Akron Has A Slight Chance For A Bubble Bid, Emphasis On Slight

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 18: Zeke Marshall #44 of the Akron Zips drives against Carleton Scott #34 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the first half during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the United Center on March 18, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Not sure what brought this thought up a week after the fact, but here we go: I joked (and continue to, through the living blog tagline) that the MAC really had no shot at an at-large bid because teams were going to continue beating each other up.

Well, Akron has remained relatively unblemished in the MAC at 12-1 with a single defeat to Buffalo (not a terrible loss) and three games to go. And maybe the Oral Roberts loss was what finally axed them from a discussion they ever never in to begin with. But it's still possible, not plausible, that they can poke their head into the selection committee's minds, should they not win the MAC.

Otherwise the Zips would be, at this moment, a 20-7 team against Division I competition with road wins at ORU, Mississippi State and Marshall. They'd have won their last 10 games, 14 of their last 15, and 18 of their last 20.

Today going forward maybe there's still a chance. If Akron wins at OHIO, at Kent State and avenges their UB loss at home, make the MAC Championship and lose to presumably OHIO, Kent State or UB, that'd be a dynamite little 24-8 record against good-enough competition. For all the sturm und drang surrounding RPI, Akron's is a non-crippling 58 and with a hypothetical 4-1 finish to their schedule, it's possible that'll only get better.

Yes, all of this requires luck and circumstance. But I guess the point I really wanted to make was their overlooked (by me) odds that a victory against Oral Roberts might've put them in the bubble discussion. For now, they're not there. And they likely won't be. But how long has it been until a MAC team has been in a February bubble watch conversation? And it wouldn't have happened without the BracketBusters, which at times seems like a chore given that NIU plays SIU-Edwardsville and it's billed as a BracketBusters game.

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