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MAC Men's Basketball Power Rankings: Central Michigan slowly creeping back up

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Not much movement in the rankings this week, but Central Michigan is getting closer to the top.

Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the last week of January, only a little is known in the MAC basketball-wise. It's pretty clear now that Northern Illinois and Kent State are pretty good. We knew about the Flashes being a good team throughout the season, but NIU's recent sweep of Toledo helped legitimize their case.

No one is sure if Akron, Ball State, or Toledo are either very good or very average. All three teams have good wins and bad losses, and we need to see more as the season goes on. So, let's get to the rankings:

Note: Rankings are compiled through Sundays' games.

Rank Team (1st Place Votes) Points Last Week
1 Northern Illinois (9) 23 1
2 Kent State (3) 38 2
3 Akron (1) 47 3
4 Ball State (1) 64 4
5 Toledo 74 5
6 Central Michigan 86 8
7 Bowling Green 91 6
8 Eastern Michigan 112 7
9 Buffalo 116 9
10 Ohio 134 10
11 Western Michigan 137 11
12 Miami 164 12

The only changes were in the middle, as Central Michigan jumped both Bowling Green and Eastern Michigan to fall into the sixth spot. The Chips fell at Northern Illinois last week by five, but rallied to smother Ohio by 23 at home. This week CMU goes to Miami and gets Bowling Green at home, which are winnable games. But, after that it gets tough, with road trips to Akron and Eastern Michigan along with home contests against Ball State, Toledo and Eastern Michigan on the horizon.

Bowling Green could have made a jump if they would have taken out Kent State last week, but that wasn't meant to be. They have a tough week, traveling to both Central and Western Michigan. Those will both be tough games, and we may find out the real BG this week.

Eastern Michigan fell because of a bad (not their fault) 2OT loss to Ball State. It's a little unfair, but the loss puts the Eagles at 2-4 in the MAC and riding a three-game losing streak. It doesn't get any easier this week, as EMU heads to Kent State and to Western Michigan.