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2018-19 MAC Men’s Basketball Previews: Feb. 8-9

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All you the info you need for this weekend’s games

NCAA Basketball: Miami (OH) at Buffalo Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Now in the final month of the season, each conference game becomes more important as teams vie for a better spot in the MAC tourney. This weekend all 12 teams are in action with the bulk of the games coming tomorrow afternoon and a late game tonight.


Friday, February 8th

Kent State Golden Flashes (17-5, 6-3 MAC) at Akron Zips (13-9, 5-4 MAC)

Game Info:
When: 9:00 p.m. EST
Watch: ESPNU
Where: James A. Rhodes Arena — Akron, OH
Odds: Akron has an 80.1% chance to win according to ESPN’s BPI predictor

Jaylin Walker has been averaging 26.6 points and 7.2 rebounds over the last five contests for Kent State and is the MAC leading scorer. Akron’s Jimond Ivey has been the most all-around effective player for the Zips, netting 13.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game.

Prediction:
Kent State Golden Flashes - 82
Akron Zips - 74


Saturday, February 9th

Western Michigan Broncos (6-16, 0-9 MAC) at Ball State Cardinals (12-11, 3-7 MAC)

Game Info:
When: 2:00 p.m. EST
Watch: ESPN+
Where: Worthen Arena — Muncie, IN
Odds: BSU has an 91.2% chance to win according to ESPN’s BPI predictor

WMU is still looking for their first conference win and has dropped 12 of their last 13 games. Seth Dugan has played well recently though, averaging 21.75 points and 11 rebounds in the last four games. Tayler Persons leads Ball State with 17 points per game and has dropped 20+ in nine games this year.

Prediction:
WMU Broncos - 67
BSU Cardinals - 78


Northern Illinois Huskies (12-11, 5-5 MAC) at Eastern Michigan Eagles (9-13, 3-6 MAC)

Game Info:
When: 2:00 p.m. EST
Watch: ESPN+
Where: Convocation Center — Ypsilanti, MI
Odds: EMU has an 51.4% chance to win according to ESPN’s BPI predictor

NIU has the MAC’s second leading scorer, Eugene German, who’s dropping 20 points per game and adding 5.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and a steal per game. For the Eagles, James Thompson IV is one of a handful of players averaging a double-double on the year with his 10.6 points and 10.3 boards per game.

Prediction:
NIU Huskies - 77
EMU Eagles - 72


Ohio Bobcats (11-10, 3-6 MAC) at Miami RedHawks (12-11, 4-6 MAC)

Game Info:
When: 2:00 p.m. EST
Watch: ESPN+
Where: Millett Hall — Oxford, OH
Odds: Miami has an 76.5% chance to win according to ESPN’s BPI predictor

Bobcat forward, Jason Carter, is the teams leading scorer (16.3 points per game) and, over the last four games, he has averaged 7.25 rebounds to go with his 16 points. For Miami, they’ll look to Nike Sibande, who nets 15.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per contest to keep them atop of Ohio.

Prediction:
Ohio Bobcats - 68
Miami RedHawks - 75


Central Michigan Chippewas (16-6, 5-4 MAC) at #23 Buffalo Bulls (19-3, 7-2 MAC)

Game Info:
When: 3:30 p.m. EST
Watch: ESPN+
Where: Alumni Arena — Buffalo, NY
Odds: Buffalo has an 94.0% chance to win according to ESPN’s BPI predictor

The Bulls will look to stay in top-25 and keep pace with Bowling Green in the East but have a tough test with CMU.

Buffalo has won 21 straight home games so the Chips will need Larry Austin Jr. to have a big day if they want to end that streak. Austin Jr. averages 17.6 points, 6 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game. If C.J. Massenburg isn’t enough, the Bulls have another dangerous player in Nick Perkins who is averaging 13.7 points, a team-high 7.6 rebounds, and a block per game.

Prediction:
CMU Chippewas - 78
Buffalo Bulls - 87


Toledo Rockets (19-4, 7-3 MAC) at Bowling Green Falcons (16-6, 8-1 MAC)

Game Info:
When: 6:00 p.m. EST
Watch: ESPN3
Where: Stroh Center — Bowling Green, OH
Odds: Toledo has an 58.8% chance to win according to ESPN’s BPI predictor

Not only is this a rivalry game but both these teams lead their divisions by a slim margin...meaning this game could have big ramifications.

The Rockets have won seven of their last eight games and hold a game and a half lead over CMU. Jaelan Sanford leads the way with 16 points in addition to the 3.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. If BGSU, who has won 12 of their last 13 games, is to stay a game up on Buffalo they’ll need Justin Turner or Demajeo Wiggins to have a big game. The duo is averaging 31.4 points (about 40% of the Falcons’ points) and 15 rebounds per game.

Prediction:
Toledo Rockets - 81
BGSU Falcons - 78