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Akron 87, Arkansas Pine Bluff 60: You Big Bully

The lone MAC game of the night was a pretty desolate rout of a winless SWAC team. UAPB, other than a few choice names on their roster, didn't have much going for it, as Akron kept stealing the ball away and by the second half, had erected a 39-point lead. Your top thief was Alex Abreu, with five steals to go with his 16 points. Brett McClanahan led the night with 17, and Quincy Diggs gave 'em 15. So good on the Zips to yank this one away from an overwhelmed team early, because sometimes games like this can get curiously close at the end.

Although an 8-5 record doesn't bowl you over, UA doesn't have a single loss outside of the top 100 RPI (their "worst" loss is to Dayton, 87) but logically everybody else they were victorious over was, well ... worse than them. You're looking at the win at Detroit as your crowning achievement so far, a team that went 3-1 against second-tier MAC teams. Infer away and safely lump them into "the mix" of MAC East teams that can contend for a first-round bye. Until they kick off conference shenanigans against Kent State and OHIO (ouch and ouch), the official jury remains sequestered. Akron's next game: Monday, 1/3 vs. Oral Roberts

Thursday's MAC games:
2:30 p.m. — Miami at Belmont
7:00 p.m. — #16 BYU at Buffalo
7:00 p.m. — Texas-San Antonio at Bowling Green
7:00 p.m. — Norfolk State at OHIO
7:00 p.m. — Toledo at UNC-Wilmington
10:00 p.m. — Central Michigan at UNLV