Akron will host North Dakota State in ESPN's BracketBuster

USA TODAY Sports

ESPN held their Bracketbuster selection special today and announced that the Akron Zips would host North Dakota State Feb. 22 at 7 PM.

Yesterday evening, Seth Davis tweeted out his rankings to be submitted to the AP poll and revealed that the MAC would have a representative in his ballot with the Akron Zips. I was excited to see the Zips getting recognition and wondered if they would receive any more votes. The AP poll was released and the Zips received 4 votes and also received 2 votes in the Coaches poll. While the selection committee does not give any direct consideration to the polls, a top-25 ranking down the road would give the fans some excitement and more exposure for the Zips.

The BracketBuster match-ups were also released today and the Zips will host North Dakota State at the JAR on Feb. 22 on ESPN2. It was reported by Andy Katz that Keith Dambrot had requested a road game in order to improve the Zips' RPI and earn that coveted road win. While the request was denied, the good news is that Zips will have a very winnable game at home versus an RPI Top 100 team. Coach Dambrot's request for a road game signals he has his eyes set on a potential at-large bid should the Zips fall in the MAC tournament. While I touched on the unlikelihood of an at-large bid here prior to the Ohio game, it certainly does not hurt to exhaust all options.

North Dakota State currently sits atop the Summit conference with an 18-5 record and an RPI of 65. This marks the second straight year the Zips will take on a team from the Summit Conference in the Brackerbuster game after falling to Oral Roberts a year ago. Along with the upcoming game in Athens, OH, this is one of Akron's few chances to make a statement to the selection committee and I think they will come up strong against the Bison.

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