Sunday, March 06, 2016

MAC Tournament Preview

So, here we are.  One and done land.  The first step will be in Kent, where BG, the #12 seed, takes on Kent, the #5 seed.

It will be just six days after the Falcons and Kent played in exactly the same place, so there's not a lot of point in re-doing the preview.  Kent beat BG twice this year.  The game at the Stroh was close--Kent won by 3--but the game at the MAC Center was a disaster.  Kent won by 14 after leading by as much as 20 in the second half.  They dominated BG on the boards in particular.

Coach Huger was extremely frustrated after the game, lashing out at his team's inconsistent effort and what he called "selfish" play.  The team did respond playing better against Buffalo.  Now they have the opportunity to return to the scene of the crime and show that they are better than the team that played there last Tuesday.  If they play as they did Friday, this could be a good game.

One element that BG has been unable to handle has been Jimmy Hall.  He dominated the Falcons in both games.  Coach Huger said after the second game that the Falcons don't have anyone tough enough to handle him, tough enough to say "I got this handled."  It will be interesting to see if BG can find a way to keep Hall contained.  He's a very good player.

Based on the internet, Kent is considered a risk to be upset.  We'll see about that.  They did lose 3 of their last 4 and finished weak after losing Xavier Pollard.  Having said that, they are 13-2 at home and they did beat BG in both of the games that were played this year.  If BG plays like they did Friday, they have a shot to win this one and get to Cleveland, but I'd guess it is a pretty big longshot.

On the other hand, at least twice in the Orr years BG was in Kent's position and lost....both in 6-11 games, but the year BG lost to Miami, Toledo was ineligible and BG was the top non-bye team.  On yet another hand, BG was the #5 team last year and beat the #12 team at the Stroh.

And, as the tournament begins, we do have to say this:  BG is the only current MAC team that has never won this tournament.

On we go!

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