MAC Hoops Power Rankings 2-24-09 Print E-mail
Written by J. Scott Fitzwater   
Tuesday, February 24 2009
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ImageThere is no longer any discernible order, reason, or rhythm to this conference. If the conference was not as bad as it is, these last two weeks would be a lot of fun. Instead, it feels like a funeral procession to Cleveland for 11 burials.

The BracketBuster weekend forced the MAC back into the harsh light it escaped in January, and there's little optimism for the remainder of the season being shared around fanbases.

That being said, things are still incredibly close in both divisions, and postseason play is still at stake. Given the tight and unpredictable nature of the conference right now, the rankings are going to have to go a bit less traditional.

 1 Kent State (16-11, 8-4 MAC) Last week: 3

Why, yes, as a matter of fact, winning eight in a row will get you places. The Flashes logged the best win of the weekend, a home triumph over Morehead State that featured an impressive frontcourt. Kent protected the ball very well, making up for the -10 margin on the boards. After a quiet game against Ohio, Tyree Evans continued his hot play and could be huge down the stretch. Jordan Mincy had the game of career against OU and followed it with one of his worst games against Morehead, but neither one is a true indication of what he brings. His defense and basketball IQ will be what propels Kent the rest of the season.

This week: @Bowling Green (Thursday), @Miami (Sunday)

2 Akron  (17-10, 8-4 MAC) Last week: 5

A loss at Valparaiso that they should have won takes a little luster off their week, but the Zips have managed to sneak into prime position for the East lead. Offensive production, however, has faltered recently, with the team failing to log a point per offensive possession in the last four games.

This week:  @Buffalo (Thursday), Bowling Green (Sunday)

3 Buffalo (17-8, 9-3 MAC) Last week: 1

It's not time to panic yet, but the finger should be on the button. The Bulls are shooting the ball worse than they have all season at the worst possible time. However, the upside is that UB could just be in a slump and can work its way out of it. The Bulls have lost their margin for error, though. It's gut check time.

This week: Akron (Thursday), @Ohio (Sunday)

4 Miami (15-10, 8-4 MAC) Last week: 2

Absolutely nothing pretty about Miami's week. A ghastly effort at Akron (.671 O-PPP) was followed up by an utter collapse at Evansville. Nick Winbush is shooting the ball well, but the RedHawks need to put a game together on both ends of the court if they don't want to be swept away in the standings.

This week: @Ohio (Thursday), Kent State (Sunday)

5 Bowling Green (15-11, 8-4 MAC) Last week: 6

There's just no reason to lose to Canisius at home, but the Falcons would rather have the road win at Buffalo. Does BG just have UB's number, or is Louis Orr primed for his team to make a run at a bye? If they can maintain defensive intensity, they have a chance.

This week: Kent State (Thursday), @Akron (Sunday)

6 Ball State (12-13, 6-6 MAC) Last week: 4

Losing to Toledo was a stunner. That was an upset the Cardinals could not afford and they now will be fighting for their lives to secure the West with Central Michigan and Western Michigan. Jarrod Jones, though, continues to make a strong case for Freshman of the Year.

This week: Central Michigan (Wednesday), @Northern Illinois (Wednesday)

7 Western Michigan (9-17, 6-6 MAC) Last week: 7

Throw Eastern Illinois on the list of miserable losses this season by the Broncos. They have the most favorable schedule going forward, but who can be afraid to go into Kalamazoo right now?

This week: @Northern Illinois (Wednesday), @Toledo (Sunday)

8 Ohio (13-13, 6-6 MAC) Last week: 8

The Bobcats are skidding to the finish line. Ohio managed a -16 turnover margin last week and did not shoot well enough to overcome it. A season sweep of Miami, though, would ease a lot of wounds among the Bobcat faithful.

This week: Miami (Thursday), Buffalo (Sunday)

9 Central Michigan (9-16, 5-7 MAC) Last week: 9

Marcus Van continues his strong play, and the Chippewas have become legitimate contenders for the West title. The task is no easy one, as CMU has to travel to Ball State and Western Michigan in the next two weeks. Neither team has a man in the paint playing as well as Van, though.

This week: @Ball State (Wednesday), Eastern Michigan (Saturday)

10 Northern Illinois (8-17, 3-9 MAC) Last week: 10

The Huskies won the rubber match of the MAC/OVC series Saturday in an impressive offensive performance. With home dates left against Western Michigan and Ball State, NIU can play the spoiler for someone.

This week: Western Michigan (Wednesday), Ball State (Saturday)

11 Toledo (5-22, 3-9 MAC) Last week: 11

An upset over Ball State pulls the Rockets out of the basement. Tyrone Kent must have gotten a wake up call from Gene Cross, as the senior poured in 42 points last week after getting shut out at Ohio.

This week:  @Eastern Michigan (Wednesday), Western Michigan (Saturday)

12 Eastern Michigan (4-23, 2-10 MAC) Last week: 12

Just a short stay outside the bottom rung for the Eagles. The win at Bowling Green was almost certainly a fluke.

This week: Toledo (Wednesday), @Central Michigan (Saturday)

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