU
Bowling Green KENT, @BUF
Central Michigan TOL, @WMU
Buffalo OHIO, BG
Kent State @BG, AKR
Western Michigan @NIU, CMU
Akron @MIA, @KENT
Northern Illinois WMU, @BSU
Eastern Michigan @BSU, TOL
Miami AKR, @OHIO
Ohio @BUF, MIA
Ball State EMU, NIU

You certainly have to like Buffalo's remaining two, mostly because they are home games. Meanwhile Bowling Green's schedule is tough, getting a Kent State team out for revenge at home before heading to New York. All of the contenders have at least one challenging game left, and it all could come down to the last day of regular season play.