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MAC Basketball Weekly Recap

 

Scores

Tuesday, January 31

Central Michigan 80, Kent State 67

Wednesday, February 1

Miami-Ohio 62, Eastern Michigan 57 (OT)

Akron 86, Toledo 72

Buffalo 73, Ball State 57

Bowling Green 72, Western Michigan 48

Ohio 67, Northern Illinois 58

Saturday, February 4

Ohio 68 Central Michigan 42

Miami-Ohio 59 Ball State 53

Bowling Green 65 Northern Illinois 40

Kent State 78 Western Michigan 73 (OT)

Buffalo 72 Toledo 65

Akron 77 Eastern Michigan 47

 


If there was ever any doubt about the balance of power in the 2012 Mid-American Conference, it was blown out of the water this past Saturday. Six games on a full docket matched teams from the two divisions against each other. In all six games, only one half of the MAC emerged victorious.

Yes, the MAC East Division and the MAC West Division did combat this past weekend, and the verdict was not just substantial, but unanimous. Yes, the East took on the West in six separate locations - Athens, Ohio; Muncie, Indiana; Bowling Green, Ohio; Kent, Ohio; Toledo, Ohio; and Akron, Ohio - and in all these battlegrounds, the East won. Ohio trounced Central Michigan. Miami of Ohio topped the Ball State team whose rise to the top tier of the MAC West seems pretty hollow at this point. Bowling Green thrashed lowly Northern Illinois. Kent State fought past Western Michigan. Buffalo shot well in a defeat of Toledo. Capping off the East's "six pack," Akron thumped Eastern Michigan.

 

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These developments will be noted by the various postseason tournament committees - no, not in the NCAA, but certainly the NIT, CBI, and CIT committees. When tickets to those other tournaments are handed out, the East clearly gets first dibs over the West, and so it must be said that the second and third spots in the East are now going to be very precious commodities over the remainder of the regular season. Those slots are likely to bring a postseason berth to a conference that will get only one team in the Big Dance.

About that one bid in the Big Dance: It's Akron's league to lose, with Ohio standing as the one primary challenger to the Zips. Ohio and Akron didn't just win their games this past weekend; they won going away. The Bobcats and Zips are playing at a higher level than anyone else in the league; Kent State is solid but not as consistent. The regularity of weekly competition is showing that Akron and Ohio have better and more resilient defenses which can lock down opponents and stop the big scorers on a given roster. It's true that Ohio and Akron won against MAC West opponents, but by winning so decisively, they made the kinds of statements that top-tier teams manage to broadcast.

The sun might set in the west, but now, it's clear that the sun is setting ON the West as well in the Mid-American Conference. The stage is set for a fascinating duel between Akron and Ohio as the MAC season hits its final five weeks.

> Check out the MAC basketball standings here @ VanDelay Sports

By Matt Zemek
DFN Sports Senior Staff Writer