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The MAC tournament begins today with four games on slate. The 5th seeded Bowling Green Falcons will match up against the 12th seeded Ball St. Cardinals. The Falcons started out conference play 9-3, well on their way to bye in the tournament, but stumbled to the finish, winning only 2 of their last 6 games. The Cardinals started conference play out 2-0, even defeating the future #1 seeded Central Michigan Chippewas, but have since lost their last 16 games. Oddly though, the Cardinals have been competitive in most of the games, but failed to finish and obviously win. The Falcons should win this game, but don’t be surprised if the Cardinals give them a run for the money, especially with the Falcons being cold right now.
The defending MAC tournament champions and 6th seeded Western Michigan Broncos welcome the 11th seeded Ohio Bobcats. The Broncos have had an up and down year, going hot for a stretch and then cold for another. They however, ended the season rather strong, winning their last 5 of 7 games including defeating the #1 seeded Central Michigan Chippewas handily. The Bobcats are in the frozen zone, winning only 1 of their 7 games. Granted, during that stretch they played some of the top teams, however failing to even compete in most games. The Broncos should have no problem dispatching the Bobcats.
Free Falling #7 Akron Zips take on the hot #10 Northern Illinois Huskies. The Zips looked like one of the better teams in MAC starting out 8-3, but have since dropped their last 6 of 7 games. An injury to their second best scorer Noah Robotham hasn’t helped the cause either. The Huskies have perhaps been the hottest team heading into the tournament, winning their last four games over the Central Michigan Chippewas, Western Michigan Broncos, Toledo Rockets and Ball St. Cardinals. This is definitely an upset alert game, with both teams heading in different direction. I’ve got the Huskies in this one, as I’ll ride with the hot hand.
The last game on the slate is the 9th seeded Miami (Oh) Redhawks against the 8th seeded Eastern Michigan Eagles. The Redhawks, minus their last game, looked like they have turned around a very bleak season. They have won their last 5 of 7 games, including taking down the Bowling Green Falcons and Kent St. Golden Flashes. The Eagles have had an up and down season, but if there is one thing they have done well, it’s protected their home court. Overall, they are 15-3 at home, but have lost all 3 in conference play. This is a tough game to predict, however the Eagles destroyed the Redhawks at home and it wasn’t to long ago, so look for the Eagles to win this again.
As for the prediction of the tournament winner, I’m siding with the 2nd seeded Buffalo Bulls. Luckily in the MAC and because their are so many teams, they don’t play until the semifinals. So, they will only have to win one game to get into the finals, giving them a higher chance to be there. The Bulls are battle tested and little do people know, they actually led the Kentucky Wildcats and Wisconsin Badgers at half. They lost both games, but proved they can hang with the best. They have also won their last 6 games, which is always good heading into a tournament. I believe the Bulls need to win the MAC tournament to get into the big dance, but they have an impressive RPI and strength of schedule that could surprisingly land them in the field of 68. Anyways, I got the Bulls to be your 2015 MAC tournament champions.
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