Thursday, December 13, 2018

MAC Men Hoops Check In

So, a quick MAC check-in while the conference takes a break for finals.  The MAC is off to a very good noted in the tweet above, the MAC is the #9 conference in the NET rankings...the NET is the new RPI...and is 11th in Kenpom.  That's pretty good.  The MAC is almost always in the Top 13 or 15, but this year the league has a number of teams off to good starts.

Below is the current ranking for all the teams on KENPOM and Net.  As you know, there are a million ways to measure all this stuff, and there are clearly differences here.  One way NET was supposed to be better than RPI was that it was going to take margin of victory into account, which kenpom does.

Anyway, the clear leader to date is Buffalo.  Reigning champs, beat Arizona in the Big Dance, has a win @WVU this year, ranked #14 in the AP Poll and #15 in the Coaches.  Right now, they would end up with an at-large bid, but there's a long way to go. 

The MAC has two teams in the top 100, which is unusual at this time of year.  Toledo is 9-1 and ranked in the mid-70s.  In fact, based on NET the MAC has four teams in the top 100, counting Ball State and an 8-1 Kent State team (weakest schedule in MAC but a big win @Vanderbilt).  Groce seems to have Akron rebounding ahead of schedule and OU is also off to a 6-3 start.  No one in the conference has a losing record.  Not CMU, who has shown the ability to rack up big numbers against terrible schedules--#335 out of 351.

Meanwhile, EMU is off to a rough start.  They are 5-5 with 3 non D1 wins.  They have lost to 3 top 100 teams, including Duke, but also to Detroit (294).  They were picked to win the MAC.  They play a really good UC-Irvine team on Wednesday in Ypsi...a team Toledo beat, so that could be an interesting test.

Anyway, right now this is looking like a very competitive conference.  You'll note that BG is 11th in Kenpom and in NET.  This isn't looking like a year to be down in the MAC, especially in the East.  BG's going to have to show some improvement.

We will check back on this right before conference play starts, but for now the MAC is having its best basketball season in years.  That always makes for an entertaining new year, but puts pressure on BG to get things put together or risk being left behind.

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