Akron is the favorite after winning 23 games last year, but just about everyone in the dominant East Division has a chance to make some noise.
CLEVELAND - Akron was predicted to finish first in the Mid-American Conference East Division in a poll of the league's media, the conference office announced on Oct 28.
Central Michigan was predicted to win the West Division, amassing 113 points and 10 first-place votes. Northern Illinois was picked to finish second with 102 points, while Eastern Michigan was forecast to finish third with 94 points. Ball State, Western Michigan and Toledo were picked to finish fourth, fifth and sixth in the West Division, respectively.
2009 FirstEnergy MAC Men's Basketball Tournament
Tuesday, March 10 - First Round
No. 7 Central Michigan vs. No. 10 Eastern Michigan, Noon
No. 6 Kent State vs. No. 11 Northern Illinois, 2 p.m.*
No. 8 Western Michigan vs. No. 9 Ohio, 4 p.m.*
No. 5 Akron vs. No. 12 Toledo, 6 p.m.*
Thursday, March 12 - Quarters
No. 2 Ball State vs. No. 7/No. 10 Winner, Noon (FS Ohio)
No. 3 Buffalo vs. No. 6/No.11 Winner, 2:30 p.m.* (FS Ohio)
Now that the presents have been unwrapped and many of you are rushing to stores for post-Christmas deals, it's time for college football to blitz into the new year with a glut of games. You can argue all day about the merits of thirty-four bowl games (personally, I think it's too many), but at the least some of these games offer momentary diversions from college basketball, which in many cases is still a week or so away from conference play.
"I don't know if I could have taken another loss," said Saluki guard Bryan Mullins, who matched teammate Carlton Fay's game-high 14 points. "I'm not sleeping too much."
The undefeated Ball State Cardinals still have a bit of business to take care of in their regular season finale. Brady Hoke's team still hasn't clinched a spot in the MAC Championship Game, which would come with a victory over Western Michigan tonight in Muncie (7 PM ESPN2). The winner heads to Detroit on December 5th, while the loser would be at the mercy of the powers that be in regards to team selection for bowl games.
Before getting into a preview of the games on tap for Tuesday and Wednesday, there may be an important development in the BCS. Not who plays in it but which network televises the games. ESPN, according to may sources, is on the verge of acquiring the rights to the BCS from 2011-2014 with Fox unlikely to match their offer. If you're like me, you scratched your head the past few years and wondered why a network that devotes little time to college football during the regular season gets to show the season's biggest games.
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