Inside MAC Men’s Basketball Week Five: The Final Push to Quicken Loans Arena Begins
By Evan Meyer
This Week in Mid-American Conference Men’s Basketball starts the second half of the season, as teams make their final push for seeding for the upcoming 2013 FirstEnergy MAC Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Last week, The Akron Zips showed currently they are the team to beat in the conference; as they defeated Ohio at home on Saturday for their 13th consecutive victory–the longest current streak in all of Division I men’s basketball. The Zips are 8-0 in MAC play for the first time since joining the conference.
In the Western Division, the Western Michigan Broncos are putting some space between themselves and the rest of the teams, as they are on a six-game winning streak after victories over Miami and Buffalo.
Here is a look back and a look ahead at the 12 MAC Men’s Basketball teams as we begin the second half of the campaign
AKRON (17-4, 8-0 MAC)
The Zips won both of their games last week, highlighted by their big 78-62 win at home over Ohio to take a firm hold on first place in the Eastern Division. Junior guard Alex Abreu was huge in the win over the Bobcats with a career high 21 points along with nine assists. This week the Zips host Central Michigan on Tuesday before heading to Miami on Saturday.
LAST WEEK: 68-55 win at Bowling Green, 78-62 win over Ohio
BOWLING GREEN (8-13, 3-5)
The Falcons split their two games last week after losing to that buzzsaw known as the Akron Zips. The Brown and Orange headed to Ball State and picked up a 70-59 win as guard Jordon Crawford came off the bench for the first time in 45 games, scoring 19 points and adding eight assists. This week BGSU is on the road at Northern Illinois on Wednesday and they play Ohio on Saturday.
LAST WEEK: 68-55 loss to Akron, 70-59 win at Ball State
BUFFALO (8-14, 3-5)
The Bulls split their two games this week, rebounding from their heartbreaking loss at Akron on Saturday by defeating Central Michigan at home Wednesday night. They won 91-73 thanks to Cameron Downing, who led five UB players in double figures with a career high 21 points. Saturday UB headed to Western Michigan, losing to the West Division leading Broncos 71-60. This week Buffalo heads to Eastern Michigan on Wednesday night before returning home for Northern Illinois on Saturday.
LAST WEEK: 91-73 win over CMU, 71-60 loss at WMU
KENT STATE (12-10, 3-5)
The Golden Flashes split their two games last week, suffering their fourth consecutive loss( their longest of the season) Wednesday night at Northern Illinois, falling to the Huskies 67-65. The losing streak ended Saturday with a victory over Eastern Michigan at home 77-62, as senior guard Randal Holt scored 17 points and had six assists. This week KSU is on the road at Western Michigan, then they return home Saturday for Central Michigan.
LAST WEEK: 67-65 loss at NIU, 77-62 win over EMU
MIAMI (8-12, 3-5)
The Redhawks split their two games last week, losing on Wednesday night to the Western Division’s hottest team–Western Michigan–78-72 . On Saturday, they made the long tip to Central Michigan and came away with a 70-61 win, ending their four-game losing streak decision. This week, MU heads to Toledo on Wednesday night before returning home Saturday for East Division leading Akron.
LAST WEEK: 78-72 loss against WMU, 70-61 win at CMU
OHIO (15-6, 6-1)
The Bobcats game with Eastern Michigan on Wednesday was re-scheduled to February 20th as the campus was in lockdown after an incident happened in Athens. On Saturday they lost for the first time in the calendar year 2013 at Akron 78-62. This week the Cats are at Ball State on Wednesday night before returning Saturday to host Bowling Green.
LAST WEEK: 78-62 loss at Akron
BALL STATE (8-12,2-6)
The Cardinals lost both of their games last week, falling at home Wednesday night to Toledo 86-78 then headed to Bowling Green where they dropped a 70-59 decision to the Falcons for their sixth loss in the last seven games. This week BSU has two games at home, first against Ohio on Wednesday night and then West Division leading Western Michigan on Saturday.
LAST WEEK: 86-78 loss to Toledo, 70-59 loss at Bowling Green
CENTRAL MICHIGAN (9-12, 2-6)
The Chippewas lost both of their games last week starting with a 91-73 loss at Buffalo, and then on Saturday at home to Miami 70-61. CMU has lost four straight and seven of their last eight. This week the Chips will head to Northeast Ohio for two games. Tuesday night they are in Akron and then at Kent State on Saturday night.
LAST WEEK: 91-73 loss at Buffalo, 70-61 loss to Miami
EASTERN MICHIGAN (10-11, 3-4)
The Eagles game at Ohio on Wednesday night was re-scheduled to February 20th as the campus was in lockdown after an incident happened in Athens. Saturday they went to Kent State and fell to the Golden Flashes 77-62. This week EMU hosts Buffalo on Wednesday night then head to Toledo on Saturday.
LAST WEEK: 77-62 loss at Kent State
NORTHERN ILLINOIS (5-15, 3-5)
The Huskies split their two games last week, coming up with their biggest win of the MAC season on Wedneday night as they defeated Kent State at the Convocation Center 67-65. Then on Saturday, they fell to Toledo in a close affair 69-64. This week NIU completes a three-game homestand against Bowling Green on Wednesday night before heading to Buffalo on Saturday.
LAST WEEK: 67-65 win over Kent State, 69-64 loss to Toledo
TOLEDO (9-10, 5-3)
The Rockets won both games last week, extending their winning streak to three games as they began in Muncie defeating Ball State 85-78, and then headed into Northern Illinois where Rian Pearson scored 24 points as UT defeated the Huskies 69-64. This week the Rockets have two home games beginning with Miami on Wednesday night, and then Eastern Michigan comes to Savage Hall on Saturday.
LAST WEEK:85-78 win at Ball State, 69-64 win at NIU
WESTERN MICHIGAN (14-7, 6-2)
The Broncos won both of their games last week, extending their winning streak to six-games beginning with a 82-78 win at Miami. Shayne Whittington led four WMU players in double figures with 13 points. Then on Saturday at home they beat Buffalo 71-60. This week WMU is home against Kent State on Wednesday night, then they head to Ball State on Saturday.
LAST WEEK: 82-78 win at Miami, 71-60 win over Buffalo
There you have it, this week’s edition of Inside MAC Men’s Basketball. The road is half traveled. There are eight games remaining before Quicken Loans Arena and the 2013 FirstEWnergy MAC Men’s Basketball Tournament–where we all know anything can happen.