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MAC Basketball Weekly Recap
Tuesday, December 13
Minnesota 76, Central Michigan 56
Wednesday, December 14
DePaul 75, Northern Illinois 52
Ohio 88, Marietta 54
Thursday, December 15
Akron 87, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 64
Friday, December 16
Central Michigan 70, Illinois-Chicago 67
Saturday, December 17
Akron 91, Florida A&M 69
Miami-Ohio 66, Belmont 61
Southern Illinois 62, Northern Illinois 49
Western Michigan 85, Duquesne 71
Toledo 86, Youngstown State 77
Michigan State 74, Bowling Green 60
Ohio 82, Wright State 54
Sunday, December 18
Iowa State 59, Central Michigan 52
The Mid-American Conference has, for the most part, been a one-bid league in the NCAA Tournament in recent years. This has been a wide-open conference over the past decade, creating a scramble effect among its ranks and offering no end to fluidity over the course of a given regular season. This unsettled situation shows no signs of changing in the 2011-2012 campaign. It’s far too early to come to overly definitive conclusions and reach particularly precise verdicts about the MAC’s best teams.
If there’s any team that’s making something resembling a strong push in December before the conference wars of January, it’s Ohio University. The Bobcats, under head coach John Groce, are winning games decisively, even though they might not be playing the crème de la crème in the college basketball world. Ohio beat Portland University by an 82-54 score last Saturday, December 10, in a thoroughly authoritative display of basketball brilliance. This past Saturday, Ohio once again scored an 82-54 win with this conquest coming against the Wright State Raiders. The next step for the OU program to take is to transfer this crisp execution and solid defensive play to a higher caliber of opponent. We’ll see if the Bobcats prove to be up to the challenge.
Elsewhere in the MAC, Akron scored a decisive win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Thursday, but the Zips – much like Ohio – need to take on bigger and better teams before they can be seen as a particularly attractive commodity in this conference. More game action and a more active stretch in the schedule should unearth more lessons and revelations about the true nature of the Akron program.
Western Michigan scored a solid win this past Saturday against a Duquesne program that has been a thorny problem for some of the Atlantic 10 Conference’s better teams in recent seasons. However, early indications suggest that Duquesne isn’t what it was in 2010 and 2011. The jury is still out on the full measure of Western Michigan as a band of basketball brothers. More time and more information gathering will characterize the coming weeks in the Mid-American Conference. That’s simply the way things are at this point in time.
By Matt Zemek