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A look at the standings

By mrasor Published: February 24, 2009

Men's basketball
With every week, the MAC Tournament picture becomes clearer.
Since last week, Miami and Buffalo lost and fell a game back toward the pack. Akron, Kent State and Bowling Green won, making a big, fat cluster of teams at 8-4. (As Charlie Coles said, teams are looking to transfer to the MAC so they can be in second place, too.)
Ohio, Ball State and Western Michigan are falling out of contention for first-round byes. One of the West teams is guaranteed the No. 2 seed, but the other one is losing hope.
1) Buffalo -- 9-3 2) Ball State/Western Michigan -- 6-6 3) Akron -- 8-4 --Miami -- 8-4 --Bowling Green -- 8-4 --Kent State -- 8-4 7) Ball State/Western Michigan -- 6-6 --Ohio -- 6-6
Therefore, the ultimate consequence of last week's results is that five teams will fight for three first-round byes over the next two weeks. As much as last week simplified the scenarios, Thursday's games should be even better. Here are the games to watch...
Kent State @ Bowling Green -- My predictor formula says Kent State will win. The Flashes are on fire, so I agree.
Akron @ Buffalo -- Predictor formula: Buffalo. Gut feeling: Akron. Bowling Green went to UB and beat the Bulls rather easily last week. If Akron > BG and BG > UB, then Akron > UB ... Right?
Miami @ Ohio -- Predictor formula: Ohio. I will stick with that. My instincts tell me that Ohio will gain momentum. It doesn't make sense that the Bobcats would have a great post player and solid point guard, yet tank this season. It's too late for the Bobcats to get a bye, but I think they'll beat Coles' RedHawks on Thursday.

    The PD's Elton Alexander throws out Keith Dambrot and Chris McKnight as potential MAC Coach/Player of the Year winners.
    Here are my top five coaches: 1) Reggie Witherspoon (UB), 2) Dambrot (Akron), 3) Billy Taylor (Ball State), 4) Coles (Miami), and 5) Louis Orr (BG).
    Top five players: 1) Jerome Tillman (Ohio), 2) Jarrod Jones (Ball State), 3) Al Fisher, and 4) David Kool, and 5) Rodney Pierce.

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