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Sunday, May 19, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Possible MAC expansion

Only one Mid-American Conference men's basketball team made it to the NCAA Tournament this season. Recently, however, there have been rumors that the conference is looking to spice things up, hoping to have two teams get bids in the future.
Andy Katz of ESPN reported that Temple University and Western Kentucky may become the 13th and 14th teams of the MAC. Temple is currently in the Atlantic 10 Conference and Western Kentucky competes in the Sun Belt Conference. Both teams are historically successful basketball programs.
Still, the addition of these teams remains hearsay at this point.
"The topic of expansion is one that the conference and its member institutions and affiliate members will continue to discuss internally," said Ken Mather, assistant commissioner of media and public relations for the MAC. "Any other comment on expansion, number of sports, divisional alignment, etc. would be pure speculation at this point."
According to Mather, there are signs that the two teams are interested in the conference, which has 12 members for all sports. Temple is currently an affiliate member for football only.
Temple joined the MAC in 2007. Since then, the Owls have brought excitement to the conference: the team tied for first place in the MAC East in '09, and many remember the Bulls' last-second Hail Mary that won Buffalo the game on Sept. 13, 2008 against Temple.
The addition of these two teams would create the largest conference in college football and could also help resolve some scheduling conflicts. Currently, the MAC has an uneven amount of teams (13), making scheduling difficult and team distribution between the two divisions uneven.
Aside from making the football conference larger, the addition would add depth and skill to the basketball league, too. WKU has been to two of the last three NCAA Tournaments, and Temple is coming off its third-straight Atlantic 10 Tournament championship. The Owls won 29 games this season and were rewarded with a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
If Temple and WKU joined the MAC, this would make the MAC men's basketball regular season more competitive and would also open the doors for Buffalo to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.
Officals from Temple and WKU did not return phone calls to The Spectrum.
Stay with The Spectrum for updates on the possible expansion of the MAC.

E-mail: sports@ubspectrum.com


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