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Published: Monday, 2/18/2008

MAC men power rankings

This much we know

1. Kent State. 21-5, 10-2. Kent has won seven of eight with the lone loss the result of an unbelievable sequence of events at Toledo. The Flashes will roll to an East title and probably the top seed in the MAC tournament.

Grab the dartboard

2. Miami. 13-11, 7-5. The league record is very misleading. The RedHawks have won six of seven after losing at BG a month ago. The horrid league start will make it impossible for Miami to catch Kent, but the RedHawks look to have a decent chance of repeating as tournament champs.

3. Western Michigan. 14-10, 8-3. The Broncos beat Miami a week ago but that result is probably reversed if the game had been played in Oxford. Besides, it was a three-point win in overtime. Western should win the inferior West rather comfortably. I might really like this team come mid March.

4. Ohio. 16-9, 7-5. The Bobcats have lost three of four, but I can t justify dropping them lower than No. 4. Three of their final four MAC games will be played at the Convocation Center where the Bobcats simply do not lose. But the MAC tournament is played in Cleveland, and I m having a hard time believing OU is a threat to win it.

5. Akron. 18-7, 8-4. Zips coach Keith Dambrot agrees with me that his team is merely so-so without Jeremiah Wood. If Wood returns to pre-knee injury form, the Zips will contend in Cleveland.

Waking up

6. Eastern Michigan. 10-14, 6-6. The Eagles are my dark horse pick in the MAC tournament. They rank second in free-throw shooting and fourth in 3-point shooting. That s a team you have to keep an eye on. Don t be surprised if they eek out a win at Western on Wednesday.

Status quo

7. Central Michigan. 10-14, 5-7. The Chipps have lost three straight, but they shouldn t have won any of them, so I guess that counts for something. They still get some credit for winning at BG on Feb. 6.

Falling asleep

8. Bowling Green. 11-13, 6-6. The Falcons have lost four of five and there s no guarantee that skid will end as they play just one more home game against Kent of all teams.

Just maybe

9. Toledo. 8-16, 5-7. Three of the Rockets last four MAC games are at Savage Hall, where somehow UT remains unbeaten. Should the Rockets maintain their dominance at home, they ll be sitting at 8-8 in the MAC and looking at a decent draw in Cleveland.

Where did that dartboard go?

10. Ball State. 5-19, 4-8.

11. Northern Illinois. 6-17, 3-8.

12. Buffalo. 8-16, 2-10.

In case you missed it, BG recruit Darnell Brown hit a game-winning 3-pointer with 1.5 seconds left to lead his Detroit Country Day team to a 60-59 win over Romulus on Friday. Country Day is ranked No. 1 in Class B, while Romulus is third in Class A. This is the second time Brown has hit a game-winner this year. The other came against Southfield and fellow BG recruit Austin Calhoun.

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