2023 MAC Tournament Watch

2 weeks ago I thought this would be a fruitless exercise. Things have changed. This is how it stands through 2/25 with 2 games left. Please correct me anywhere that I’m wrong.

If you don’t want to look at all of the scenarios, the bottom line is that we don’t control our own destiny to get to Cleveland. Winning out still requires Central or Eastern to lose at least once. Buffalo losing to NIU before they play us would open more doors for us, but Central or Eastern would still have to lose at least once. If we split our last 2 games, we would need Eastern and Central to lose out and BG couldn’t win out. We can’t make it to Cleveland if we lose out.

  1. Toledo 14-2: at Central, at Ball St. Can’t finish lower than 2nd. They don’t have head-to-head over Kent, but they have it over Akron.

  2. Kent St. 13-3: vs. OU, vs. Akron. Can finish anywhere from 1-4. They have head-to-head over Toledo. They lost the 1st meeting to Akron. They would lose a tiebreaker with Ball St. if Ball St. wins out and they lose out.

  3. Akron 12-4: vs. Ball St., at Kent St. Can finish anywhere from 2-4. They beat Kent in the 1st meeting. They lost the 1st meeting to Ball St.

  4. Ball St. 11-5: at Akron, vs. Toledo. Can finish anywhere from 2-5. I think they would win a tiebreaker over Kent based off winning percentage over the highest seeded conference foe. They will win a tiebreaker with Akron even if they lose in their upcoming game because Toledo beat Akron twice and Ball St. beat Toledo already. Ball St. would lose head-to-head with OU.

  5. OU 9-7: at Kent, vs. BG. Can finish anywhere from 4-6. OU wins a head-to-head with Ball St. They would win a tiebreaker with Buffalo. (OU beat Akron)

  6. NIU 8-8: vs. Buffalo, vs. Eastern. Can finish anywhere from 5-7. NIU loses a head-to-head with OU. NIU lost the first meeting to Buffalo, so if Buffalo beats NIU, Buffalo would win head-to-head.
    However, a NIU win would give them the tiebreaker with Buffalo (NIU beat Kent)

Here’s where it gets really fun, especially if Buffalo loses out.

  1. Buffalo 7-9: at NIU, vs. Miami. Can finish anywhere from 6-9. Buffalo beat NIU in their 1st meeting, so a win would give them head-to-head. However, if NIU beats Buffalo, Buffalo would lose the tiebreaker. Buffalo wins a head-to-head over Eastern. Buffalo split with Central, but if tied would lose a tiebreaker. (Central would’ve beaten Toledo.) Miami won the 1st meeting with Buffalo so Miami would have head-to-head with a win in the last meeting. If Buffalo beats Miami, Buffalo would win the tiebreaker (Buffalo beat Ball St.).

If Buffalo loses out, it creates an opportunity for multiple teams to be tied.

Buffalo 2-1, Eastern 1-1, Central 1-2
Miami 2-1, Eastern 1-1, Buffalo 1-2
Central 3-1, Miami 2-2, Buffalo 1-3
Eastern 2-1, Central 3-2, Buffalo 2-3, Miami 2-3

So Buffalo makes it to Cleveland with a win or a Miami loss.

  1. Eastern 5-11: at BG, at NIU. Can finish anywhere from 7-11. Eastern loses a head-to-head with Buffalo. Eastern wins a head-to-head with Central. Eastern wins a head-to-head with Miami. Eastern lost their 1st meeting to BG, but would win a tiebreaker if they win the 2nd meeting. (Eastern beat Ball St.) Eastern would win a tiebreaker with Western. (Eastern beat OU)

  2. Central 5-11: vs. Toledo, at Western. If Central wins out, they would win a tiebreaker with Buffalo (Central would’ve beaten Toledo). Central loses a head-to-head with Eastern. Central wins a head-to-head with Miami. Central would win a tiebreaker with BG if they beat Toledo, but lose a tiebreaker with BG if they don’t beat Toledo. (BG beat OU). Central would lose a tiebreaker with Western. (Western beat Ball St.)

  3. Miami 5-11: at Western, at Buffalo. Can finish anywhere from 7-12. If Miami beats Buffalo, they would win a head-to-head tiebreaker, but if Buffalo wins, Buffalo would win a tiebreaker (Buffalo beat Ball St.). Miami loses head-to-head tiebreakers with Eastern and Central. Miami wins a tiebreaker with BG if BG doesn’t beat OU (Miami beat Buffalo and NIU). Miami would lose a tiebreaker with Western (Western beat Ball St.)

If Eastern, Miami, and Central end up in a 3-way scenario:
Eastern 2-0, Central 2-1, Miami 0-3

  1. BG 4-12: vs. Eastern, at OU. Can finish anywhere from 8-12. BG wins the head-to-head over Eastern with a win, but would lose a tiebreaker with a loss. (Eastern beat OU). BG loses a tiebreaker with Central if Central beats Toledo. BG wins a tiebreaker with Miami if they beat OU. BG loses the head-to-head tiebreaker with Western.

Multi-team scenarios (I think all of these are possible):
If BG beats Eastern:
BG 3-1, Eastern 1-2, Central 1-2
BG 3-1, Eastern 1-2, Miami 1-2
BG 4-2, Central 3-2, Eastern 2-2, Miami 1-4

If Eastern beats BG:
Eastern 2-2, BG 2-2, Central 1-2
Eastern 2-2, BG 2-2, Miami 1-2
Eastern 3-1, Central 3-2, BG 3-3, Miami 1-4

The 3-way without Eastern:
Central 3-1, BG 2-2, Miami 1-3

  1. Western 3-13: vs. Miami, vs. Central. Out of the top 8. Can finish anywhere from 9-12.

4-team scenario (assuming Western wins out):
Eastern 3-1, Central 3-2, Western 3-3, Miami 1-4

5-team scenario (assuming Western wins out):
Eastern 4-2, Western 4-3, Central 4-3, BG 3-4, Miami 2-5


My head exploding

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I have a headache.

