Week 9 of the college basketball season is just about to end. This week brought excitement, upsets, and plenty of #MACtion. Before we move on to Week 10, four invigorating match-up's are scheduled for Saturday. Let me tell you this weekend's MAC hoops slate got us like...
Ball State @ Ohio - 2:00 ESPN3
Ball State is coming off a game where they pounded Toledo. What makes that win even more impressive is that they defeated Toledo without Sean Sellers.
James Whitford's dangerous bunch is lead by dynamic scorers Ryan Weber and Franko House. Weber enters today averaging about 12 points and 5 rebounds per game while shooting 46 percent from behind the three-point line. The forward Franko House has done a nice job contributing about 12 points and 6 rebounds per game. If Ball State can keep these two going while getting help from guys like Bo Calhoun and Francis Kiapway, the Cardinals will be a dangerous team all season long.
On the flip side, Ohio is coming off a tough loss to Northern Illinois in their MAC opener. So far the Bobcats have played well against teams such as Tulsa and Florida State, but lack a signature win.
Although the Bobcats haven't beat any extraordinary programs, they are still powerful. Saul Phillips has loads of weapons this season. This is best displayed by the fact that 5 players on the Ohio roster average over 10 points per contest. With the wide array of scorers and Ball State's road struggles this contest should be an epic one.
Central Michigan @ Bowling Green - 2:00 ESPN3
Keno Davis and company have had a disappointing start to this season. Last season the Chips won the MAC, this season they are a disappointing 7-7. Some of the lowlights include a home thrashing at the hands of EMU and a road loss to Grand Canyon.
Despite the stagnant start Central Michigan's season is not over. With plenty of games left and a talented roster the Chips are still a team to be careful against. This team has the talented former First Team All-MAC honoree Chris Fowler along with a slew of scorers.
On the other hand, Bowling Green is off to a 10-4 start to the season. Similar to Ohio, the Falcons have not beat any great teams. Despite this, Falcons fans are pleased with the performance of their beloved team.
Ultimately, I expect CMU to stay winless on the road. The Zack Denny / Spencer Parker duo might be too much for Central Michigan to overcome on the road.
Toledo @ Miami - 4:00 ESPN3
Toledo is a solid team coming off a terrible loss against Ball State. The Cardinals outplayed Toledo in almost every aspect of the game. Even after this horrendous performance, it is not time to panic in Toledo. With a talent like Nathan Boothe the Rockets have the capability of winning the MAC. Entering Week 9 we ranked Toledo the second-best team in the MAC. This team certainly should be able to make noise all season long.
Their opponent for the day is the Miami RedHawks, arguably the worst team this season in the MAC. All though they have played well against stiffer competition such as Xavier and Dayton, losses to Tennessee Tech and South Carolina State are upsetting. Entering Saturday 6-8, Miami is looking to turn things around. Some players that must step up are Eric Washington and Geovonie McKnight. If they continue to play well they could keep Toledo close, but I believe Toledo can finish this one off with ease on the road.
Eastern Michigan @ Northern Illinois - 8:30 ESPN3
This one could debatably be the best game on Saturday. Eastern Michigan is off to solid 9-5 start. Three of their five loses were road games against Power 5 teams. Two of those P5 teams were ranked in the top 25. It seems as if they are due to get hot with Raven Lee finally starting, and James Thompson IV emerging as a star. Thompson IV is averaging a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds per contest. These absurd averages will keep EMU in games all season long.
Northern Illinois has two studs of their own. Travon Baker and Marin Maric must be on top of their game if they want to match Eastern Michigan's power duo. Maric is averaging about 13 points and 9 rebounds per game. His skill on display against one of the up and coming players in the MAC should be riveting to watch.
In the end, I believe that Eastern Michigan wins this one on the road. Northern Illinois is very talented but Eastern Michigan can ride their star center Thompson IV and a hot Raven Lee to victory.
Tell us your predictions for the contests below!