Akron (11-5 MAC, 22-7 overall) holds a one-game lead in the MAC East and would hold the overall No. 1 seed if the tournament were held based on action through last Saturday. Ohio (10-6, 19-9 overall) is holding down second place and gets a shot at the Zips tonight. It won’t come easy. The Zips are undefeated on the home hardwood. Ohio is 4-5 in road games.
No MAC team enters the final week with more than two straight wins – and there . . .
One thing is certain, Ohio is capable of scoring a bunch of points. It was one of two MAC teams to break the century mark Saturday as it outlasted Buffalo 103-96. If the Bobcats could pull out a win tonight at Akron, they would then finish the regular season against rival Miami in Oxford.
Akron defeated Ohio in Athens 80-69 back on Feb. 2, so there is no margin for error by the Bobcats, who would like to reach the tournament with a favorable seed.
Ball State was the other MAC team to eclipse 100 points Saturday. The Cardinals, losers of their last 17 games a year ago, were on fire at home against Eastern Michigan, rolling over the Eagles by a 115-79 count. BSU mde a school-record 18-of-39 treys in the onslaught.
Central Michigan is one game back, but the Cardinals already hung a 75-63 loss on CMU Feb. 13. This game will be in Muncie, where Ball State is 12-4 this season. Central Michigan owns a 3-8 mark in road games, but it is fresh off a dramatic 76-74 win at Toledo Saturday in a critical game for both squads.
In other matchups:
Kent State (9-7 MAC, 18-11 overall) hosts Bowling Green (5-11 MAC, 14-15 overall). The Flashes were stung at Miami 74-65 Saturday. It was their second straight loss after knocking off rival Akron at home Feb. 19. The Falcons have struggled and lost seven straight conference games before upsetting Ohio at the Stroh Center one week ago. Akron pummeled BGSU Saturday and the Falcons will be hoping they don’t get more of the same on Tuesday’s return trip to the area. It will be senior day for the Flashes, who finish at rival UA Friday.
Miami (5-11 MAC, 11-18 overall) is at Buffalo (9-7 MAC, 16-13 overall) Tuesday. The Bulls already own one win over MU, 77-60. The RedHawks have been playing better lately, but the wins have been coming at home. They have just one road victory to their credit on the season.
Northern Illinois (8-8 MAC, 19-10 overall) bounced back from a pair of losses Saturday to defeat Western Michigan in DeKalb. The Huskies take the road for one more regular season game tonight when they visit Eastern Michigan in Ypsilanti. It’s senior night for the Eagles, who probably want to wash that thumping at Ball State Saturday out of their brains. At 15-14 overall, 7-9 MAC), EMU needs a win against NIU or at Toledo Friday to ensure a winning campaign.
Speaking of Toledo, the Rockets (8-8, 17-12 overall) are at Western Michigan Tuesday, trying to bounce back from the heartbreaking 76-74 loss to Central on Saturday. WMU (5-11 MAC, 11-18 overall) is trying to break a two-game slide. The Broncos have two wins in their last eight outings, but one was at home against Central Michigan (92-88, Feb. 20). WMU has its moments, and Bronco seniors are hoping this final regular season home game can be a pleasant one to remember