Just two games on Sunday while everyone else was critiquing the fashion choices made by Hollywood actors:
The loss is not debilitating for Akron at least in terms of seedings, but losing by 24 points on the road does demonstrate their weakness. As the top shooting team in the MAC, their aim was off as they produced their lowest eFG% of their conference swing (38.8%) as well as their single worst defensive performance of the game (1.21 defensive PPP). Even during that nonconference funk when West Virginia, Middle Tennessee and three others made them lose five of six, this game was worse. What the heck happened? Did a three-game cushion make them lax
Or is OHIO that good? We know they have a high ceiling to play when they want. They have the ability to beat a team like Louisville then turn around and lose a game to Toledo. With a large 8,000+ crowd behind them, the Bobcats didn't seem to leave any doubt as to the victor even by halftime.
The good D.J. Cooper showed up, locking Bad D.J. Cooper in the closet — a good place for him. Coop netted 11 points and 10 assists to three turnovers. Walter Offutt added a strong 14 points, five assists, four rebounds and for some reason two blocks. Nick Kellogg shot 3-for-6 on threes to augment his 17-point game and the entire team shot a wonderful 65.1 eFG%.
The only thing Akron did right was get to the free throw line and make 'em with regularity. That 23-for-26 line was exquisite, and it makes you wonder how much worse the score would've been had they not been able to hit the free throws in such a loud, noisy environment. Brian Walsh led the tema with 12 points and Nikola Cvetinovic finished with 11. Folks like Quincy Diggs were held scoreless and Zeke Marshall was just 1-for-6 from the field with nary a block and effectively neutralized by the OU defense.
This game was huge for OHIO because it keeps them even with the Bulls, over whom they own the head-to-head tiebreaker. If the season ended today the Bobcats would be the No. 2 seed, but trips to dangerous Kent State and ornery Miami remain.
And Akron's at-large hopes? One-hundred percent gone. But they might be able to still back into an outright regular season title.
It wasn't a given victory because NIU took the first match against them. But CMU looked like the balanced team (four double-figure scorers) and NIU was the one who leaned one one scorer (Abdel Nader led with 24 points, eight rebounds, three steals and three assists). Basically CMU built a nice little halftime lead and played even keel in the second half.
Derek Jackson hit threes all night to finish with 19 points, Austin McBroom and Trey Zeigler both added 14 points and Andre Coimbra from inside got to the 10-point mark. It's still looking like CMU is going to walk into the tournament as the 11-seed, but with a "big" game against Ball State, they have a chance to vault them as they face the Cardinals on Wednesday.
And this ought to seal NIU's fate as the No. 12 seed.