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The 2016 Men’s MAC Tournament at a Glance

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The regular season is over and it is time for the Mid-American Conference Tournament.The top four teams receive a bye directly to Cleveland.

Because several teams have already been eliminated, this is just a look at the teams still in the tournament.

#1 Akron

The Akron Zips (24-7, 13-5) have been the class of the MAC all season long. They are the only team with more than 20 wins and have had winning streaks of 10 and seven games this year.

The Zipa are led by their 3-point shooting. They are the best 3-ball shooting team in the conference, ranking first in percentage attempts and makes. Their 369 makes is good for second in the country, trailing only North Florida. Akron also has a deep team. The Zips have nine guys that have played 25 games or more. Seven Zips played 18 minutes per game or more, and that does not include Pat Forsythe who is out for the season with an injury. Player of the year candidate, Isaiah “Big Dawg” Johnson leads Akron with 13 points and seven rebounds per game. Jake Kretzer and Reggie McAdams Akron’s biggest deep threats, as they are both shooting 42 percent from 3-point range.

Akron will play the winner of Eastern Michigan and Toledo at noon on Thursday. Akron played both of these teams in January and defeated Eastern Michigan 92-88 and fell to Toledo 78-64.


#2 Ohio

The Ohio Bobcats’ (20-10, 11-7) is their ability to score the ball. Ohio scores the most points per game in the MAC at 78.5, and the Bobcats rank first in the MAC in free throw percentage and team field goal percentage. Ohio is also tied for 10th in the country in points per shot at 1.40.

The Bobcats are led by the favorite for MAC player of the year, Antonio Campbell. Campbell has dominated the MAC all season long, averaging 19-points and 10 rebounds per game while shooting 44.6 percent from behind the arc. A first team All-MAC selection, Campbell also has 15 double-doubles on the season. Jaaron Simmons has been huge all year for Ohio. Simmons ranks third in the country in assists per game with 7.7 per contest.

Ohio is 8-1 against the teams on their side of the bracket. It will play the winner of Northern Illinois and Western Michigan at 6:30 on Thursday.


#3 Buffalo

The Buffalo Bulls (17-14, 10-8) are the defending tournament champions. They lost their head coach Bobby Hurley and former MAC Player of the Year, Justin Moss but still managed to get the third seed in this year’s tournament. The Bulls lean heavily on their guards.

Lamonte Beardon and CJ Massinburg have been strong all year long. Beardon has 13.6 points per game and over three assists per game, and freshman Massinburg has 11.6 points per game and over four rebounds per game.

Buffalo ranks second in the MAC in 3-point field goal percentage and offensive rebounding. The Bulls will take on the winner of Ball State and Miami. Buffalo split with Miami and defeated Ball State in its only matchup with the Cardinals.


#4 Central Michigan 

The Central Michigan Chippewas (17-14, 10-8) were the one seed in this tournament last year. They made the championship game before falling to Buffalo 89-84.

This year, the Chippewas rank fifth in the conference in points per game and first in the MAC in turnover margin, averaging the fewest turnovers per game at only 11.2 a contest. Chris Fowler and Braylon Rayson lead Central Michigan in points per game, both averaging over 16. Central Michigan will play the winner of Kent State and Bowling Green. The Chippewas are 3-0 against those two teams.


#12 Bowling Green

The Bowling Green Falcons (14-17, 5-13) come into the tournament as the 12 seed. The Falcons struggled this year against most of the MAC. They defeated the Ohio Bobcats twice but only registered three other MAC wins. Zak Denny and Spencer Parker are two guards that can cause problems for the opposition. The two guards combine for 25 points per game. The winner of this game will take on Central Michigan on Thursday.


#11 Miami

Despite having eight seniors on the squad, the Miami Redhawks (6-12, 12-19) struggled this year. They rank at or near the bottom of the MAC in almost every offensive category. But they have been player better as of late. They won three of four to close out the year. Beating Akron, Kent State and Buffalo and only losing by two, to Ohio. Guards Eric Washington and Geovonie McKnight average 13 points per game.

#7 Northern Illinois 

The Northern Illinois Huskies (20-11, 9-9) defend as well as anyone in the conference. They give up only 67 points per game, which is second fewest in the MAC. Forward Marin Maric leads the Huskies with 12 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.


#8 Eastern Michigan

The Eastern Michigan Eagles (17-14, 9-9) come into the tournament soring. They have won four of five beating Northern Illinois and Toledo twice during the stretch. The Eagles feature a trap heavy 2-3-zone defense that forces the most turnovers in the conference. They also have the freshman of the year in James Thompson IV, averages over 15 points, 10 rebounds and over 1 block a game. Raven Lee, a guard who can go off at any time, joins him. Lee scored 46 against Miami.