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:
|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:
|Bowling Green||KENT, @BUF|
|Central Michigan||TOL, @WMU|
|Kent State||@BG, AKR|
|Western Michigan||@NIU, CMU|
|Northern Illinois||WMU, @BSU|
|Eastern Michigan||@BSU, TOL|
|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.