Ohio is the higher seed in this game, but it is expected to be able to end the season prematurely of the Zips. The last loss the Bobcats suffered came at the hands of these Zips, and since that point they really have rolled to win after win. The victory over the Western Michigan Broncos was no small feat, knowing that the Broncos had just won the MAC West Division this year with a 20-11
record. However, G DJ Cooper logged 21 points and 10 assists, while F Walter Offutt had 14 points and 11 boards, and that was the end of WMU’s chances of winning. Cooper, G Reggie Keely, and Offutt are the men to really watch out for on this Ohio side. Cooper is one of the best point guards in the MAC, averaging 14.4 points and 7.3 assists per game, while Keely and Offutt are both double digit scorers in their own right.
The Zips have had a heck of an end to the season. They won two games in a row that were huge against the North Dakota Fighting Sioux and these Bobcats, and there was a lot of talk that they could perhaps be an at large bid into the NCAA Tournament. Instead, they were beaten on the road by the Buffalo Bulls, then got G Alex Abreu suspended for drug trafficking on the eve of the regular season finale against the Kent State Golden Flashes. Kent State won that game by four, ending any hopes of an at large bid to the tourney. That loss was at least avenged in the MAC Tournament, but few believe that this is a team that really has the ability to ultimately win this, the biggest game of the year. It’s going to take a huge effort by C Zeke Marshall to pull this off. He is averaging 13.1 points per game this year, and the big man put up 18 points and 10 boards in the win against Kent State on Friday night to lead the team.
Ohio is going to be favored in this one, and for good reason. The Zips really have been flirting with disaster for weeks, and just as we saw teams like Louisiana Tech and Middle Tennessee State fall by the wayside, we are going to see the Zips go down as well. The Bobcats have some unfinished business after losing to Akron in overtime at home a few weeks ago, and they’ll get that redemption and dust off their dancing shoes on Saturday night. Ohio 70 – Akron 64
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.