With conference tournaments well on there way this week and weekend leading up to to selection Sunday we have one big question in the MAC. Is the MAC Buffalo’s championship to lose?
Buffalo has rolled to a 24-8 record this season and 15-3 in the MAC. For a team with 8 loses I have to say there is only one bad loss in there, which happens to be their last loss. The Bulls lost to Miami(OH) in Oxford by 3. Miami(OH) is 7th in the MAC with a losing record this year.
The Bulls won in their quarterfinal game against Central Michigan 89-74 behind a strong performance from Jeremy Harris. Making it 5 in a row for the Bulls, and will face a Kent State them that beat them earlier this year.
Kent State won their quarterfinal game against Ball State in a close battle, 76-73. The Flashes went toe to toe all game long with Thajai Teague and Ball State. Thajai is the cousin of Jeff Teague, the NBA player for the Indiana Pacers.
Jaylin Walker will be the obstacle in the way for the Bulls on Friday. Walker averages just under 17 points per game and is the leader of the team. Bulls can not look past the Golden Flashes if they want to get back to the NCAA tournament.
So why I am focused on the Bulls?
Well according to teamrankings.com the Bulls are the only team in the MAC that has a chance at an at-large bid if they were to fall short of winning the MAC. This would be a huge step forward for a conference that has not seen success since the Elite Eight run 2002 by Kent State.
Streak is at 18
18 years since the last MAC team was given an at large bid. That last bid was to Miami (OH) in 1999. Cher’s Believe was on top the billboards and gas was $1.22. So to say it’s time for another MAC at-large is no joke. Even after some of the success the MAC automatic bid teams have seen there still has not been an at-large in this century.
Do I think Buffalo will get the Bid if they lose? No I do not, but I think they can move the dial in favor of the MAC. I believe Buffalo has a team that can not only win the MAC but possibly win one even two games in the tournament. A second round or better yet a Sweet Sixteen would do wonders for the conference. Especially with Bulls coach Oats signing an extension this evening running through 2023.
The MAC tournament includes all 12 schools that compete in the MAC all with the same chance to make the “Big Dance”. All they have to do is string a few wins together in the MAC tournament. Playing devil’s advocate, what is the point of the regular season other then a very long preseason and ticket sales for the school?
By no means do I think they should change the regular season or even the championship in the MAC. All I am trying to convey is, would it hurt to take a second team in the MAC every once in awhile over the 10th best team in the ACC? Although I think arguing over the last four in is like arguing who the prettiest runt in the litter is, it would still be nice to see two MAC teams come tournament time.
*Follow the Semi-Finals of the MAC Tournament Friday 6:30 pm EST and 9:00 pm EST on CBSSN from the Quicken Loans Area in Cleveland. #ClevelandIsTheReason