The Mid-American Conference ends its regular season Friday night, and some intrigue could affect the MAC Tournament seeding.
Toledo wins the conference regular season championship with a victory Friday night on the road against Ball State. If Toledo loses and Kent State defeats Akron, then the Rockets and Golden Flashes will be regular season co-champions. Miami (OH) is hoping to clinch the 8th seed but they’ll need to get past the Bulls in Buffalo.
Three meaningful MAC games in March and we have them all for you!
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Akron Zips vs Kent State Golden Flashes 6:00 pm
Akron clinched the No. 3 seed but could advance with a victory over Kent State. The Zips have won four of their last five and are led by senior guard Xavier Castenda. Castenda is the MAC scoring leader, scoring 23 points or more in his last two contests. The Zips are 5-5 as the away team and 3-6-1 ATS away from Akron.
— Kent State Men's Basketball (@KentStMBB) March 2, 2023
Kent State still has a chance of tying the Toledo Rockets in the standings but they need to defeat Akron in their season finale Friday night. Golden Flashes guard Giovanni Santiago has been sidelined since February 3 with an injured hand against this same Akron team.
Kent State lost that contest but is 6-1 over their last seven without Santiago. The Golden Flashes are 14-0 at home but 8-4 ATS at M.A.C Center.
Phil’s Best Bet: Kent State Under 134 -110 DraftKings: These are the top defensive teams in the league, and the importance of this matchup will produce some early jitters that could negatively affect the score.
Akron plays the slowest tempo in the league and Kent State doesn’t play much faster. Both are better shooters from inside rather than outside the arc and the defenses are strong perimeter defenders who defend the triple very well. Their contest will be physical and should end Under the number.
Toledo Rockets vs. Ball State Cardinals 7:00 pm
Toledo can win the MAC outright but they need a victory over Ball State. The Rockets are 15-2 in conference play and have won a nation’s best 14 consecutive games–Toledo is 9-3 straight-up on the road but 6-6 ATS.
The Rockets top the conference in scoring, points allowed and 2nd in points margin (9.5). Junior guard RayJ Dennis is 3rd in the conference in scoring, and Setric Millner Jr is coming off a 32-point night against Central Michigan.
— BCSN (@BCSNsports) February 28, 2023
Ball State has dropped three of their last four, but those were road losses–the Cardinals fared better at home this season with a 12-1 record but just 8-5 ATS at Worthen Arena. The Cardinals boast the 3rd best scoring defense and 3rd in opponents total rebounds. Jarron Coleman leads the team in scoring, assists and steals and has scored just 18 points over his past two contests.
Phil’s Best Bet Toledo -2.5 -110 DraftKings: Toledo has been red hot and can wrap up the MAC regular season title with a victory, and they should win this game by at least three points.
Ball State defeated the Rockets in Toledo and you can bet the Rockets’ players will look to blow out the Cardinals. The Cardinals are a good team but they have the 6th best turnover ratio in the conference and one or two extra miscues late in the game and Toledo will cover the spread.
Miami (OH) Redhawks vs. Buffalo Bulls 7:00 pm
Miami enters a must win situation riding a four-game winning streak and a victory over Buffalo would give the Redhawks the 8th seed in next week’s MAC tournament. The Redhawks are the best free throw shooting team in the conference but average in everything else.
Miami is 3-8 as the away team but 5-5-1 ATS and defeated the Bulls by 11 in January. Mekhi Lairy leads the Redhawks in scoring, and assists-Lairy has scored 21 or more in each of his previous two games.
— UB Men's Basketball (@UBmenshoops) March 1, 2023
Buffalo is one of the least experienced D1 teams in the country but they’ve held their own in the MAC and if they beat Miami will be the 6th seed in the conference tournament. The Bulls have won two of their last three, are 10-4 at home with a 7-5 ATS record.
Buffalo ranks 3rd in conference scoring but 10th in points allowed but is 1st in combined rebounds per game. Curtis Jones leads the team in scoring and has contributed 21 points, five caroms with four assists earlier this week against Northern Illinois.
Phil’s Best Bet: Miami +8.5 -110 DraftKings: Miami is +8.5 point underdogs and they should cover the spread. This is a big game for both schools and this contest should be much closer than the oddsmakers think.
The Redhawks may not win many away games, but they’ve covered 50% of them–Buffalo is young, and they play fast, but they have a high turnover percentage and can’t shoot a lick from downtown. Take the points and the Redhawks.