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Ohio's Taylor Agler tries to protect the ball from Bowling Green's defense during the game against Bowling Green on Feb. 17, 2018. Ohio beat Bowling Green 68-58. (FILE)

Women's Basketball: Mid-American Conference power rankings

It was an interesting week in the Mid-American Conference. Several teams solidified their positions as potential dark horses in the MAC title races, while others started to slip out the pack. 

Here’s a look at the top five teams in the MAC:

Central Michigan (13-4, 6-0) 

No surprise here. Despite the new coach and new faces, Central Michigan has brought the winning ways of old into a new era. Coach Heather Oesterle has the Chippewas at the top of the division with an undefeated record and multiple quality wins. Central Michigan was the first team to hand Ohio a conference loss and they did it on the road. The Chippewas were also the team to break Ball State’s eight-game winning streak. 

Last week, Central Michigan survived a close game with instate-rival Eastern Michigan, 89-82. It was the only game it played last week. Central Michigan’s bye on Saturday couldn’t have come at a better time either. The Chippewas have possibly the toughest week of their schedule when they travel to Buffalo on Wednesday and then host the Bobcats on Saturday. 

Ohio (12-6, 5-2) 

Things are good for the Bobcats, but they could be much better. Ohio’s two conference losses to Central Michigan and Western Michigan both came in the final 10 seconds of the game. The Bobcats three-game win streak has been nice to ease some of their frustration, but there’s still no consolation prize for second place. 

Currently, Ohio sits at the top of the East Division but still trails Central Michigan by two games. It’s Ohio’s lucky week, however, because it has the opportunity to slice that deficit in half. The Bobcats travel to Mt. Pleasant on Saturday for the rematch. It’s definitely a game on their mind, but first, they’ll have to make sure they don’t overlook the Akron Zips, who visits The Convo on Wednesday.  

Ball State (14-6, 6-2)

I’ve been a bit hesitant on Ball State, but you can’t really argue against their spot on the list. The Cardinals have had a great season so far. They came into conference play riding a long winning streak but had the misfortune of having to play the top two teams in the same week. 

Last week, Ball State picked up its best win of the season against Buffalo and ended the week with a win over Miami. Do look now, but technically the Cardinals are closer to catching Central Michigan than Ohio is. I’m sure if the Bobcats or Buffalo can muddy up that perfect conference record Central Michigan is sporting, the Cardinals will be very grateful. 

Buffalo (13-5, 4-3) 

Don’t forget about the Bulls. With one of the most talented rosters in the conference, Buffalo is a team that shouldn’t be overlooked. Since losing star forward Summer Hemphill at the start of the season due to an ACL tear, Buffalo has had to rely on another exceptional talent. 

Freshman Dyaisha Fair has toyed with defenses all season long. Her short, but explosive frame makes her hard to stop, and she’s only improved in each of her appearances. Who knows if defenses will start to figure her out deeper into the season, but right now the MAC is at her mercy. 

Western Michigan  (11-7, 4-3)

Western Michigan is not a team I see winning the conference in the regular season or in the tournament, but they are a team that could ruin those chances for someone else. The Broncos post wins over Ohio and Toledo and has given CMU a good scrap. They’re just a team that’s just hard to put away. Those teams can be very interesting come tournament time. Keep an eye out for the Broncos, or you just may regret it. 

The rest of the pack 


Eastern Michigan 

Kent State 


Bowling Green 


Northern Illinois 


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