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2018-19 MAC Men’s Basketball Previews: Dec. 21-22

Eight of the 12 MAC teams are in action tonight or tomorrow

NCAA Basketball: Western Michigan at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The final weeks of the non-conference schedule are upon on and this weekend has a full slate of #MACtion that features more than half the conference playing. Three games come today (including one just hours from now!) while five MAC squads take to the floor tomorrow.

Friday, December 21st:

Western Carolina Catamounts (3-10) vs Bowling Green Falcons (6-5)

Game Info:
When: 1:00 p.m. EST
Where: Stroh Center — Bowling Green, OH
Odds: Bowling Green has a 77% chance to win according to ESPN’s FBI predictor

The Catamounts are lead by Carlos Dotson and Matt Halvorsen. Dotson is shooting 58.3% from the field and averaging 13.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game while Halvorsen is netting 13 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game.

For Bowling Green, look for Justin Turner to keep up his great start. He’s averaging 19.2 points and 3.4 assists per game. Demajeo Wiggins is another Falcon that can do some damage, averaging a double-double - 14.9 points and 12.5 rebounds per game.

Kent State Golden Flashes (8-2) vs Oregon State Beavers (7-3)

Game Info:
When: 3:00 p.m. EST
Where: Gill Coliseum — Corvallis, OR
Watch: PAC12 Network
Odds: Oregon State has a 79.8% chance to win according to ESPN’s FBI predictor

Kent State will need Jaylin Walker to play well if they want to keep up their winning ways. Walker is averaging 25.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game for the Golden Flashes.

For the Beavers, look for Tres Tinkle to be a difference maker. The Beaver’s forward is averaging 19.8 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game. If he doesn’t make plays Stephen Thompson Jr. does. Thompson, a guard, is netting 15.4 points, 3.7 boards, and 3.2 assists per game.

#14 Buffalo Bulls (11-0) vs #20 Marquette Golden Eagles (9-2)

Game Info:
When: 8:30 p.m. EST
Where: Fiserv Forum — Milwaukee, WI
Watch: FS1
Odds: Marquette has a 60.5% chance to win according to ESPN’s FBI predictor

For our full preview of this game, here’s the link.

Saturday, December 22nd:

Jackson State Tigers (2-9) vs Central Michigan Chippewas (9-2)

Game Info:
When: 1:00 p.m. EST
Where: McGuirk Arena — Mt. Pleasant, MI
Watch: ESPN3
Odds: CMU has a 91.2% chance to win according to ESPN’s FBI predictor

Chris Howell and Venjie Wallis lead Jackson State. Howell is averaging 11.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game while Wallis is close behind with 10.6 points and leads the team with 1.4 steals per game.

CMU shouldn’t have too many problems with the Tigers and look for Larry Austin Jr. and Kevin McKay to have big games. Austin Jr. leads the Chips with 19.6 points per game while McKay leads in rebounds (7.8) and scores 15.4 points per game.

Chicago State Cougars (3-10) vs Northern Illinois Huskies (6-4)

Game Info:
When: 2:00 p.m. EST
Where: Convocation Center — DeKalb, IL
Watch: ESPN+
Odds: NIU has a 96.6% chance to win according to ESPN’s FBI predictor

The Cougars are led by Anthony Harris who’s averaging a team leading 14.7 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Rob Shaw is a close second with 11.3 points and 3.2 rebounds per game but leads in assists (5.9).

NIU shouldn’t have too many issues with their opponent. The Huskies will look to Eugene German to kick-start their offense, as he averages 21.4 points per game. Levi Bradley is another Huskie to keep an eye on, as he nets 17.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, and shoots 58.8% from the field.

Shockingly, the Huskies lead the NCAA in shooting percentage, with the team hitting 52.6% of their shots.

Siena Heights Saints (8-6, NAIA) vs Eastern Michigan Eagles (5-6)

Game Info:
When: 2:00 p.m. EST
Where: Convocation Center — Ypsilanti, MI
Watch: ESPN+
Odds: EMU has a 99.5% chance to win according to ESPN’s FBI predictor

EMU should have no problems here when they take on NAIA foe Siena Heights.

The Saints are led by Keith Jordan Jr. who averages 15.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, and 1.0 steal per game.

As for the Eagles, look for Paul Jackson and Elijah Minnie to have big games. Jackson nets 12.5 points per game while Minnie is right on his heels with 11.7.

Milwaukee Panthers (4-8) vs Western Michigan Broncos (5-6)

Game Info:
When: 3:00 p.m. EST
Where: University Arena — Kalamazoo, MI
Watch: ESPN3
Odds: WMU has a 76.3% chance to win according to ESPN’s FBI predictor

The Panthers DeAndre Abram and Darius Roy are solid players, with Roy leading the team in scoring (15.3 points), assists (4.2), and steals (1.0). Abram’s 8.3 rebounds leads the team and he also scores 11.0 points per game.

For the Broncos, Seth Dugan and Michael Flowers lead the way. Flowers is averaging 15.7 points, 5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game while Dugan has 15.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game.

Akron Zips (7-4) vs #6 Nevada Wolf Pack (11-0)

Game Info:
When: 7:00 p.m. EST
Where: Lawlor Events Center — Reno, NV
Watch: ESPN3
Odds: Nevada has a 92.2% chance to win according to ESPN’s FBI predictor

The Zips are in for a tough match up when the head to Nevada to take on the Wolf Pack.

Daniel Utomi and Loren Cristian Jackson will need to have huge games if Akron is going to shock the sixth-ranked team in the nation. Utomi leads the team with 15.9 points per contest and also bring in 6.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. Jackson has a team-high 4.2 assists per game while averaging 14.9 points and 3.2 rebounds.

The Wolf Pack are lead by Caleb Martin and Jordan Caroline. Both players score 18.8 points per game but Caroline averages a double-double with 10.2 rebounds per game in addition to shooting 48.2% and 30% from behind the arc. Martin brings down 5.2 boards per game and also averages 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals.