Let The MAC Madness Begin!

Updated 1/8/2013

MAC Men's Basketball Daily Release (1-9-2013)

MAC Men's Basketball Daily -- Wednesday, January 9th
Buffalo (5-9, 0-0 MAC) at Ohio (9-5, 0-0 MAC)
7 p.m. ET • Ohio leads series 24-8
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• For the first time since the 2002-03 season, the Bulls will begin conferenceplay with a losing record of 5-9. UB dropped a close 63-57 decision at Tulsa to the Golden Hurricane. Javon McCrea’s (15.8 ppg.) has led the team in scoring in  ten of the team’s 14 games this season...During his six seasons at Kent State (2002-08), Ohio head coach Jim Christian compiled the highest winning percentage in MAC history (76-28, .731). The Bobcats have won 31 of their past 33 contests inside the Convocation Center (9-1 this season). Senior guard D.J. Cooper currently ranks third in the nation and first in the MAC with 8.5 assists per game. Cooper dished out a career-best 17 helpers against Marshall on Jan. 5, which broke the Ohio single game record and tied the MAC all-time mark.
Western Michigan (8-5, 0-0 MAC) at Akron (9-4, 0-0 MAC)
7 p.m. ET • Akron leads series 22-17
• Western Michigan enters tonight’s game with an 8-5 mark, including a 2-5 record on the road this season. WMU has three players scoring in double figures, including Nate Hutcheson (12.6), Darius Pail (12.0) and Shayne Whittington (11.8). Whittington is the team’s leading rebounder (8.2 rpg)..Akron concluded its non-conference slate on Jan. 2 with a 91-63 win over Coppin State. Akron has two players scoring in double figures and is the only team in the MAC with seven players averaging 7.0 points or better, including Zeke Marshall (13.3), Demetrius “Tree” Treadwell (10.9), Nick Harney (9.9), Alex Abreu (9.3), Brian Walsh (8.3), Jake Kretzer (7.8) and Chauncey Gilliam (7.3).
Bowling Green (5-8, 0-0 MAC) at Central Michigan (7-6, 0-0 MAC)
7 p.m. ET • Bowling Green leads series 37-32
• Senior forward A’uston Calhoun and senior guard Jordon Crawford currently rank as the second-highest scoring duo in the MAC. Calhoun and Crawford have combined for 31.7 points per game to trail Toledo’s Julius Brown and Rian Pearson at 32.7 points per contest. Bowling Green is 4-0 when outrebounding its opponents this year...Finishing their non-conference schedule 7-6, Central Michigan has gotten off to its best start since 2002-03, when the Chippewas won the MAC Tournament and advanced to the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament. Senior guard Kyle Randall has emerged as a leader for the Chippewas, averaging 15.5 points per game (fifth in the MAC) and shooting 90 percent from the free-throw line (22nd in the NCAA).
Ball State (6-6, 0-0 MAC) at Eastern Michigan (7-7, 0-0 MAC)
7 p.m. ET • Ball State leads series 55-38
•  Ball State evened its record at 6-6 last Wednesday, Jan. 2 with a 62-61 win over Norfolk State.Junior guard Jesse Berry, who scored a game-high 21 points, went the length of the floor in the final six seconds and found junior forward Majok Majok for a buzzer-beating dunk to end the game. Berry leads the Cardinals and ranks seventh in the league with 14.3 points per game, while Majok and Jauwan Scaife are each scoring 11.2 per game... The Eastern Michigan lineup features three players averaging double figure points -- guard Derek Thompson (11.4), forward Glenn Bryant (10.4) and guard/forward Daylen Harrison (10.0). Eastern Michigan is 7-1 at home this year and 0-6 on the road. The Eagles’ only home loss came by a 59-57 margin Dec. 22 against Oakland.
Toledo (4-7, 0-0 MAC) at Kent State (9-5, 0-0 MAC)
7 p.m. ET • Toledo leads series 78-45
• Kent State is currently riding a four-game winning streak. The Golden Flashes rank third in the MAC in scoring (71.4 ppg) and fourth in FG% (43.4) and 3PTFG% (35.2). Senior G Chris Evans ranks in the MAC’s Top 10 with 16.5 ppg (2nd), 7.6 rpg (3rd), 1.9 spg (4th) and a 49.7 FG% (9th)...Toledo features the MAC’s top scorer with junior G Rian Pearson leading the league at 19.2 ppg. Sophomore G Julius Brown also appears in the Top 10 and is in ninth place with his 13.5 scoring mark. Pearson has been named the MAC West Division Player of the Week twice this season and surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his collegiate career against Chicago St. last week. 
Northern Illinois (2-10, 0-0 MAC) at Miami (5-7, 0-0 MAC)
7 p.m. ET • Miami leads series 25-13
• Miami is coming off a tough one-point loss to Massachusetts last Wednesday, while the Huskies also are coming off a loss to UMass on Dec. 29. Two RedHawks rank among national statistical leaders. Junior guard Quinten Rollins ranks 14th nationally in assist/turnover ratio (3.35) and 40th in steals (2.25). Junior guard Allen Roberts ranks 43rd nationally in free-throw percentage (.869)...NIU’s Abdel Nader is averaging 15.0 points per game in five contests since returning from suspension. Akeem Springs is averaging 11.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, shooting 45.7 percent from the field, in four appearances off the bench this season.