Andrew Walker

Point guard: Robbie Harman (CMU) vs. Randy Davis (BSU)

These two already have some bad blood. Last year at Central Michigan, Harman and Davis dove to the floor for a loose ball, and in scrum some unpleasant blows were exchanged and Davis was ejected from the game. This battle features the established senior in Harman and the rising star in Davis. Davis is averaging 14.2 points in his past six games, including a team-best 20 points in the Cardinals' road win over Northern Illinois on Saturday. But it's hard to argue against Harman, who is the best 3-point shooter in the MAC with 3.42 made per game. He made a MAC-best nine 3-pointers in a game versus Ohio earlier this season. Harman is also second in the MAC in steals (1.96). At this pace, Davis might be in Harman's league by his junior or senior year, but Harman takes the cake this season.

Advantage: Central Michigan

Shooting guard: Jordan Bitzer (CMU) vs. Jauwan Scaife (BSU)

This is another experience versus youth matchup in which Central Michigan has the advantage. Scaife, a freshman, has certainly showed flashes this season of being one of the most feared shooters in the conference, but like Harman, Bitzer has already gained that title through doing it time and time again. Bitzer's scoring average has risen more than three points since MAC play began, from 14.1 to 17.2, and Bitzer has done it as one of the more accurate shooters around. He hits 39 percent of his 3-pointers (ninth in the MAC) and 2.29 3s per game (second), while also leading the MAC in free-throw shooting at 90.1 percent. As mentioned, Scaife can get to this level. Scaife is eighth in the MAC in 3-point percentage (40.4) and tied for 10th in free-throw percentage (77.9). The future is bright for Scaife, but Bitzer wins this matchup.

Advantage: Central Michigan


Small forward: Antonio Weary (CMU) vs. Pierre Sneed (BSU)

This battle can be judged by what each player brings to the table. Statistically, Weary and Sneed don't give much to their teams. However, both are great athletes and possess the quickness and strength to help their teams on any given night. Weary has been slow to recover from a broken hand suffered in an exhibition game Nov. 1,. He is averaging 5.4 points and 3.8 points per game while shooting a lowly 47.5 percent (19-for-40) from the free-throw line. Sneed has similar statistics: Four points and 2.5 rebounds per game, but Sneed gets the nod in this matchup because he is simply one of the best perimeter defenders in the conference. ‘Shutdown Sneed' is counted on by coach Billy Taylor to stop the opposing team's leading scorer each game, and he has been successful more often than not. Defense wins championships, and Sneed wins this battle. 

Advantage: Ball State

Power forward: Jalin Thomas (CMU) vs. Terrence Watson (BSU)

Which Terrence Watson will show up for Ball State? If it's the Watson that was a beast for the Cardinals' six games against the MAC East — averaging 11.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game — then, combined with junior Malik Perry, there might not be a better No. 4 combination in the conference. The difference between Watson in the games versus the East and some other games this season has been his ability to convert down low. If Watson is going up strong and hitting his contested layups, like he did when he had a career-high 20 points and 16 rebounds in the Cardinals' overtime win at Ohio, then that obviously makes Ball State one of the better frontcourts in the MAC. Thomas, meanwhile, is an undersized No. 4 but averages a steady 7.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. With his speed, look for Thomas trying to drive the ball into the paint.
 
Advantage: Toss up

Center: William McClure (CMU) vs. Jarrod Jones (BSU)

Longtime Miami coach Charlie Coles said Jones is the best big man in the MAC when he plays all-out. Jones, the reigning MAC Freshman of the Year, was more aggressive than he's ever been in Saturday's win at Northern Illinois, converting 7-of-16 shots for 16 points, including 4-for-10 in the first half where he was mostly responsible for getting four of the Huskies' big men in foul trouble. In this particular matchup, Jones (6-foot-9) has two inches on the 6-foot-7-inch McClure. But, McClure won the battle earlier this season in Mount Pleasant with four points, nine rebounds and a game-high three blocks, while Jones had five points, 11 rebounds and no blocks. This game, however, came during the height of Ball State's offensive funk, so look for Ball State to be feeding the ball in to Jones even more tonight.

Advantage: Ball State