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Bracketology Update: Experts like Northern Illinois, Kent State

The MAC will most likely send only one team to the big dance, but who do the experts believe it will be?

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, January 25th many different credited sports websites and bracketology experts released their latest bracket. Check out below where various experts included the MAC in their brackets. It should be noted these projections do not account the outcomes of Tuesday nights contests.

ESPN (Joe Lunardi)

  • Lunardi listed Northern Illinois as the team to receive the MAC's automatic bid. His latest projections have Northern Illinois in the South Region as a 15 seed. That projection sets up a match-up with the 2 seed Xavier Musketeers in St. Louis. The winner of that game would play the winner of Dayton and Valparaiso.

CBS Sports (Jerry Palm)

  • CBS Sports has Kent State representing the MAC in the NCAA Tournament. According to Jerry Palm's latest predictions Kent State would be a 14 seed in the Midwest Region pitted against 3 seed Michigan State. The winner of Kent State and Michigan State would play UConn, USC, or St. Joe's according to Palm's latest bracket.

Yahoo (Brad Evans)

  • Brad Evans from Yahoo Sports has a list of 68 teams he believes will make the tourney and has split every team up regarding projected seed. Currently, Brad has Northern Illinois representing the MAC as a 14 seed. The other teams he projected as 14 seeds were UAB, Stony Brook, and Princeton.

SB Nation (Chris Dobbertean)

  • SB Nation's latest bracket is very similar to CBS Sport's. Much like CBS Sports, SB Nation predicts the representation from the MAC will be a 14 seed in the Midwest Region that plays Michigan State in the round of 64. The only difference is they project Northern Illinois to win the Mid-American Conference instead of Kent State.
Now why are many experts regarding Northern Illinois and Kent State so highly? Below we inspect both teams résumés.

Northern Illinois Huskies

Record: 16-4

RPI: 86

Best Wins: Ohio, Eastern Michigan

Worst Losses: @ Missouri, @ Western Michigan

Strength of Schedule: 231

Kent State Golden Flashes

Record: 15-5

RPI: 79

Best Wins: Ohio, Eastern Michigan

Worst Losses: Penn State, Buffalo

Strength of Schedule: 158

If you look at the eye test it seems Kent State is the better team despite most bracketologists selecting Northern Illinois to win the MAC. Kent State has just as good of wins as Northern Illinois but has played a more difficult schedule, has a greater RPI, and their worst losses are not as bad as the Huskies. Tons of things can change from now until Selection Sunday but this is where the MAC stands right now.