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MAC Men's Basketball Power Rankings: Bobcats enter top three after taking out Ball State, NIU second

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Yep, that's NIU at #2.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The first week of MAC basketball is complete and if there's anything we learned, this is going to be as unpredictable of a season as we've seen. Northern Illinois is 2-0 after beating Ohio and Eastern Michigan at home. Eastern Michigan beat Central Michigan in Mount Pleasant by 20 and scored 99 points. Ball State beat Toledo by 18?

To quote Vince Lombardi:

Bear with us as we try to figure out actually what the hell is going on out here.

Note: Rankings are compiled through Sundays' games.

Rank Team (1st Place Votes) Points Last Week
1 Akron (14) 14 1
2 Northern Illinois 39 3
3 Ohio 60 5
4 Toledo 65 2
5 Kent State 67 4
6 Eastern Michigan 80 7
7 Ball State 89 6
8 Buffalo 97 8
9 Central Michigan 128 9
10 Bowling Green 137 10
11 Western Michigan 152 11
12 Miami 166 12

Although both games were in the friendly confines of the Convocation Center, Northern Illinois looked mighty impressive in taking out both #3 and #6 in this week's rankings. Marin Maric has become a revelation this season after not doing much on the court last year. The sophomore put up 22 & 14 against Ohio and 18 & 10 against Eastern Michigan last week, improving his averages to near double-double range (14 & 9). Travon Baker has been great too, scoring 25 points against both the Eagles and Bobcats. The Huskies and for real, and Maric and Baker are leading them to new heights.

Even though they fell to the Huskies, Ohio has been playing well over the last few weeks. The Bobcats had a big second half against Ball State in a comeback victory, with Antonio Campbell leading the charge. Campbell is sixth in the MAC in scoring and second in rebounding. Jaaron Simmons, Kenny Kaminski and now even Treg Setty have become key players in the Bobcat attack and will be counted on for the rest of the season to keep their high-scoring attack going.

Toledo dropped the most spots this week, falling from second to fourth. Getting blown out at Ball State will do that for you, and a too-close-for-comfort win at Miami didn't restore the faith that Rocket fans had during non-conference play. Turnovers have been one of the issues for the Rockets - they gave up the ball 12 times against the Cardinals and 15 times at Miami. Bench play has been a major issue the last two games, as combined the Rockets have scored just 19 non-starter points. If they can't start getting any bench production, starters playing major minutes will start to wear down the starters and cause Toledo to start losing games it shouldn't.