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MAC Championship Preview - Kent State Golden Flashes vs. Akron Zips

A berth in the Big Dance is at stake tonight.

NCAA Basketball: Kent State at Texas Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

The MAC championship is on the line tonight as Kent State takes on Akron. The winner will head to the NCAA tournament as conference champion, the conference’s only bid to the tourney.


GAME DETAILS

  • When: Saturday, March 11, 7:30 PM Eastern
  • Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Watch: ESPN2
  • Line: Akron -4

Scouting the Golden Flashes

Kent State has outscored opponents by an average of 4.6 points this season, averaging 77.1 points a game. Their field goal percentage is .426, and they are shooting .318 from beyond the three-point line.

Scouting the Zips

Akron is comparable, points-wise, averaging 77.6 points per game on the season. Their field goal percentage is 47.2, and they are shooting with 37.7% accuracy from three.

Players to Watch

Noah Robotham has played 30 games for Akron this year and is a buzzer-to-buzzer guy, averaging 30 minutes a game. He contributes nine points a game on the season and is 40% accurate from three.

Jimond Ivey has similar numbers and boasts a 51.6% field goal percentage.

For Kent State, Jaylin Walker puts up 15 points a game on 30 minutes, while Jimmy Hall explodes for 18.9. He’s averaging a double-double on the season, as he’s good for 10 rebounds as well.

Keys to the Contest

Akron is the top seed in the conference tournament, finishing the season with a 26-7 record. Kent State will have their work cut out for them if they want to take the Zips down, but Walker and Hall are solid players. If the Flashes can get those two the ball, they have a shot. Expect Deon Edwin to contribute as well.

Kent State will have to find an answer to Isaiah Johnson in the middle. He has really validated his Player of the Year award this postseason.

Prediction

Akron by three, 70-67.