The first Saturday of the new year proved to be far more exciting than anticipated, much to the detriment of ranked teams who took their show on the road. Removing #7 Missouri and #20 Marquette, who both lost on the road to ranked opponents (more on both of those games below), five ranked teams lost to unranked opponents with four of the losses coming on the road. The Big East provided the most intrigue, with #8 Connecticut and #9 Georgetown falling on the road while #10 Louisville lost in double overtime at home. So which of the three defeats is most concerning?
Sunday set up to be a big day for the Atlantic 10 with Dayton (Old Spice Classic) and Saint Louis (76 Classic) playing in the title game of their respective in-season tournaments. And even better for the conference is that both picked up wins, displaying the depth of a league thought by many to be Xavier, Temple and 12 other teams before the season began.
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.
Bowling Green Falcons
Mid-American Conference (19-13, 11-5)
NIT Seed: #8
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)