Tuesday, January 06, 2015

MAC Basketball Reset....

So, tonight the MAC season starts out for 2015.  Always fun....little hint, look for UT to put the lie in CMU's face at Savage tonight.  Anyway, this is a good time to check in on the MAC and how teams have done so far.  Stats are courtesy of the incomparable bbstate.com.  For each team, I give the record, their RPI, their top wins (in the top half of D1 teams), their worst loss, and then their average RPI of wins and losses, followed by D1 losses, for reasons which will be obvious.

Followed by some commentary, in each case.

Buffalo (9-3, 35 RPI)

Top Wins:  @Texas Arlington (126), So Dakota State (157)
Worst Loss: @St. Bonaventure (156)
Avg RPI Win: 215
Avg RPI Loss:55
Non D1 wins: 0

In my opinion, Buffalo had the best pre-season in the MAC.  There are no non-D1 wins in there, and their worst loss was to a decent team on the road.  Their other losses are to Kansas and Wisconsin, so the Bulls have no serious hits on their record.  The East is down this year and the Bulls look to be the clear favorites.

EMU (11-2, 92 RPI)

Top Wins:  @UM (139), @Missouri State (159), Oakland (166)
Worst Loss: @MSU (53)
Avg RPI Win: 147
Avg RPI Loss: 36

Non D1 wins: 4

EMU is off to a gaudy start.  But what self-respecting team trying to prepare for a MAC title run plays 4 teams that are not D1?  Honestly, I think it hurts the MAC and there should be a rule limiting teams to 1.  Anyway, they have a big win over a down Michigan team and a couple of other decent wins and no bad losses...MSU and Dayton.  I still make UT the favorite in the West until I see more from EMU against D1 opposition.

CMU (10-1, 113 RPI)

Top Wins:  @McNeese (100), @Northwestern (102)
Worst Loss: @Bradley (289)
Avg RPI Win: 156
Avg RPI Loss: 289
Non D1 wins: 3

Look CMU is almost just as bad with 3 non D1 wins.  They do have two wins better than EMU and only one loss, though it was too a bad team.  Not sure the Chips aren't the second best team in the West.  The thing here is they are scoring points by the truckload.  They are 3rd in the nation in points per possession and are 2nd in the nation in effective field goal%.  They have the lowest turnover% in the MAC as well as the best rebound percentage.  How much of that came playing 3 non D1 teams?  Time will tell.

BG (8-3, 115 RPI)

Top Wins:  Wright State (98), Cleveland State (173)
Worst Loss: Ferris State (non D1)
Avg RPI Win: 236
Avg RPI Loss: 47
Non D1 wins: 0

BG has one of the best wins in the MAC against Wright State but also has the conference's only D loss.  Fortunately for BG's RPI that doesn't count in the calculations.  The average RPI win number is important.  Looking very forward to seeing how the 8-3 start translates to MAC play.

UT (8-5, 117 RPI)

Top Wins:  @McNeese (100), @Cleveland State 173
Worst Loss: Detroit (213)--Neutral Floor
Avg RPI Win: 218
Avg RPI Loss: 97
Non D1 wins: 0

UT was supposed to be the best team in the MAC and it wasn't supposed to be that close.  UT can't be thrilled about the season to date...especially the neutral court losses to Detroit and Oakland.  Also, for the team they are, I am sure they would have thought they could beat Oregon, though that one was away.  Anyway, I still make UT the favorite to win the MAC.

Kent (9-4, 144 RPI)

Top Wins:  No Dak State (168) Neutral floor
Worst Loss: UTEP (78) Neutral Floor
Avg RPI Win: 242
Avg RPI Loss: 52
Non D1 wins: 1

Last year broke Kent's streak of 20 win seasons.  Are they back?  I am not a Senderhof fan, but they don't have any bad losses or any great wins.  In a MAC East which is appearing to be more wide open than expected, Kent is a threat.

Akron (9-4, 163 RPI)

Top Wins:  South Carolina (87) USC (107), both neutral.
Worst Loss: Middle Tennessee 225
Avg RPI Win: 206
Avg RPI Loss: 133
Non D1 wins: 1

Akron is trying to put things together without Treadwell.  They have two really nice wins, though their worst loss is pretty bad.  They have a bunch of soft wins to go with their 2 good ones....5 wins against teams over 225 in RPI.  Akron is the East's most dominant program and I think they are a threat to win the East, though they have yet to show that without Tree they can be a serious threat for the whole MAC.

NIU (6-5, 199 RPI)

Top Wins:  Mississippi Valley State (262)
Worst Loss: @Dartmouth (218)
Avg RPI Win: 233
Avg RPI Loss: 139
Non D1 wins: 1

I'm not sure how NIU is ranked above WMU...honestly.  Anyway, NIU has been benefitting from a really soft schedule.  Their average RPI win is comparable to BG's, but they have not beaten anyone at all of any significance.  

WMU (8-4, 202 RPI)

Top Wins:  @Oakland (166),
Worst Loss: @San Diego (180)
Avg RPI Win: 215
Avg RPI Loss: 105
Non D1 wins: 1

Defending MAC Champs are off to an average start.  No real big wins to speak of and no really bad losses either.

OU (5-6, 215 RPI)

Top Wins:  App. State (175)
Worst Loss: St. Bonaventure (156)
Avg RPI Win: 229
Avg RPI Loss: 104
Non D1 wins: 0

Hustle Belt says this is the MAC's most disappointing team.  That's possible, just because you are used to them always being good.  Their win quality is obviously not good, though they don't have any terrible losses to speak of, either.  Those are all D1 games, so that's something.  I would still not be surprised to see OU line up a quarter final bye for themselves.

Ball State (5-6, 278 RPI)

Top Wins:  Indiana State, 219
Worst Loss: @IUPUI (265)
Avg RPI Win: 230
Avg RPI Loss: 127
Non D1 wins: 1

Ball State has really been struggling for a few years and this year is no exception.  No great wins (I mean NO great wins) and at least one bad loss.  I like BSU's coach, but progress is hard to come by.

Miami (5-8, 309 RPI)

Top Wins:  UMKC (315)
Worst Loss: @IPFW (290)
Avg RPI Win: 261
Avg RPI Loss: 141
Non D1 wins: 1

Clearly the worst team in the MAC.  All four of their D1 wins are at home against teams with an RPI of 315 of above, and they only go to 351.  They have some quality losses, but then also losses to Virginia Tech and IPFW.  Miami might be better than this, but they have do nothing to show it.

No comments :