Conor Hockett

The race couldn't be tighter for the top spot in the Mid-American Conference standings.

Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo and Miami all sit at 6-3 in the conference, a half game behind Kent State.

With seven games left in the regular season, the Cardinals are starting to feel the pressure.

Forward Pierre Sneed said the team played with a chip on their shoulder in Saturday's game against Buffalo. The 1 point victory earned Ball State a much needed win.

"We know what we're capable of," he said. "We say we want to be the best team in the MAC —people have us ranked as the best team in the MAC— we gotta play like that. There was a great sense of urgency [in Saturday's game] because we didn't want to continue a losing streak."

Ball State has a chance to knock off another top MAC team when they play at Bowling Green Wednesday.

The Falcons are coming off their first loss at home this season, 61-75 to Western Michigan.

Ball State may have the perfect recipe to make it two in a row.

Western Michigan outrebounded Bowling Green 44-25 in the game to overcome poor shooting. Ball State has the third best rebounding margin in the conference at plus one.

Road games haven't given Ball State problems all year either. Besides their loss against Miami, the Cardinals won by an average of eight points per game in their three road conference wins.

Bowling Green's two 6-foot 7-inch forwards, Scott Thomas and A'uston Calhoun, anchor their scoring. Sneed said if Ball State can stop Thomas, it has a good chance to win.

"He rebounds the ball very well and has experience too," Sneed said. "He's in the top 10 in scoring in the MAC right now so it'll be tough defending him. I'm pretty sure they're playing with a chip on their shoulders too. Based on watching the film, every shot their guys take they seem confident."