There are not many things better to do on a Friday night than to watch some Akron basketball on national television. So I sat in front of my television and prepared for some MACtion. I will now allow you to relive this moment.
- Food of choice: Wings Over Boneless wings with Citrus Chipotle sauce. This was my first time trying the Citrus Chipotle flavor and I was pretty impressed. It might be my new go-to flavor.
- Drink of choice: Wild strawberry Crystal light. Provides the perfect amount of caffeine while still distinguising itself as water.
- Pre-game pump-up song of choice: Skrillex - Kyoto
- Not everyone is a fan of dubstep and it is really an acquired taste, but when you're chugging caffeine and trying to get pumped up for a game, there is nothing better.
- Announcer refers to Zeke Marshall as Akron's "secret" weapon. Not sure how he is a secret but he is certainly a weapon.
- ESPN shows a pretty cool graphic showing Zeke is 1 of 4 players in the last 30 years ever to average 12 pts, 6 Rebs, 3.5 Blocks, and 65% from the field. The other 3 are Bo Outlaw, Patrick Ewing, and Hakeem Olajuwon. Definitely company you want to be in.
- AND WE'RE OFF
- Crowd expectedly much more livelier today and brought the energy to the JAR today
- Zeke's presence is felt inside early and he's affecting all of the Bison's shots right now.
- The Harney Badger Nick Harney is on fire early scoring 2 straight lay-ups and then adding a 3 pointer as Zips take a 10-3 lead
- Harney Badger (okay I'll stop now) with another 3 coming out of the timeout. Zeke is continuing his dominance on the defensive end and ND St. is having trouble adjusting.
- The announcers somehow wonder if Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell and the rest of the Zips' crazy sock trend has something to do with LeBron James. Not sure where they came up with that, but it's the first obligatory LeBron mention and not the last.
- Tree comes through the paint, screams "AND 1", and knocks it down. Crowd gets loud and then Tree shoots the worst free throw in the history of the JAR. Akron leads 19-11 with 10:00 left in the first half.
- The Bison can't handle the press and a turnover leads to an easy lay-up.
- Mike Felt of ND St. hits a 3 to make it 21-14. He really has a beautiful looking shot.
- With 4:30 left, Zeke Marshall comes up with a steal and an emphatic SLAM. Crowd is on their feet and Zeke earns a technical foul for hanging on the rim. It seems like Zeke was forced to hang on the rim due to his momentum, but I have seen that been called a technical every single time.
- Crowd shot of Mama Zeke and she is furious/pumped at the same damn time.
- Another turnover leads to another easy dunk, this time by Treadwell. The JAR is rocking.
- The Zips would cap the first half on a 9-0 run to take a 37-23 lead into halftime.
- Halftime song of choice:
- Continuing with the Skrillex theme, the Zips are going in for the kill..... or something.
- Zips continue their run into the second half scoring on three straight possessions ending with a Harney and-1.
- Zeke works the inside-out game and Alex Abreu hits a 3. The Zips are now up 20 with 17 minutes left in the game at 45-25.
- The Zips are now looking flat after being a lively bunch the majority of the game. Turnovers, missed shots and free throws and ND St. took advantage with a 14-0 run.
- Another LeBron mention of course as the announcers tell the story of how Keith Dambrot came to be at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary. He then tells a story of how Coach Dambrot has got the Zips not just to think big, but think bigger. It sounded like he was advertising for Akron, but not going to lie, it pumped me up and he gets bonus points for saying the Think Bigger slogan.
- Coach Dambrot took two timeouts during the Bison's 14-0 stretch and Zeke Marshall finally ends the drought with a jumper to put the Zips up 49-41.
- Reggie McAdams provides some relief with a 3 and Zips lead back up to 13 at 54-41.
- The announcer now projects Zeke Marshall to be a mid to late first round pick in the NBA. That is not exactly what the draft experts have been saying but it would be exciting and it shows you how far Zeke has come.
- The Zips seem to be in control but their season-long free throw struggles continue and they cannot seem to put the final dagger in the Bison.
- With 28 seconds left and a Deji Ibitayo dunk, the crowd is on their feet and the Zips have locked the game up and now lead 66-53.
- FINAL: Akron Zips 68 North Dakota State Bison 53.
Some thoughts on the game: It was not exactly the top flight opponent the Zips would have liked to play, but nonetheless this was their most impressive game since winning against the Ohio Bobcats. Akron showed off their talent on the national stage and will assuredly pick up more votes in the polls come Monday. The Zips will again play the Bobcats when they travel to Athens come Wednesday in Part 2 of a potential 3-match battle.
An impressive stat as the Zips picked up their 22nd win.
.@zipsmbb is 1 of 4 teams in DI basketball to post 22-plus wins in each of the past 8 seasons (Duke, Gonzaga & Kansas).— Dallas Moyer (@ZipsDallas) February 23, 2013
And of course your weekly Tree tweet
S/o to all the fans you guys are just as important to this winning streak as anything!!!!!!— Demetrius Treadwell (@Tall_ass_tree) February 23, 2013