Rasor's Edge

“Midterm exam – Zips History 101 Multiple choice: What is to blame for Akron missing the 2006 postseason? A) Cedrick Middleton’s blown free-throw against Miami B) A weak schedule C) A two-point loss in the season opener against Arkansas-Little Rock D) All of the above It’s easy to blame a cupcake schedule and freakish loss in the MAC Championship.”

Midterm exam – Zips History 101

Multiple choice: What is to blame for Akron missing the 2006 postseason?

A) Cedrick Middleton’s blown free-throw against Miami

B) A weak schedule

C) A two-point loss in the season opener against Arkansas-Little Rock

D) All of the above

It’s easy to blame a cupcake schedule and freakish loss in the MAC Championship. Truth is, the loss to Little Rock was equally devastating. Instead of moving on to play Texas Tech and perhaps Duke or Marquette, the Zips finished the College Basketball Experience Tournament with a win over Gardner Webb.

The selection committee probably would have been more sympathetic to a Zips team that at least challenged itself against an upper-echelon team.

Alas, it was not meant to be.

But the Zips will get another shot this weekend in the BP Top of the World Classic in Alaska. They will play South Carolina Upstate, which will be playing its second game as a Division I team.

If the Zips win (and barring an iceberg slamming into the team bus, they will), the Zips will play the winner of Portland State and IUPUI. Both are teams that the Zips should beat.

Then comes the carrot: a chance to play Colorado State or Oregon State. Neither is great, but both will carry weight with the Ratings Percentage Index.

I think the Zips will win the tournament if they get solid point-guard play. Freshman Steve McNees is the new starter.

When you see him, you’ll immediately think of another Steve who plays that position. If Keith Dambrot can get him to play defense, Akron might not lose a step from the departed Dru Joyce.

Winning these games in November will go a long way in March.