Outlook good for Zips in MAC Tourney

“The University of Akron men’s basketball team had a chance to win the regular-season MAC championship against rival Kent State. The Zips failed at doing so, depriving them of an automatic bid into the three-letter tournament. However, Akron will have a chance to redeem themselves in the MAC tournament.”

The University of Akron men’s basketball team had a chance to win the regular-season MAC championship against rival Kent State.

The Zips failed at doing so, depriving them of an automatic bid into the three-letter tournament.

However, Akron will have a chance to redeem themselves in the MAC tournament.

As somewhat of a consolation prize, losing the game to Kent State gave them an easier path to the championship game in the tournament.

On the way, Akron will face off against all MAC West opponents. In the second round game, the Zips will play Eastern Michigan Thursday – a team who beat them at home during the regular season.

The Eagles defeated the Zips 62-59 on Feb. 1. The game has not been forgotten by a team that is now looking for revenge.

They came into our building and beat us, UA head coach Keith Dambrot said. They are very physical. They have three really, really, really good players and a bunch of role players.

It’s going be a challenge for us physically; our biggest thing is rebounding from the whipping we took against Kent State.

Eastern Michigan is led by Carlos Medlock and Brandon Bowdry who both average 16.1 points per game.

We didn’t shoot well, so you can game plan all you want, but if you miss open shots you are not going to win, Dambrot said. We know that they are going to play a zone until we can show that we are going to make baskets.

That was what they did for about half the game, and we had some open looks and didn’t make any.

If the Zips can get past the Eagles they will have a chance to play the winner of the Central Michigan/Western Michigan game, which also takes place on Thursday.

Central Michigan received the No. 2 seed in the tournament after winning the MAC West division.

Western Michigan is led by recently announced MAC player of the year, David Kool.

Kool has averaged 20.9 points per game.

The brackets have placed Akron on the opposite side of Kent State, so if they do meet up, it will be in the championship game.

We lost two of our last three games last year, which cost us the league championship heading into the tournament, Dambrot said. That is always going to be our toughest game and we have to play very well to beat them. But, the game on Friday is over with, we can’t bring that back. We have to rally ourselves and get ready for the next one.

Basically, what we have tried to do is go back to meat and potatoes and that’s tough defense and sharing the ball..

Kent State will have a tough road to the championship; they play the Ohio University Bobcats in their opening round game.

Ohio has freshman of the year D.J. Cooper and are not an easy team to beat.

The Bobcats have lost both games to Kent State in the regular season, but beating a team three times in one year is extremely difficult.

If Kent can get past Ohio, they will play the winner of the Buffalo/Miami match.

Buffalo and Miami have already beaten the Flashes once this season.

When the championship comes around,m every MAC fan will be hoping for a rematch between Kent State and Akron.

We are going to have to make them play more defense next time we play them – if we get the chance to play them again, Dambrot said.

The MAC tournament will begin on Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, with the championship game held on Saturday.


” #1.1359902:3220901326.jpg:conyers bw.jpg:Senior forward Jimmy Conyers leads the Zips in rebounds per game with 6.8.:Gary Krueger”