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Eastern Michigan Eagles vs. Ball State Cardinals men's basketball preview

Eastern goes for win number 18, while Ball State looks to put their long slide behind them.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

With the final week of MAC basketball upon us, EMU is right in the heart of a battle for the conference's eighth spot, a spot that brings with it a first round home game in the MAC tourney.

For Ball State, the Cards would just like to put a 'W' or two in the column to finish off the 2014-15 regular season, and give themselves a little boost in right direction going into the postseason.

It's been 51 long days and 14 games since Ball State's last win, which came against Central Michigan. Since then, despite several close calls, the Cardinals haven't been able to find themselves with the bigger score when the clock hits zero. Junior forward Bo Calhoun has stepped up big time for Ball State in the three of the Cards' last four games, including dropping a career high 30 points in Ball State's 70-59 loss to Toledo on Saturday. Last Tuesday, Calhoun scored 15 in a five point defeat to Western Michigan, and scored 18 for the Cardinals on Feb. 18 in a loss to Kent State.

Freshman Sean Sellers and sophomore Zavier Turner have been key most of the time for the Cards this season, with Sellers making a big impact throughout the year from downtown, and Turner continuing to put up steady numbers a season after he was named MAC Freshman Player of the Year.

Despite an early season victory over Michigan and a constant hold on the one-spot in our weekly power rankings, Eastern Michigan has slowly fallen from grace, but can still give themselves a shot at first-round home game and a 20-win season if things go as planned for the Eagles.

The Eagles dropped both of their two games last week by at least eight points, and haven't won since beating NIU two Saturdays ago, 73-65. Both Raven Lee and Mike Talley have been leading scorers for Eastern throughout MAC play, with senior Karrington Ward providing a lift in the rebound category. Lee had 26 points in EMU's last game, a 80-72 loss to Western Michigan.

When these two met in Ypsilanti back in early January, Ball State was able to stun the high-flying Eagles, 60-59, who had just rolled through non-conference play. But EMU could use some revenge this time around and shatter Ball State's last hopes at tying Ohio for the 11th seed in Cleveland.

The game starts at 7:00 EST and can be seen on ESPN 3.