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MAC-Sketball Changes?

Great read at Mlive (G. Couch) regrading the sorry state of MAC hoops (As long as you can ignore the homerism of Couch and some really undeserved Kent bashing):

Basically we all know the biggest problem with MAC hoops last season, and that would be that four of hte six teams in the MAC west had RPI's below 300. Basically frying any hope that the West Champ might have at getting a top 100 RPI no matter how good they might be.

There are other problems as well, it's not like the East lit things up last season. Bowling Green and Buffalo choked away their seasons while slow starts by some of the others pushed the MAC to a recent low 1 top 100 school.

Jon Steinbrecher, fresh off what I would consider to huge victory pulling in UMass and Temple to open ended contracts with large buyouts has refocused on hoops and some of the proposals are pretty radical.

Steinbrecher has convinced a majority of the MAC presidents to back a plan that ditiches revenue equality and, beginning in 2011-12, will judge programs on their commitment to scheduling and their results on the court. This season the MAC will be getting 1.7 Million from the NCAA (yes, thank you Bobcats) and unlike in past seasons this will not be evenly divided.

“You’re in the NCAA tournament or NIT or CBI or CIT, you pick up units. Nonconference winning percentage at a certain level, you pick up more units. If your RPI is at a certain level, you pick up more units.” -- Jon Steinbrecher

Among the requirements:

  • 15 Home games over the current two year average.

Buffalo has played 16, 14, 13, 13, 17 home games in recent years. So right now this works for the Bulls but they can not have a stretch like they did from 2007 to 2009. UB has a good relationship with Niagara, Canisius, and can hopefully start some home and homes with St. Bonaventure.

Attendance has been on the decline at many MAC schools so adding an incentive to 'buy' a home game or two is a solid move.

  • Win the MAC Tournament

Maybe it's just the face that Buffalo has fallen short twice during the later half of the decade but I would be more comfortable with "make the finals of the MACC"

  • Win the MAC Regular Season

Seems fair, I think most teams in the East have either won, or tied for a win over the past decade.

  • Play in the Postseason (NCAA, NIT, CBI, CIT)

Definitely a good criteria. The CBI and CIT are pay of play tournaments so giveing a little incentive for schools to take up an invitation will help elevate the conference as a whole. I believe it was EMU who turned down an invite in 2010 for the CBI or CIT.

MAC Schools need to start doing well in all the tournaments. Kent, UB, and Ohio all acquitted themselves pretty well this post season.

  • RPI

This could be a double edged sword. RPI is one of those things that can tempt a school to message their schedule. Buffalo has cracked the top 100 just twice but the better side of this is the punishment to the four MAC West teams that finished below 300.

  • Non-Conference Winning %

This is going to ding schools like Miami who put together some of the most impressive non conference schedules and reward schools like Akron who tend to ease their way into the season. Buffalo has had some mediocre non conference schedules of late which might explain a decent winning percentage.

This may really end up helping the rich get richer in the MAC. Schools like Kent and Akron both will benefit while the weaker west schools are going to get hit, hard. Buffalo is a 'middle class' MAC team. Usually good for an RPI of 90-200, plays 15 or so home games, and makes some tournament every other year.

I cant seem to find any specifics about the threshold for getting points but I don't really care what they are. It's just nice to see the MAC trying to push the basketball schools a little harder.