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MAC Men’s Basketball Power Rankings: Ohio near-unanimous #1

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The Bobcats take the pole position after Akron’s loss to Youngstown State.

Rufus with the crowd vs Cleveland State 3/19/2014 (Michael Pronzato, Ohio Athletics) Michael Pronzato, Ohio Athletics

With nearly one week of #MACsketball in the books, it time to trot out our power ranking for this week, which will feature some shakeups with the Akron Zips losing to Youngstown State as well as the way the Eastern Michigan Eagles played at Pittsburgh. Without further ado, let’s get this party started!

#12 Miami RedHawks (1-1)

(Average position: 11.6, Highest vote: 11, Lowest vote: 12, Last week: 12)

Playing sloppy basketball in the season opener against Division III Muskingum, the RedHawks followed it up with tough loss on the road to Wright State that saw the team struggle mightily in the first half before a valiant second half effort. Michael Weathers looks impressive so far this season as he leads the team with 17.5 points per game, but he’ll need some help if Miami is to play better.

#11 Bowling Green Falcons (0-2)

(Average position: 11.4, Highest vote: 11, Lowest vote: 12, Last week: 11)

Losses at Oakland and the University of South Dakota have the Falcons feeling some type of way at this point in the season. With four players averaging double-digit points, including Zack Denny and his five steals this season, Bowling Green is in a pretty good spot as the non-conference season rolls on.

#10 Toledo Rockets (1-1)

(Average position: 9.8, Highest vote: 9, Lowest vote: 10, Last week: 9)

Following a crushing season-opening loss to Saint Joseph’s, the Rockets picked up a huge win over Youngstown State, the same team that began the season with a win over Akron. Toledo had three players account for 45 points in the opener, but it needs other guys to step up if it’s going to keep pace with the other teams in the MAC West.

#9 Northern Illinois Huskies (2-0)

(Average position: 8.6, Highest vote: 6, Lowest vote: 10, Last week: T-7)

The Huskies defended their home court well this weekend with an overtime victory over Indiana State and a rout of Roosevelt. NIU has a trio of players that have accounted for 43 points per game and 18 rebounds per game, and the team will be a tough out in the MAC if it keeps playing the way it is.

#8 Western Michigan Broncos (1-1)

(Average position: 8, Highest vote: 7, Lowest vote: 9, Last week: 10)

It’s hard to get a good gauge of where the Broncos are at as a team with a blowout win over Marygrove College and a decisive loss at Oakland. The tandem of Tucker Haymond and Thomas Wilder has carried WMU so far with 57 points and 17 boards between them in two games, but the team has shot under 40% from the field this season and that needs to be rectified soon.

#7 Central Michigan Chippewas (2-0)

(Average position: 7.2, Highest vote: 6, Lowest vote: 8, Last week: T-7)

The Chippewas have looked impressive thus far in the season with huge wins over IU Kokomo and Tennessee Tech, and have a likely home win against Marygrove coming on Thursday. Marcus Keene is probably the hottest player in the MAC right now with 62 points in just two games.

#6 Ball State Cardinals (1-1)

(Average position: 5.8, Highest vote: 5, Lowest vote: 7, Last week: 5)

After a decisive victory over Saint Louis in the opener, the Cardinals fell to Indiana State at home in a tough loss. Franko House and Ball State don’t have a lot of time to lick their wounds, as a big Friday road trip is looming against a good Alabama team.

#5 Eastern Michigan Eagles (1-2)

(Average position: 5.6, Highest vote: 5, Lowest vote: 7, Last week: 6)

Following losses to a pair of really good teams in Pittsburgh and SMU, the Eagles finally got something in the win column after downing Rochester on Tuesday. Ray Lee is one of the premier scorers in the league and he has delivered the goods so far this season with 21.7 PPG.

#4 Buffalo Bulls (1-1)

(Average position: 3.6, Highest vote: 3, Lowest vote: 4, Last week: 3)

The Bulls may be reeling after the way they lost to Xavier, but the defending MAC champs are still a dangerous team with a couple of big-time players in Willie Conner and Nick Perkins. Buffalo has a chance to get back on track Thursday when it hosts Nazareth.

#3 Kent State Golden Flashes (1-0)

(Average position: 3.2, Highest vote: 2, Lowest vote: 4, Last week: 4)

Opening their season with a win were the Flashes with a close road win over Cleveland State. KSU has to be feeling good when they host Mississippi Valley State Wednesday as the duo of Jimmy Hall and Mitch Peterson have registered 36 PPG and 24 RPG.

#2 Akron Zips (0-1)

(Average position: 2, Highest vote: 1, Lowest vote: 3, First place votes: 1, Last week: 1)

The loss against Youngstown State brought the Zips down a spot in our rankings but don’t count them out quite yet as they had five double digit scorers against the Penguins. Returning to Rhodes Arena Thursday ought to bode well for Akron as it hosts American.

#1 Ohio Bobcats (2-0)

(Average position: 1.2, Highest vote: 1, Lowest vote: 2, First place votes: 4, Last week: 2)

The Bobcats claimed the top spot here thanks to their impressive wins over Southern and Sam Houston State at home, and they can solidify their spot with a road victory Friday at Georgia Tech. Antonio Campbell is making an early claim for the best player in the league as nearly averages a double-double with 17 PPG and 8 RPG.