Last of the rankings

Matthew Balsinger

This is the last power ranking for the season, as the MAC tournament will begin next week. Look next week for coverage of both men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

#12 Kent

The Golden Flashes simply have not been able to produce all season. They have only won one game within the conference and three games overall. Sorry Kent, but next year will be a new start.

#11 Ohio

Ohio is in the exact same position as Kent, only they have won twice as many games overall. Six wins, however, is not impressive. Do not expect Ohio to change that in the remaining games.

#10 Northern Illinois

The bottom three in these rankings have not changed due to their inability to produce. The last time Northern Illinois won a game was Feb. 10, which was several weeks after both Kent and Ohio’s last win.

#9 Western Michigan

Western Michigan has been plagued by win and loss streaks all season. They have not been able to build consistency, which leaves considerable doubt that they will go far in the MAC tournament. They did defeat Akron earlier in the season, so it is possible – but unlikely.

#8 Eastern Michigan

The most impressive part of Eastern Michigan’s 2013 season is their recruiting. Though they have only been able to go 6-9 in conference play, they have been able to recruit some incredible talent in high school student Charon Sweeney. Look for the Eagles to be competitive in seasons to come, but don’t look for it in this year’s tournament.

#7 Buffalo

Like many teams in the Mid-American Conference, it’s better luck next year for the Bulls. Buffalo sits under .500 on the season overall, and 8-7 in MAC play. They have no impressive wins under their belt in conference play, though they have defeated everyone below them. The Bulls have played a few surprisingly close games against better teams, so there is a chance they may win a game or two in the tournament next week.

#6 Miami

Miami is a potential sleeper in this year’s tournament. The majority of the games that the Redhawks have lost were to the top three teams in the conference. If Miami can organize themselves before the MAC tournament, it is very possible that they could pull a few upsets. However, efficiency on the offensive side of the ball is a major concern. It is not likely that they will be the conference champions this year.

#5 Bowling Green

Bowling Green and Akron are essentially even in conference play, with similar offensive talents. The Zips have lost one less game than the Falcons, placing them above Bowling Green in the rankings.

#4 Akron

Though Akron has made school history this season by winning the most games in a season for Zips women’s basketball, it hasn’t been enough to reclaim the top spot in the rankings, which they held the first week. The Zips came to a strong start, as well as a strong finish. A three game losing streak mid-way through conference play made recovery difficult, but the Zips have overcome. Look for the Lady Zips to be strong competitors in next week’s championship.

#3 Central Michigan

Central Michigan was the team that had everything to lose over the past several weeks, and they certainly lost it. After being ranked as the No. 1 seed in these rankings for several weeks, the Chippewas have buckled at the end of the season. Since the last rankings, CMU has played Ball State and Toledo, losing both games. Central Michigan still stands a good chance of being in the championship game. However, they must make last minute adjustments after their losses to the top teams.

#2 Ball State

Ball State has gone 12-3 in MAC play and finishes off their season with a game against top-seeded Toledo. It is most likely that the tournament championship will be between the Cardinals and the Rockets, but there is always the chance of the lower seeds pulling an upset.

#1 Toledo

Toledo has moved up over the weeks in these rankings to become the undisputable leader of the MAC. They have gone 14-1 in conference play, 26-2 overall, and are currently ranked at No. 25 in the country in the Associated Press poll. There is no reason to suspect that the Rockets will be anything other than a powerhouse in next week’s tournament.