Sunday, March 4, 2018

MAC tournament preview

This is part 16 of a 32-part series.

Buffalo 15-3
Toledo 13-5
Eastern Michigan 11-7
Ball St 10-8
Kent St 9-9
Western Michigan 9-9
Miami 8-10
Central Michigan 7-11
Bowling Green 7-11
Ohio 7-11
Akron 6-12
Northern Illinois 6-12

They play first round games March 5 at the higher seed.  The top 8 then congregate from March 8-10 in Cleveland.

1) Buffalo vs. 8/9) Central Michigan/Bowling Green
4) Ball St vs. 5/12) Kent St/Northern Illinois
3) Eastern Michigan vs. 6/11) Western Michigan/Akron
2) Toledo vs. 7/10) Miami/Ohio

The stakes:
Solid year for the conference, RPI of 10.  The big thing?  The bad teams were better.  So don't get too excited.

Buffalo with an RPI of 32!  This has been a couple times now where they've had an unusual RPI.  Is there any substance behind it?  No.  0 Group 1 wins, 1 Group 2 win which was @Ball State.  They played the #11 non-con SoS, but a large part of it was bad team avoidance, and the other large part was losing to all relevant opponents (Cincy and A&M and Syracuse and Bonaventure and even South Dakota St).  SDSU is the pivot point, even if they could just beat them, it elevates the profile one level.  Instead, they're safely ignored on Selection Sunday.  I've been keeping them on the 12/13 seed borderline, could go either way.

Toledo is probably short of an at-large bid to the NIT.  EMU, Ball St, and WMU (and CMU too) are all in range of the lesser tourneys.

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