2014 CollegeInsider.com Tournament
Akron Zips (21-12, 12-6 MAC) vs. IPFW Mastodons (24-10, 10-4 Summit)
DAY & TIME: Wednesday, March 19, 7 p.m. ET.
WHERE: Hillard Gates Sports Center, Fort Wayne, Ind.
ODDS: IPFW -1
HISTORY: This is the first time these two teams have ever met on the hardwood.
HOW'D THEY GET HERE:
Akron- It was a slightly down year for the Zips in the regular season. Akron finished second in the MAC East and earned a 4-seed in the MAC Tournament. Then in the semifinals, up on No. 1 seed WMU by 17 at halftime Akron fell apart. The Zips were out-shot 2-to-1 in the second half before eventually falling in a lopsided overtime snapping Akron's 7-year MAC Championship appearance streak. A season ago Akron was in the NCAA's, but after a 21 win season and a less than gracious bow out of the MAC Tournament it's the CIT for the Zips this season.
IPFW-The Mastodons are one of the best offensive-minded teams in the country, and finished second in the Summit League. They fell to North Dakota State in the Summit League Championship on a Bison layup in the final seconds of the game. IPFW is making its first appearance in a post-season tournament since moving to the NCAA Division I. This is currently the best season in program history, with 24 wins.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Steve Forbes. The junior big is currently in the top 20 in the nation in field goal percentage, knocking down 66.7 percent of his shots for an average of 12.1 a game. He's a big-boddied forward, weighing in at just under 300 pounds, and is a force in the paint. Freshman Isaiah Johnson and veteran Pat Forsythe will have their hands full with Forbes.
Luis Jacobo. The senior wing leads the team in scoring with an average of 14.5 a game, and is light and quick on his feet. He's not afraid to step back and drain a three, making more than two per game, and can mix it up down low. He averages 4.6 boards as well, and will be a fun match up to watch. Will Nick Harney or Quincy Diggs be tasked with shutting him down?
WHAT's NEXT: The CIT doesn't use a traditional bracket and instead waits until the first round games are over to determine the second round match ups by looking at several factors including win-loss record and geography.