Eastern Michigan revealed the schedule for next year. There weren’t a ton of surprises on it. They will have three home games in September for the first time in a long time. Their bye game doesn’t come until the second to last weekend of the season. The schedule doesn’t state when Band Day and Homecoming are yet but if I were going to guess, Band Day is probably during the Army game and Homecoming would be the Akron game.
For the most part I like the looks of this schedule. They play as many home as away games this year. The three games in September are winnable (I think). I could easily see them starting 4 and 0 or 3 and 1. The main negative I see is that they don’t have a bye week until the season is almost over. But as always, we will see.
So I decided to head over to Kalamazoo yesterday for the game. By my estimations this would be the game that would have a strong say in whether Eastern would get to play their first MAC Tournament game at home or they would have to start on the road. Eastern already beat Western once at home, so I thought they had that going for them. On the other hand, Eastern had their poor record on the road during MAC play, so I wasn’t sure which version would show up. Well, I thought I had the answer in the opening minutes of the game as Western pretty much walked over Eastern. It wasn’t until Western had put up a 13 point lead that Eastern got its first points of the game. Eastern did manage to cut the lead to 7 points at halftime.
My post from last night got me thinking about the course that Eastern Michigan must plot to get themselves a home game for the first game of the MAC Tournament. The one certain thing is that they are not going to leap into one of the first four seeds. Even if Eastern were to win their last three games, they can not beat the current fourth seed which is Toledo or Kent State with 10 wins each. So lets take a look at the remaining schedules of the teams in the 5-8 spots.
A few games ago, we were in must win territory for the Eastern Michigan basketball team. With four games left in the season, every win becomes important. I think tonight was especially so, given that Central is leading the division. I thought that coming off their first road win, Eastern would be pumped. The game seemed to start that way when Eastern roared to an early 6 (or so) point lead. But I guess Central was playing the role of a steam engine tonight. After it gets a head of steam built up, there’s little that can stop it.
Shortly after Eastern built a nice little lead, Central released the fury of their three point attack. Of course, there were points were Eastern wasn’t helping themselves by giving up three or four defensive rebounds. It seemed like Eastern was a step behind for the rest of the game.
I honestly don’t know if Eastern has a chance for a home game to open the MAC tournament but that is looking gloomier.
It’s Oscar night, a night that is truly one worst displays of American excess and narcissism. We get to watch people who pretend to be other people engage in a massive circle jerk, all while telling us how important they are, and that BTW we should totally save the environment and stuff.
We get this in sports now, too. The ESPYs is one of the biggest frauds on television, nothing more than a ratings grab by ESPN, trying to fill time between the Little League World Series and the Newcastle/Everton match. Due to the necessity of filling this ratings hole, we are now subjected to watching tuxedoed, overpaid narcissists spend a few hours telling us how the fact that they play with a ball for a living changes lives.
On a night when your team falls 78-63, you can pretty much expect that not much was going right for them. Raven Lee fouled out fairly early in the game. Karrington Ward fouled out but the game was pretty much in hand at that point. Their shooting was a little south of 40% tonight. The officiating was pretty ticky tacky. And our intrepid photographer became a part of the game. Despite all that, I got some decent pictures tonight.
Well, there is always the next game but we are already into must win territory. Maybe they will get their first MAC road win against Northern Illinois. We’ll see, I guess.
It seemed like yesterday was another game where Eastern showed its two sides. For a good chunk of the game, they looked brilliant. They were able to roar to an early lead and for the most part they didn’t look back. Kind of like the last game I saw, the ending was pretty sloppy though. The main difference was that they were knocking down their free throws and had a sizeable enough lead. Therefore the game didn’t seem quite as in doubt. I’m hoping that they can remain this way for the rest of the season.
Time for another edition of Random Musings, and I better be quick, or else Kanye West will steal my keyboard and demand I write about Beyonce. (Hmmm…that actually doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Note to self: Write about Beyonce in the future).
• Men’s Basketball is at home on Saturday for a 2:30ish tip-off against the Akron Kangaroos. Just think, if Akron really was the Kangaroos, and EMU decided to be the Emus instead of the uninspiring Eagles, we’d be 1/6 of the way to an all-Australian animal theme in the MAC. Add the Western Michigan Wallabies and the Kent State Koalas and this could be a thing.
• Speaking of the game, EMU 15-9 (4-7) is looking to put a second win in a row on the board, but faces a tall order against Akron 17-7 (8-3). Calling games “must-win” at this point is not applicable. Back when EMU harbored hopes of cracking one of the top four seeds, I suppose there were must-win games. Eastern is trying to secure a home game in the opening round of the MAC Tournament. Whether that game is at home or on the road, that will be the next “must-win” game the Eagles face.
On a night where Eastern had two players score at least 20 points (Mike Talley and Karrington Ward) and Raven had 18, you’d think that Eastern would have had an easier victory. It was pretty much an ugly game all around. Towards the end of the game, Eastern was pretty sloppy on its inbounding and it seemed like it nearly cost them the game. Miami played a pretty ugly game as it seemed like they mugged the Eastern players every time they drove to the net. Lee and Talley both fouled out of the game. But as they say, an ugly win is still a win. Right now, Eastern needs to win any way it can. As it was Eastern ended up winning the game 83 to 69.
As has been said elsewhere, Eastern seems like a Jekyll and Hyde team. At times, they look like they can win it all. Other times, not so much. Tonight, they displayed both sides. Enjoy the pictures.
For the EMU sports fan, basketball usually represents the true opportunity to put EMU Athletics on the map. A prior Sweet Sixteen appearance, a key win over Duke, EMU Basketball has a proven track record of national success. Football is continually tormented by the nagging question of whether or not EMU can actually compete for a MAC title.
Unfortunately, some of the same fan apathy issues that plague football exist for basketball as well. Football requires many more moving parts to succeed than basketball, as the right coach and a few key players can propel any mid-major program to a NCAA Tournament run.