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One would think research that complex and in-depth is what’s needed to find a cure for Alzheimer’s.


Crib notes:

Win out…you have a chance, maybe even high probabilty.


Update after Tuesday’s games. 1 game left. Again, if anything needs to be corrected let me know.

  1. Toledo 15-2: at Ball St. 1st if they win or Kent loses. 2nd if they lose and Kent wins.

  2. Kent 14-3: vs. Akron. 1st if they win and Toledo loses. 2nd if they win and Toledo wins. 3rd if they lose.

  3. Akron 13-4: at Kent. 2nd if they win. 3rd if they lose.

  4. Ball St. 11-6: vs. Toledo. Locked in.

  5. OU 9-8: vs. BG. Locked in. OU wins a tiebreaker with Buffalo, head-to-head with NIU, and a 3-way tie with those teams.

  6. Buffalo 8-9: vs. Miami. 6th if they win or NIU loses. 7th if they lose and NIU wins.

  7. NIU 8-9: vs. Eastern. 6th if they win and Buffalo loses. 7th if they lose or Buffalo wins.

  8. Miami 6-11: at Buffalo. 8th if we win or BG, Eastern and Central lose. 9th if we lose and 1 of Eastern, Central, or BG wins. 10th if we lose and 2 of Eastern, Central, or BG wins. 11th if we lose and Eastern, Central, and BG win.

  9. BG 5-12: at OU. 8th if they win, Eastern wins, and Miami loses. 9th if they win and Miami wins OR they win, Central wins and Miami and Eastern lose. 10th if they lose, Miami wins and Central or Eastern lose. 11th if they lose and Central and Eastern win.

  10. Eastern 5-12: at NIU. 8th if they win and Miami and BG lose. 9th if they win, Miami wins, and BG loses. 10th if they win, BG and Central win and Miami loses. 11th if they lose and Miami, BG, and Central win.

  11. Central 5-12: vs. Toledo. 8th if they win and Miami and Eastern lose. 9th if they win, Miami wins and Eastern and BG lose. 11th if they lose OR if they win and Miami, Eastern, and BG win.

  12. Western 3-14: vs. Central. Locked in.


Great detailed summary! I will give the cliff notes! If we win, we are in!!


So just to confirm, we have to win to be in? If we lose and eastern or central win they’d beat us, right?

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Yes win = in…but also all the teams above can lose (EMU/CMU) and we go in I thought (we hold tie against BG, even if they win?).

Nice to just win, but EMU and CMU can easily go down…I would like another good win though.

Don’t leave it to chance. Get the win!

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Very interesting picture when compared against the preseason coaches poll

2022-23 MAC Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll
(First Place Votes)

  1. Kent State (6) – 135 points
  2. Toledo (4) – 131
  3. Akron (2) – 127
  4. Ball State – 94
  5. Ohio – 91
  6. Buffalo – 82
  7. Eastern Michigan – 68
  8. Western Michigan – 66
  9. Bowling Green – 42
  10. Central Michigan – 38
  11. Miami – 36
  12. Northern Illinois – 26

MAC Tournament Champions: Kent State (4), Toledo (3), Akron (2), Eastern Michigan (1), Western Michigan (1)

Has Rashon Burno put himself into contention for MAC Coach of the Year by taking a team picked last (by a wide margin) and getting them to 6th or 7th?

As for how Miami’s season has gone, I’m pretty pleased. We lost 4 of our top 5 guys. Dae Dae would’ve been in contention for best guard in the MAC, and he’s currently tearing up the A10. We replaced him with a freshman in Ryan Mabrey. We replaced Ayah with Mirambeaux. Dalonte Brown with Julian Lewis. Those are tough shoes to fill in a single offseason. 11th was a fair prediction, but watching the development as the season has gone on is exciting. Steele said at the start of the season that the goal was for the team to look better each month. I think they’ve done that. Now let’s get to Cleveland and keep the ride going.


I’m trying to figure out the tiebreaker rule if it comes down to us and BG tied for 8th. We obviously lose the tie breaker if CMU or EMU get involved. But with BG, I think it jumps to record against common opponents, ranked top to bottom regardless of times played. The highest ranked common opponent either of us beat is Ohio. In a tie situation, we’d be 1-1 against OU and BG would be 2-0. I think that means BG has us on the tie breaker?

We lose all of the head to head and joint tiebreakers with each of the three teams tied for 9th. So to get in we’d need to either win, or have all three of those teams lose.


19.5% chance Miami beats Buffalo
30.5% chance CMU beats WMU
23.0% chance EMU beats NIU
12.1% chance BG beats OU

According to that, a 19.5% chance of outright victory and 47.0% chance of all three 9th place teams losing gives us a 57.8% chance of making the tournament.


That’s what I’ve been going with throughout.

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Emu game scares me.

NIU up by 19 against EMU with 15:48 left in the second half. Bates scoreless. Has mostly just jacked up some VERY VERY long threes.

EDIT: now NIU up by 22 with 11:49 left. Bates with 2 points on 1-10 shooting.

Sounds like it scared Bates.

85-66 NIU final



Toledo leading by double digits in the final three minutes, so barring a meltdown that’s who we would be playing in the first round.

Toledo beat Ball St., they’re #1. Kent and Akron in overtime playing for #2.

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