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The post-season picture

February 23, 2012

For men’s basketball, Akron holds a three-game lead with three games remaining, so with one more win they will clinch the regular season MAC championship and the #1 seed in the conference tournament. After that it’s a mess. Ohio, Kent State, and Buffalo are in a three-way tie for second, and EMU and Bowling Green are tied for fifth, though EMU holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Falcons. Each of the #2 teams has a game remaining against Akron, and Ohio will travel to Kent State next Wednesday. Although it’s still possible for EMU to move up into the #2 seed, it would require the Eagles to win out, Buffalo and Kent State to lose out, and Ohio to beat Kent State and lose their other two games. The best realistic scenario for EMU is to win out, finishing 10-6, and hope that Ohio loses to Akron and Kent State. That would probably leave EMU tied with Ohio for fourth place, and the Eagles would claim the #4 seed based on the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Bobcats. More likely still, EMU may wind up with the #5 or #6 seed, giving them a home game on March 5, but forcing them to play two more rounds than if they can get the #4 seed.

Once the MAC tournament starts, for the men’s basketball team, the post-season outlook is very simple: win or go home. If they can miraculously win their way through the MAC tournament, they will get the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, where they’d probably be about a 15-seed. If they can’t find a way to win the MAC tournament, winning out the regular season, getting the #5 seed, and winning several games in the MAC tournament might put them on the bubble for the CBI or the CIT.

Things are brighter for the EMU women’s basketball team. They’re currently tied for first place in the MAC, though they’re in position for the #2 seed because they lost head-to-head to Bowling Green. They’re one game ahead of Toledo, but hold the tiebreaker over the Rockets. With two games left to play, one more win locks the Eagles into one of the top two seeds, and two wins plus a Bowling Green loss would give EMU the #1 seed, while two EMU losses plus two Toledo wins would drop the Eagles to the #3 seed. So we can already guess that EMU’s most likely MAC tournament opponents would be Toledo in the semifinal game and Bowling Green if they make the final game. If they don’t win the MAC tournament, EMU’s MAC-best RPI of 57 through Wednesday morning gives them an outside shot at making the NCAA tournament as an at-large team, but if not they would be a shoo-in for the WNIT.

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