Mid-American Conference Basketball: Who’s The Best Team In The MAC West Based On Non-Conference Opponents?
Who’s really the best team in the MAC West? With such an impressive showing by the conference thus far, many teams can lay claim to number 1. Of course, we won’t find out for sure until MAC play begins, it looks like this will be a tight race to Cleveland.
The MAC West appears to be the tougher of the two divisions. With Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Ball State, at the top of the pack, it’s truly anyone’s guess as to who the best really is. All have played some great basketball, and some have had brutal non-conference opponents.
The Ball State wins over Notre Dame and Valpo give them a leg up on the other MAC West teams. And considering the Cardinals four losses came against Dayton, Oklahoma, Bucknell, and Oregon, they’ve easily had the toughest opponents thus far. If they can put up a 5 or 6 loss MAC record, we could be talking at-large bid for the Tournament.
Both Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan don’t have the non-conference wins or opponents that Ball State does. Eastern has a victory against South Florida, but they aren’t great teams. Central might have the weakest schedule of all the teams in the MAC. It’s no surprise they are leading the West.
As far as Northern Illinois and Western Michigan go, they have also played some bad opponents, and don’t have a signature win on their resume. They have more bad losses than victories. That’s not going to get the job done. On the other hand, Toledo, currently last in the MAC has played some tough competition.
Toledo, while far from the caliber of Ball State’s resume, has squared off against Syracuse (L), Kansas(L), St. Joes(W). They have the better resume going into conference play than the Michigan teams. However, aside from these three games, they have very little else to help their RPI and standing in the conference.
It’s clear, despite the 4 loss record, that Ball State is better than a one loss Central Michigan, and two loss Eastern Michigan. Conference play will tell us a lot about the West teams. Although, it appears Ball State will come out on top.[DanielTwitter]