Derek Thompson and the Eastern Michigan Eagles would have enjoyed the #2 seed last season.
This week Eagle Totem, The Eastern Michigan site run by Carter Adler, is running the round table. Its fitting to have him take the table since his Eagles clinched the west on Wednesday. Carter also tends to have more interest, and a better nose for, the conferences administrate issues.
With a brand spankin' new format in Cleveland he is the perfect person to ask this weeks questions.
1. It seems as though the MAC has been taking an increasingly structured approach to basketball scheduling (a round-robin of divisional play, a round-robin of inter-divisional games, and then the second round-robin of divisional play; most games on Wednesday nights and Saturday afternoons). What do you think of this approach? Do you want to see more of this structure, or would you rather have a MAC game spread throughout the week?
it depends on where they go with the MAC digital network. I love the schedule but if they intend to keep improving the online offerings and, lord willing, get themselves into this decade and on some streaming video devices then they need to vary it a bit.
If my ROKU in Minnesota and tune in to watch MAC basketball I'd rather have them have games four nights a week (maybe have the East on one night and the West the next).
2. With the MAC tournament using division-agnostic seeding, is there a value to continuing to use divisions in basketball? How would you want to see a divisionless basketball season scheduled?
Only the MAC, Southern, Southland, and Sun Belt still have divisions for Basketball. There is no advantage, aside from travel, but there are some disadvantages.
If any team in the MAC west ever get's their act together they will be hampered by the four or five other teams that drag the division down. Imagine if EMU has a better out of conference showing but had their RPI crippled by home wins against NIU, CMU, and Ball State.
Get rid of divisions and arrange the schedule to help the RPI's of the conference.
3. What's the minimum you still need to see from your team (i.e.tournament performance) to be satisfied with the season.
I'd like to say MAC title but no team in the conference is so good that fans can expect that as a given.
So I'll say at least one win in the MAC tournament which gets UB to 20 on the season. Then a decent run in some post season tournament. That might pass my "ok" bar. But I will not be happy with a UB season until the Bulls are dancing.
4. Which team is your "dark horse" or "Cinderella" pick for the MAC tournament.
I would have said EMU before today. But Toledo has been coming on strong and has an easier draw.
5. Rank 'em.
2. OU (Beat Buffalo Twice)
5. BGSU (Yes they lost to EMU but tied them on the year and had two games against the top 4 teams)
10. Ball State