College basketball elite category: Duke, Kentucky and Eastern Michigan
College basketball’s elite programs: Duke, Kentucky and Eastern Michigan?
With both its men’s and women’s basketball teams sitting in first place in the Mid-American Conference West Division standings, the Eagles are in a small category with those historic programs.
Heading into Sunday’s action, there were just seven schools across 32 Division I basketball conferences that had first-place men’s and women’s teams.
Atlantic 10: St. Bonaventure
Great West: Utah Valley
MAC West: Eastern Michigan
Mountain West: San Diego State
Sun Belt East: Middle Tennessee
The Eagles get a little boost from having the 12-team MAC split into two six-team division races. The Akron men’s team (14-7, 6-1) has the best conference record, as do the Bowling Green women (18-3, 8-0). Both compete in the MAC East.
The EMU men (10-11, 5-2) took sole possession of the MAC West with a 55-50 win against Bowling Green combined with Ball State’s 59-55 loss at Ohio.
Darrell Lampley scored 20 points and Antonio Green hit a 3-pointer to give Eastern Michigan a 49-44 lead with 2:28 remaining at the Convocation Center. Bowling Green had a turnover, missed shot and missed free throw on its next two possessions, and J.R. Sims made it a seven-point game with a layup with 1:03 left.
The Eagles protected the lead at the free throw line.
The EMU women (14-7, 6-2) remained atop the MAC West standings with a 91-46 win over Buffalo earlier in the day at the Convocation Center.
The Eagles lost their chance at sole possession when co-leader Toledo battled back from a double-digit second half deficit to win 77-75 at Buffalo.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.