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MAC Basketball Power Rankings: Ohio jumps into top 3, Toledo falls hard

We aren't really starting to get a clear picture of things even though there are just two weeks left in the season.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Just when you thought a week's worth of MAC basketball would start to clear up some things, more confusion abounds with just four games left to play. The once gaggle of 7-5 teams has become packs of 9-5 and 7-7 teams, drifting either positive or negative ways down the standings.

This all lines up for what will be one of, if not the most wide-open MAC Tournaments in history. You can make a case for 9 teams to win, with really only Western Michigan, Bowling Green and Miami as complete longshots. I'm throwing Eastern Michigan in there too, because if they can do what they did to Toledo last week in Cleveland, then watch out.

Anyway, here are the current seeds along with how they stack up against our rankings:

Rank Team (1st Place Votes) Points Last Week
1 Akron (8) 17 1
2 Ball State (1) 31 2
3 Ohio (2) 34 5
4 Kent State 36 6
5 Buffalo 58 4
6 Northern Illinois 69 8
7 Toledo 75 3
8 Eastern Michigan 82 9
9 Central Michigan 92 7
10 Western Michigan 107 11
11 Bowling Green 121 10
12 Miami 132 12

We haven't talked much about Ohio in this space, but give them credit. Saul Phillips is turning this team around after last year's ten-win campaign. Antonio Campbell is a very likely MAC Player of the Year winner, while transfer Jaaron Simmons and Kenny Kaminski have meshed well with the holdovers from last year. Freshman guard Jordan Dartis would be one of the favorites for Freshman of the Year if it wasn't for EMU's double-double machine James Thompson. The schedule doesn't set up great - three of the next four are on the road - but two of those are against Miami and Bowling Green. If the Bobcats can win at Akron on March 1, they could be in-line for a 1-seed.

Kent State notched a huge victory over rival Akron on Friday on national TV. The Flashes have been playing well after that 3-game losing streak, and have been learning to play without Xavier Pollard who is out for the season. Kellon Thomas was a standout against Akron and will be asked to do a lot more in the upcoming contests, which like Ohio also include three road games. One of those will be at Akron, and you can be sure the Zips are looking for revenge.

The team that no one can figure out is Central Michigan. A team that returned basically everyone from a regular season title last year should not be sitting at 7-7 in conference play, but that's the current situation in Mount Pleasant. The worst part is - it's not getting easier. Games at Toledo and at Ball State are still on the radar, and a huge game looms with Northern Illinois tomorrow. That is a must-win for the Chippewas if they don't want to be hosting a first round MAC Tournament game.