Sunday, March 12, 2017

MAC Update

So, the season ended last night for MAC MBB, as Kent pulled the big "upset" and defeated Akron to win the MAC and head to the Big Dance.  I say "upset" because based on the last weeks of the season, it wasn't as shocking as the seeding might indicate.  After losing to BG and UT in mid-February and being 5-7, the Flashes won 9 of 10 coming home, beating Akron, Ohio and Buffalo twice each.  They were playing the best ball in the MAC.  Then, they won the tournament playing a bye game on Monday, which isn't "four games in four days." as the ESPN announcer was fond of saying, but was still impressive.

I guess you might think it isn't fair to win the regular season and not get the bid, but titles are decided on the field.  There's always a playoff.  I can't think of a sport that decides its title based on regular season standings (in the United States).  It is cruel, but Kent did also beat Akron 2 of 3 times.  (Oddly, BG also beat both teams, with 2 of 7 wins against the top teams in the  MAC).

Due to their previous struggles, they are set to be a #15 seed, based on Lunardi.  The last time a >4 seed won the tourney was in 2011 when Akron beat...Kent.

Anyway.  More tonight as the tournament pairings shake out as well as the other "minor" tourneys.  Seven MAC teams were .500 or above overall.

In the other news, John Cooper was fired at Miami, to no one's surprise.  They should hire carefully, because that program is a sleeping giant.  (John Groce?)  They are a historic MAC power and could get back there again.  This is a great job for the same reasons Chuck Martin thought it was a great job on the football side.

I'd guess that will be it.  His contract was up anyway, so it is more a non-renewal.  I actually thought Senderhof might be in trouble, but clearly not.  Others I wonder about would include Hawkins, Murphy and Montgomery, with no idea on their contract status.

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