Originally written on Down with Goldy  |  Last updated 11/16/14
What's better than a little Monday night MACtion?  Pretty much anything really unless you mean those defenseless scorefests the football teams play, but when you're talking Toledo basketball you might as well be discussing the finer points of the cover 2 zone blitz eagle zipper hero because these guys are terrible.  Really terrible.  Last season was the first time in four years they hit double digits for victories.  The last time they made the NCAA Tournament was 1980, although they did win a game in the CIT last year over McNeese State. Not only have they generally been awful, but because of poor academic performance Toledo is ineligible for the NCAA Tournament (same deal that happened to UCONN).  And, because the MAC is a one-bid league, they aren't eligible for the MAC Tournament either because if they won the MAC would end up with zero teams in the dance (unless Ohio has a crazy good season - always possible with D.J. Cooper involved).  Somewhat surprisingly, only one player transferred after the news of the academic sanctions broke (third leading scorer Curtis Dennis) so Toledo ends up having nearly the entire team back from last year's surprisingly adequate squad, although their RPI of 241 wasn't exactly a resume booster. The Rockets are very perimeter oriented with three pretty good guards (the top three returning scorers) highlighted by Rian Pearson, who at just 6-4 is actually the leading returning scorer and rebounder in the conference (averaged 16.4 pts and 8.5 rebounds).  It's good that he's such a good rebounder for a guard because he can't shoot for ****, so expect him to drive the lane all the time and stuff.  Basically this is a pretty terrible team.  They suck defensive, are below average offensively, don't rebound well, and just lost by double digits to Loyola-Chicago in their opener.  The only thing that makes them remotely dangerous is they are overall a pretty good 3-point shooting team (36.8% last season) and they have a bunch of different guys who can hit them so if they get hot they could make this interesting, but there's no way they'll be able to stick with the Gophers.  The main key to watch in this game is Trevor Mbakwe, because I'm starting to suspect perhaps he's not as close to 100% as I had hoped.   He's got time because although the next two games (Tennessee State and Richmond) are against ok teams the Gophers should be able to handle them with or without Mbakwe.  The next game, vs. Duke, on the otherhand?  Get well, Trevor, get well. Minnesota 77, Toledo 54. Around the Conference/Country:  A few games of note took place this weekend, with problem no result more interesting than Purdue's loss to Bucknell 70-65.  The result actually isn't nearly as surprising as you might think at first glace because Bucknell is a pretty good, experienced team who will actually have an outside shot at an at large bid and Purdue is not only sort of identity-less early this season but were also without Terone Johnson who led them in scoring in the exhibition season.  The Boilers bounced back and crushed Hofstra, but getting so thoroughly outplayed by Bucknell probably signals this is going to be a long year. Also worth talking about were Michigan State's loss to UCONN, simply because it seems like the Big Ten starts every year well-ranked and then they lose all these early season big-time games, and Florida State getting knocked off by South Alabama.  Florida State, of course, is the Gophers opponent in the Big 10/ACC Challenge so it sucks to see this possibility that FSU may not end up being a quality opponent.  South Alabama has a chance to be a pretty good team and could be tops in the Sun Belt (although my money is on North Texas) but I'd just rather have FSU be undefeated, or close to it, by the time the Gophers play them. 
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

49ers waive Jonathan Martin

Former MLBer Curt Ford assaulted, told to ‘go back to Ferguson’

Russell Westbrook was very ‘confused’ by media after loss

NCAA 'concerned' over Indiana's 'religious freedom' bill

Report: James frustrated with Love’s inability to fit in

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Shane Victorino rips radio hosts for twisting Hamels trade talk

Jerry Jones on Greg Hardy: He's paid a 'terrific price'

Senators to fans: Stop throwing hamburgers on the ice

Revis: Patriots' offer 'wasn't in the ballpark' of what he wanted

Confirmed: Lionel Messi is not as tall as Gheorghe Muresan

Jags: Blake Bortles is 'everything we hoped for'

Alonzo Mourning confirms “Who wants to sex Mutombo?”

CC Sabathia attempting to get healthier by getting … fatter?

You can bid on Andrew McCutchen’s recently cut locks

Is Chuck Pagano receiving the Jim Harbaugh treatment?

Wideouts wearing out their welcome

Dean Smith willed $200 to each of his former players

10 best coaches who have never been to the Final Four

Five under-the-radar American League MVP candidates

Michigan sent recruit Naseir Upshur’s girlfriend a letter

Five MLB teams that could disappoint in 2015

Ranking the NFL’s biggest ongoing controversies

Randy Gregory tested positive for marijuana at NFL combine

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five under-the-radar AL MVP candidates

Michigan sent recruit's GF a letter

MLB teams that could disappoint

25 years ago, the best Sweet 16 of all time was pure madness

The 2015 bad quarterback carousel

17 facts to know before the Sweet 16

Agent: Sam was horrible at veteran combine

Keeping judo ‘pure’ in Europe means keeping MMA out

The Sweet 16 should be seen as success

On the Browns, Hard Knocks, questions and narratives

Sweet 16 West Region preview

Sweet 16 Midwest Region preview

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.