Northern Illinois has been near unbeatable at home only losing to Buffalo good for a 16-1 record at home. Their problem has been the road which has posed problems for the young huskies. They lost to power five schools in Missouri and Ohio State during non conference play but played well in each game. The problem is that besides a one point loss to Kent State and a four point loss to Ball State they have been beaten by double digits on the road in each of their losses. Two of those losses are very confusing which included Western Michigan although they were shorthanded and Miami. The key for them in this game is to play close and not get in a early hole.
Northern is sitting in the seven seed at the moment which has them playing the 10 seed which would be Bowling Green. It's a very winnable game especially since it would be at home however the toll of playing five games in six days gives them a tough go at getting to the championship. The Huskies have an outside shot at a top four seed but will need a lot of luck to fall their way. If they were to win out it would give them a great chance at not playing the first day but I still see them playing that first day. The importance of this game for the Huskies is enormous as it gives them a chance to improve their seed an to grab a win on the road for the first time since January 12th against Toledo.
Eastern Michigan sits just one game behind Northern Illinois and the game is just as important to them it is to Northern. If the Eagles lose their probably going to the nine seed. However if they win it poses an outside chance at potentially the six or seven seed. A lot more will be known before Friday as it's just too hard to tell where teams are going to fall as eight teams are separated by three games.
After a five game losing streak midway through the season the Eagles are 5-3 in their last eight games. Of those five wins four have come at home and that's bad news for the Huskies. It will be Brandon Nazione's last home game for Eastern but the Eagles are a very young team only graduating two seniors and should be contenders for the MAC Championship next year. They'll have a majority of their scoring coming back as they return 66 of the 78 points they average a game. I look for them to finish in the top six schools next year.