MAC Tournament Betting Preview
The Mid-American Conference Postseason Tournament will kick off on Thursday morning, with the top seed Toledo taking on Miami (OH) to kick off the event at 11:00 AM EST. The tournament is being held at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, OH. The MAC tournament is somewhat unique as only the top eight teams in the conference qualify for the field, and here are the top storylines that you need to keep an eye out for.
The Top Of The Bracket
Toledo and Kent State garnered much of the attention this season, and rightfully so. The Rockets and the Flashes were easily the two best teams in the conference but accomplished their goals two very different ways. Kent State is one of the better mid-major defensive teams in the nation while boasting a great individual offensive talent in guard Sincere Carry.
Toledo is one of the more effective scoring clubs in the nation, averaging 86 points per contest on the season, which ranks second best in the country. The Rockets currently own the nations second-longest winning streak at 15 games, including an 18-point victory over their first-round opponent on Valentine’s Day. Rayj Dennis leads the team in scoring at 19.6 points per game, while JT Shumate and Setric Millner both average roughly 16 points per contest.
Potential Bid Stealers
While the Rockets and Flashes are the favorites, neither made it through conference play untarnished. Ball State was able to defeat both teams during the regular season but has been playing without Jarron Coleman for the last two games. The Cardinals stumbled down the stretch going just 1-4 to close the season.
John Groce and the Akron Zips aren’t far behind the top seeds in the league either, as they defeated Kent State in early February by a double-digit margin. Xavier Castaneda has been on an absolute tear since late January, averaging over 24 points per contest over his last 13 games while shooting 52%/39%/91% from two, three, and the stripe.
The Dark Horses
Ohio coach Jeff Boals is a talented sideline general who should never be overlooked. The Bobcats defeated Ball State and Akron this season while also playing Kent State very tough in both of their meetings.
Northern Illinois seemed to be finding their way in late January when the Huskies won five of six games, including an upset of Kent State. They faded down the stretch, however and finished the season with just a 13-18 record. There is some potential here as this team also took down a very good Indiana State team on the road earlier this season, but to expect this team to win three consecutive games seems like a stretch.
Buffalo is an enigma this season as they defeated a very good Colgate team to open the season and even competed with a very good Drake team. However, the Bulls haven’t defeated a team within the Kenpom top 240 since late January, and it would be difficult ot trust them here.
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