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Akron Zips at Central Michigan Chippewas: Preview, How to Watch, Listen, Stream

Strength meets strength head on

NCAA Basketball: Central Michigan at Illinois Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Keene and company are ranked 8th nationally, scoring 88.8 points per contest, but they are still looking for their first MAC win. Standing in their way is a 13 and 3 Akron squad that statistically has the second best defense in the MAC.

Akron struggled offensively against Western Michigan at home in their last outing, but was carried to victory by their defense. That’s probably not going to cut it against Central Michigan.

CMU has failed to hit 70 points only once this season. They are led in scoring by Marcus Keene. He also leads the nation and the MAC at 29 points per game. That 29 points per game would have been good enough to win the division 1 scoring crown the last 14 years.

His partner in the back court, Braylon Rayson, is averaging 18.1 points per game.

In their last outing against Northern Illinois, Keene was held to a season low 14 points. The CMU offense struggled for most of the game, and the Chippewas were down by 17 with 10 to go. Then Braylon Rayson led a furious charge that put CMU down by 3 with 5 seconds left. Rayson made the steal on the inbounds, but stepped out of bounds.

I don’t expect Keene to be held down two games in a row. I also don’t expect CMU to slow down Akron all that much. Isaiah Johnson, Antino Jackson, Jimond Ivey, and Noah Robotham all average over 10 points a game for the Zips. Kwan Cheatham Jr. isn’t far behind with 9.9. This should be a high scoring affair with both teams in the 80s or beyond.

When: 7pm, Tuesday, 1/10/17

Where: McQuirk Arena, Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Watch: ESPN3 or stream via the WatchESPN app

Listen: Fox Sports Radio 1350 out of Akron and via the internet

Line: Akron -2