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2018 MAC Basketball Preview: Eastern Michigan Eagles at Bowling Green Falcons

Which of these teams can get back to even in conference play?

NCAA Basketball: Eastern Michigan at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

One of the more interesting match ups this Saturday features two teams with the exact same record, as the Eastern Michigan Eagles (14-10, 5-6 MAC) head to Ohio to take on the Bowling Green Falcons (14-10, 5-6 MAC).

EMU has won three of their last four while the Falcons have dropped four of their last six matches.


Game Details

  • When: Saturday, Feb. 10th, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.
  • Where: Stroh Center - Bowling Green, Ohio
  • Watch: ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app

Players to Watch

James Thompson IV and Elijah Minnie and Paul Jackson, EMU - The Eagles are the only team in the MAC with three players averaging 15+ points per game and the only player that averages a double-double on the season (James Thompson IV, 15.1 points/12 rebounds per game). Minnie leads the trio with 15.6 points per game while Jackson averages exactly 15. This three-headed monster can be hard to stop if you’re not careful.

Justin Turner, G, BGSU - Turner leads the Falcons with 15 points per game but also adds 3.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. He’s shooting a very solid 42.1% from three point range (4th in the MAC, behind teammate Matt Fox who leads everyone at 45%).

Demajeo Wiggins, F, BGSU - As of writing this on Thrusday, Wiggins is still questionable for the game against EMU as he’s nursing an undisclosed injury. However, should Wiggins play, look for him to make an impact for the Falcons as he’s closing on a double-double for the season as well. Wiggins averages 13.7 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. In the last two games he played in, he had a combined 20 rebounds and 31 points. If Wiggins is forced to miss another game, it’ll be freshman Derek Koch to getting a lot more playing time.


Prediction

A lot depends on whether Wiggins plays or not.

If Wiggins is out, it eliminates a huge rebounding threat for EMU and will allow the Eagles to get more second chance points from their trio of stars.

If Wiggins is in the lineup, even if he’s not 100%, it will limit the effect Thompson IV will have down low and allow the Falcons to take control of the boards.

This should be a close, hard fought game either way. The Eagles will pull away late however, with Thompson IV and Minnie hitting some clutch shots.

EMU Eagles - 77
Bowling Green Falcons - 69