Teams Pushing For Best Seeds In MAC Tournament

By
Matthew Doyle

Dateline
Updated Mon, Mar 4, 2013 9:01 pm
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The Mid-American Conference Tournament is just one week away and the battle for seeding is heating up between several teams atop the conference. Akron and Ohio have locked up the No. 1 and 2 seeds. Western Michigan appears to have the No. 3 seed in sight, but the rest of the seeding is up for grabs.

Ohio is virtually locked at the No. 2 seed, unless a bizarre situation occurs where Akron loses their next two games and Ohio moves up to No. 1. This allows the Bobcats to look ahead and see which teams will be on their side of the bracket.

Some teams that might give Ohio a tough time on their road to the MAC Championship are Kent State, Buffalo, Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Bowling Green. A lot of those matchups are based off their skilled big men, something the Bobcats have a struggled to defend this season.

As aforementioned, the No. 1 and 2 seeds are locked between the Zips and Bobcats. The plan is simple for Akron. Win one of their next two games this week, and they lock up the No. 1 seed. If they don’t win at all the rest of the regular season, things could get complicated at the top.

If Akron and Ohio end up with the same MAC record, Akron, based on the head-to-head record, would take the No. 1 seed. The conference handles its tiebreakers in the following ways, according from their website.

"A. Head-to-head competition

B. Division Record (10 games)  (For the purpose of determining the Divisional Champion ONLY)

C. Winning percentage* vs. ranked conference teams (top to bottom, regardless of division,  vs. common opponents regardless of  the number of times played)

D. Coin flip

*Winning percentage is used instead of record because of situations where teams do not play each other the same number of times.  Therefore, a team that is 1-0 (1.000) would win the tiebreaker over a team that is 1-1 (.500).

For multiple team ties:

1.  Total won-lost record of games played among the tied teams

2.  Two-team tie-breaker procedure goes into effect (refer to A)."

With the final week of the MAC regular season, teams are looking for their best and worst scenarios in their final two games. Particularly, the top nine teams have been pushing and shoving their way towards the best seed they can receive.

1. Akron

Best-case scenario: They win one of next two home games against Miami and Kent State and keep their No. 1 seed.

Worst-case scenario: They lose their final two games, and Ohio jumps ahead of them with two victories for the No. 1 seed.

2. Ohio

Best-case scenario: Akron loses both of their games this week, and Ohio beats Buffalo on the road and Miami at home for the No. 1 seed. This would also give the Ohio senior class their first MAC regular season title.

Worst-case scenario: Lose both upcoming games and have no momentum heading into the MAC Tournament.

3. Western Michigan

Best-case scenario: They win at home against Ball State or Central Michigan to clinch the No. 3 seed.

Worst-case scenario: They lose both games and also have no momentum heading into the tournament. They cannot lose their seed because of the tiebreakers they own over Kent State, Buffalo, and Eastern Michigan.

*They own the head-to-head tiebreaker with Kent State and Buffalo and have a 6-2 record in the MAC West, while Eastern Michigan has a 3-5 record.

While the top three seeds are all locked up, it’s a different story with the next five.

The No. 4 seed would’ve belonged to the Toledo Rockets this season, but because of past academic violations, the Rockets have been banned from postseason play this season, leaving the door wide open for four different teams to step immediately into the quarterfinals game.

4. Kent State

Best-case scenario: They win out and clinch the No. 4 spot. They own both tiebreakers with Eastern Michigan and Buffalo. However, if they lose to Akron or Bowling Green, there's a chance they drop to No. 5.

Worst-case scenario: They lose to both Akron and Bowling Green, while Buffalo and Eastern Michigan win at least one game. This would drop the Flashes down to the No. 6 seed, the lowest they could possibly drop.

Eastern Michigan:

Best-case scenario: Kent State loses one game, and the Eagles win out. The Flashes own the head-to-head tiebreaker, so the Eagles need to just finish with a better record than Kent State. Eastern Michigan also defeated Buffalo in their one regular season matchup.

Worst-case scenario: They lose their next two games, while Bowling Green, Buffalo, Ball State and Kent State all pick at least one win. The Eagles drop from a possible No. 4 seed to the No. 9 seed.

*Ball State and Eastern Michigan split their season matchup, so the Cardinals would be ranked higher based on their record in the West Division. Bowling Green owns the head-to-head matchup tiebreaker.

Buffalo

Best-case scenario: Kent State and Eastern Michigan each lose one game, while the Bulls win out to pick up the No. 4 seed. They also have a shot at the No. 5 seed if they win one game, and Eastern Michigan or Kent State lose both of their games. If all three teams win one game, Buffalo will be the No. 6 seed.

Worst-case scenario: Buffalo suffers a similar fate to Eastern Michigan’s scenario. They own the tiebreakers against Bowling Green and Ball State, but if they lose two games while the Falcons and Cardinals win two, Buffalo could also fall to No. 9.

Bowling Green

Best-case scenario: Kent State, Eastern Michigan, and Buffalo lose each of their games, and the Falcons win out to miraculously get the No. 4 seed. They only have a tiebreaker over Eastern Michigan, so they have an opportunity to slide up to either No. 5 or 6 with two wins and either an Eastern Michigan loss or two Buffalo losses.

Worst-case scenario: The Falcons don’t take advantage of having Buffalo and Kent State on their schedule at the end of the season and lose both games, knocking them to the No. 9 seed.

Ball State

Best-case scenario: Unfortunately for Ball State, the only MAC East opponent they beat in the regular season was Miami, which means they own no tiebreakers with the others. A lot has to happen for them to receive their one shot at moving up to the No. 5 seed, as Eastern Michigan has to lose one game, Buffalo or Kent State has to lose both games, and Ball State has to win out.

Worst-case scenario: They lose both games and stay in the No. 9 position.

Six conference games will be played Tuesday night, and a lot can change in the course of one day. A lot will be decided in this week’s games. Here’s a look at the final games in the conference schedule.

With the conference tournament quickly approaching, every team is on their toes, ready to battle for the MAC Championship.

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