Updated: Feb 20
MACtion!!! Akron Basketball leading the race
There is a tight race near the top of the Mid-American Conference and The University of Akron is fighting for the number one seed. The Zips are playing great basketball right now and need to finish the season strong. Sitting at a record of 20-6 (10-3 conference record), on a four-game winning streak, are in a close race for the one seed along with Bowling Green (19-7, 10-3 conference record). Akron and Bowling Green both have five games left in the regular season playing all conference games. Akron plays Miami (OH), At Bowling Green, At Buffalo, Ohio, and Kent State. Bowling Green plays Ohio, Akron, at Miami (OH), at Kent State, and Buffalo. As these two teams are at the top, Buffalo and Kent State are still in the running with records at 17-9.
It has been an amazing season for the Akron Zips this year. Akron has had a major turnaround this year after going 17-16 last year and 14-18 the year before. They are being led by 5’8 Redshirt Junior Loren Cristian Jackson who is averaging 19.3 PPG for the Zippers. I didn’t type that height out wrong either, Jackson is showing heart over height and will continue to lead this team. They have been getting other contributions on the offensive side of the basketball with four other double-digit scorers (Tyler Cheese, Xeyrius Williams, Channel Banks, Camron Reece). Akron ranks third in offense in the MAC and fourth in defense. Coach John Groce has them playing their best basketball in his third season as the Zips head coach.
If Akron continues to play great on both sides of the court, offense and defense, they can make a run at winning the MAC tournament would punch their ticket into the NCAA tournament. The last time the Zips made the tournament was back in 2013 where they lost in the second round to VCU by a score of 88-42. Recent projections have the Zips as a 13th seed in the tournament. With length, athleticism, scoring, Akron controls its own destiny as they have the campus excited right now for a MAC championship and a shot in the NCAA tournament.
By: Tyler Kuna