Checking in on the… MACPosted by rtmsf on January 13th, 2009
Greg Miller of WPSD Local 6 is the RTC correspondent for the MAC and OVC Conferences.
MAC Standings as of January 12:
EAST CONF. W-L OVERALL W-L
- Miami (OH) 1-0 8-5
- Bowling Green 1-0 8-6
- Ohio 1-0 8-6
- Buffalo 0-1 8-5
- Akron 0-1 8-6
- Kent State 0-1 7-8
WEST CONF. W-L OVERALL W-L
- Ball State 1-0 6-7
- Northern Illinois 1-0 5-8
- Western Michigan 1-0 4-10
- Central Michigan 0-1 3-10
- Eastern Michigan 0-1 2-13
- Toledo 0-1 2-13
Since we’ve last talked, the MAC has officially tipped off conference play. But before we dive into that, let’s look back at how the league ended non-conference play.
The league managed to finally pick up a win over a BCS opponent. Buffalo capped off an impressive end to 2008 by winning the Stan Sheriff Classic in Hawaii with wins over Pepperdine, Colorado and Colorado State. The win over Colorado (Big XII) marked the first win over a BCS opponent for the MAC this year. It moved their record to 1-20 against BCS schools. Not what the league was hoping for. In fact, the MAC was a very disappointing 54-90 against non-conference Division I opponents and an even more disturbing 16-53 on the road against them. That explains why they’re ranked #19 as a conference in RPI.
Only two teams are in the Top 100 of the RPI as of Monday night. Miami is at #17 while Buffalo sits at #100.
Ohio is right on the outside at #103. The Bobcats seemed to have righted the ship (for now) after a stretch where they lost five of six. The ‘Cats have rolled off four straight wins and it’s no surprise that Jerome Tillman has been red-hot during that stretch. He had back-to-back double-doubles in wins over St. Francis and Bucknell. He nearly made it three straight with a 16-point, 9-rebound effort in their MAC opener, a 71-65 win over Kent.
A Welcome Addition…
Speaking of Kent, the Golden Flashes have welcomed highly-touted Tyree Evans to their lineup. Evans is a very talented JUCO transfer who is already leading Kent in scoring. His story is an interesting one. ESPN.com did a great feature on him last week.
West Not The Best…
The MAC West continues to be an absolute train wreck. Ball State is highest RPI team at #195. Four teams already have double-digit losses. Toledo has lost eight straight to fall to 2-13. Eastern Michigan has lost seven straight to fall to 2-13. Central Michigan has lost five straight to fall to 3-10. Western Michigan (the MAC West pre-season favorite) has lost six of eight and is 4-10.
The Broncos did kick off the conference season by winning at Central Michigan giving head coach Steve Hawkins career win #100.
East Is A Beast…
Miami also pulled off a win in their opener. The Redhawks had to go to overtime to beat Akron 64-51. The Zips have a torturous start to league play. They host Buffalo Tuesday before road games to Ohio and Bowling Green. They then follow that up with a visit from rival Kent. Akron could be staring 0-5 in the face.
We’ll quickly find out if Bowling Green is truly a MAC East contender. After a surprising win over Buffalo in their opener, the Falcons travel to Kent Wednesday before hosting Akron and Miami. After that comes a trip to the Convo in Athens to take on Ohio. If BG can take advantage of playing at home, they could stay towards the top of the standings.
Like Akron and BG; Miami, Ohio, Kent and Buffalo all will face each other in the next two weeks. By January 24th, we should have an idea of who the frontrunner is in this league.
Here are a handful of league games to keep an eye on over the next two weeks:
- 1/14 Ohio at Miami
- 1/17 Ohio at Buffalo
- 1/17 Miami at Kent
- 1/20 Miami at Bowling Green
- 1/20 Western Michigan at Ball State (For upperhand in MAC West…for what that’s worth)
- 1/24 Buffalo at Miami