The MAC will be on display on Saturday night in NCAA basketball betting action, as the Akron Zips and Ohio Bobcats clash for a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
The Zips have to be happy to be in this position, as they are going to be in one of the postseason tournaments this year for sure. This Akron team emerged from the depths of the MAC, which was a conference that looked to be in quite bad shape over the first portion of the season. A win last night over the Kent State Golden Flashes was just what the doctor ordered, and it was the second straight win over the Flashes dating back to the regular season. The Zips don’t have any of the top prolific scorers in the conference, but what they do have is a lot of players that have the potential to go off for double digits. Zeke Marshall is the leading scorer at 10.2 points per game, and he is one of the eight players on this squad averaging at least 6.4 points per game. That well-rounded nature has really served Akron well in the MAC, where teams just aren’t all that deep for the most part, and it should really come in hand this weekend as well in this situation in which it has to play on two straight nights.
Though Akron is the No. 1 seed in this conference tournament, there are many that think Ohio is the best team in the MAC. After all, the Bobcats have the best overall record for all of the teams in this conference with a 26-7 mark, and they play some of the best defense in the conference. Teams only shoot 28.8 percent from beyond the arc against Ohio, and in total, the team is averaging just 62.4 points per game allowed, one of the top marks in the conference. Don’t think that this is a team that is just a one-trick pony, though. DJ Cooper is averaging 14.3 points, 5.7 assists, and 2.3 steals per game this year, and he is one of the MAC’s best guards. The problem with the Bobcats is that they just aren’t all that deep. They only have five players averaging 8.9 points per game or greater, and though that is great, the next high scorer on the team is good for just 4.8 points per game. Someone is going to have to step up outside of the Top 5 for Ohio if it wants to go dancing this year.
The Final Word: The Bobcats really are the better of these two teams, but we just aren’t sure about the depth that they have. Don’t be all that shocked if they end up getting beaten with a second half rally, as the depth for the Zips could be the difference when push comes to shove. This quietly could be one of the best games of the day.
Akron Zips @ Ohio Bobcats Pick: Akron Zips
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.