Published February 22, 2024

MAC Power Rankings

By Bobby Gorbett | For The Post

With just two and a half weeks to go, the MAC tournament field is starting to shape up. Unlike many conferences, there are no byes, and only eight teams make the tournament. Teams will now jockey for positions to qualify to play in Cleveland.

Here is how the MAC looks with about six games to go.


The preseason favorite to win the conference has more than lived up to expectations with just two weeks to go in the regular season. The Zips are 19-6 overall and 11-1 in conference play. Akron is undefeated against the rest of the top five in the conference. The Zips’ only loss in MAC play was a 2-point road loss to Miami. Powered by Enrique Freeman and Ali Ali, the Zips will be extremely difficult to stop in the MAC Tournament.


As good as Akron has been this season, Toledo has only been one step behind the entire season. The only separator between the teams is an early February loss the Rockets suffered against the Zips. The Rockets’ high-scoring backcourt, led by Ra’Heim Moss and Dante Maddox Jr., could lead them to finally get over the hump in the MAC tournament.


Ohio has a middle-of-the-road record in the conference but is as dangerous as any team outside of the top two. The Bobcats have two 2-point road losses in MAC play, including its most recent loss to Toledo. The Bobcats’ largest-margin loss in MAC play is by 9 points to the first-place Zips. The team can play with anyone but hasn’t picked up a marquee win against Toledo or Akron yet.

Central Michigan

Central Michigan has an easy argument as the third-best team in the conference with nine wins in the conference already, including a huge win over Toledo. The Chippewas have had two double-overtime MAC wins, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but leads one to question how sustainable the team’s white-hot start is for the remainder of conference play. Regardless of the team’s position in the rankings, the Chippewas will be an extremely difficult matchup in March.

Bowling Green

Ohio saw just how well Bowling Green can play in a 5-point road loss against the in-state rival. After nearly a perfect start in the conference, the Falcons have lost three of their last four games, including a loss to previously 2-9 Eastern Michigan. If the Falcons get back to their high level of play in January, there’s no reason the team can’t make a deep MAC tournament run.


The only team to beat Akron in the MAC slots at No. 6. Although the Redhawks have had some quality games against the MAC’s best teams, including a very close road loss to the Rockets, they have also had head-scratching losses. Miami lost to Northern Illinois in its second of three straight losses earlier this month. After a week-long break, the Redhawks came back to defeat Ball State by 21.

Kent State

Kent State is one of the hotter teams in the MAC. With three straight conference wins under their belt, the Golden Flashes are looking to solidify themselves as a MAC tournament team. The only reason Kent State remains below Miami is a head-to-head loss three weeks ago.

Eastern Michigan

Can Tyson Acuff lead the Eagles to a miracle run to the MAC tournament after a 3-9 start? The next two weeks will determine what the nation’s seventh-leading scorer is capable of. Acuff went for 34 points and 10 rebounds in the Eagles’ upset against Bowling Green. The Eagles’ next four games are extremely winnable, as they take on four teams at or below .500. The Eagles finish the season with Akron and Central Michigan, two formidable foes, but given the state of the teams around them, it isn’t unreasonable to think a 4-2 finish would be good enough to slip into the MAC tournament.

Western Michigan

Western Michigan’s six-game losing streak does not appear to be ending soon after the team’s most recent 27-point loss to rival Central Michigan. If the Broncos want to remain in the MAC tournament field, the team will have to turn things around quickly.

Ball State

The Cardinals are going through some struggles similar to that of the team above them. The Cardinals’ 21-point loss to Miami has them one game out of eighth place in the MAC at 4-8.

Northern Illinois

The other 3-9 MAC team, Northern Illinois, isn’t out of the MAC tournament race yet, but it desperately needs to make a late-season run to have a chance to play in the postseason.


The Bulls have won one conference game all year. Four games behind eighth place, the Bulls may need to win all their remaining games to make the MAC tournament.

AUTHOR: Bobby Gorbett

EDITOR: Robert Keegan III

COPY EDITOR: Addie Hedges

ILLUSTRATION: Alaina Dackermann