This is a new feature in the Buchtelite’s sports section. Every week you will find an analysis on men or women’s basketball standings in the Mid-American Conference, and the Buchtelite’s projected likelihood that each team will be the MAC champion. Look on Monday for men’s basketball power rankings.
#12 Kent State
The Kent State Golden Flashes have been nothing short of atrocious this season. They currently stand at 2-15 on the season, and are ranked 317th in total points per game in the NCAA. Kent does have veteran basketball coach Danielle O’Banion at the helm, which will likely help build the Flashes into a more competitive program. As of the 2012-2013 season, however, it isn’t likely that KSU will advance from the bottom of the MAC.
#11 Western Michigan
Western Michigan is in a very similar situation as Kent State. Through 17 games, they have only managed to come up with five wins, one being against Akron last Saturday. The Broncos don’t stand out in any of the statistical fields, giving doubt to their ability to advance in the rankings for weeks to come.
#10 Northern Illinois
There isn’t much to say about the Huskies other than to mention their impressive free-thrower Amanda Corral, who has a 79.7 percent. So far this season, they have lost all four of their MAC matchups.
#9 Eastern Michigan
Eastern Michigan is in an almost identical situation to Kent State, with the exception of one additional win, which was against MAC opponent Western Michigan. Though the 2012-2013 season might be a sinking ship for the EMU Eagles, they have been recruiting some strong talent. They may be competitors in the years to come. At this point, however, they don’t seem to be strong contenders for MAC champion.
The Bobcats are sitting at 5–11 on the season, losing to all four of their MAC opponents thus far on the season. Ohio, like Kent and Western Michigan, ranks near the bottom in almost every statistical field. The only reason they come in above Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois is because of their defensive powerhouse Ashley Fowler.
#7 Ball State
The Cardinals are sitting happy at 3-1 in MAC play, which is technically tied with Akron. Too bad Ball State has a less than impressive 6-11 overall record. Now most of their losses did come against non-conference opponents, so there is considerable room to improve in the rankings. Ball State is highly reliant on their defensive talents Brittany Carter and Brandy Woody, but lack in offensive production.
A 5–11 record would normally leave most teams to limp into the offseason. The Bulls are still in relative contention in the MAC with a 3–1 conference record. In the next couple of weeks they will face a tough stint of games, playing Akron, Miami and Bowling Green. These games will decide the season for the Bills, and their future rankings in the MAC power rankings.
The Redhawks have an impressive field goal percentage (42.3) as well as an impressive field goal percentage defense (35.4). They even have the second-best rebound margin (+4.5). Overall, this Miami squad is very well-rounded and should continue to be a threat for the MAC championship for weeks to come.
#4 Bowling Green
Bowling Green has the best defensive squad in the MAC, holding opponents to an average of 52.8 points per game. The Falcons are tied for first in the MAC East with Akron, Miami and Buffalo. The best part of this team is that no individual player greatly stands out above the others. The Falcons work well as a cohesive unit, which has led to them having the best defense in the MAC.
A 15-2 season should warrant No. 1 consideration, especially since both the No. 2 and No. 1 teams in these power rankings have at least double (even triple) the losses on their records. Wins alone, however, can be a bit misleading. Across their 17 games, the Rockets have only managed a 107th overall offense at 65.9 points per game, behind both Akron and Central. Michigan in the MAC. Arguably the highlight of the Lady Rockets is their defense, which is holding steady at 53.5 points per game.
The Zips have been a pleasant surprise on the court this year. After finishing 14-18 last season, the Lady Zips have come out swinging in the 2012-2013 season going 12-5, and are currently tied for first in the MAC East with a 3-1 record. Akron has the highest scoring offense in the MAC at 77.1 points per game, as well as several of the top MAC offensive players. Rachel Tecca leads in points per game (18.2) as well as field goal percentage (53.7); Kacie Cassel leads assists at 7.8. The next two weeks will decide if Akron can move up in the power rankings, for they will face both Toledo and Central Michigan.
#1 Central Michigan
The Lady Chippewas may have just as many losses as both Akron and Toledo combined, but their schedule has been significantly harder. Of their losses, two came from ranked teams Notre Dame and Purdue. One win came against ranked Texas, giving this team more leverage in the overall rankings. MAC play has just begun and in the next two weeks the top three teams will all play each other. Currently Central Michigan holds the top spot, with a 4-0 conference record.
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