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Zero Hour: Mid-American Unity Playing for Us All in “The Tournament”

Well, they are playing for 2 million bucks, but we can cheer them on!

Illustration: James H. Jimenez | Photo: ESPN/Outside the Lines

The Basketball Tournament is a 64 team tournament where the winner takes home a 2 million dollar prize, while second place gets nothing. Well almost nothing. They get a portion of the ticket sales from the regionals, but basically nothing. The teams apply and 64 are accepted. A lot of colleges have alumni teams. However, a group of former Mid-American stars have signed up under the name of Mid-American Unity.

While I haven’t paid much attention to this tournament in the past, I plan on watching this season. Much like when I watch the NBA, I usually watch specific players with something like this, however this year I have an entire team to root for. An added benefit is that this team is playing in Columbus, my hometown.

This also benefits the team. Most of the players on this squad hail from Kent or Akron, while there is also a Falcon, a couple Bobcats, and former Central Michiganer. A short drive for a lot of their former college fans to see their old favorites once again.

Obviously a deep run by this particular team would be great exposure for the conference, as there is not a lot going on in the sports world at this time. Aside from Mid-American Unity, there are many former MAC players on other rosters, too. Thirteen by my count, including some recent favorites like Marcus Keene, Franko House, and Steve Taylor Jr.

Here is a quick list of the “others”:

  • Marcus Keene, Central Michigan (Sideline Cancer)
  • Chris Evans, Kent (Ram Nation)
  • Logan McLane, Miami (Showtime)
  • Jarred Axon, EMU (Khol Blooded)
  • Leon Rodgers, NIU (Carmen’s Crew)
  • Levi Bradley, NIU (Fort Wayne Champs)
  • Julian Mavunga, Miami (Fort Wayne Champs)
  • Jarrod Jones, Ball State (The Region)
  • Franko House, Ball State (Big X)
  • Name Miller, BGSU (Team Everyday)
  • Eric Washington, Miami (Southern Gentlemen)
  • Jordon Crawford, BGSU (Team Fredette)
  • Steve Taylor Jr., Toledo (Broad Street Brawlers)

Here is the roster of Mid-American Unity

  • Michael Porrini, Kent State, GM
  • Jehvon Clarke, BGSU, Guard
  • D.J. Cooper, Ohio, Guard
  • Dru Joyce, Akron, Guard
  • Reginald Keely, Ohio, Forward
  • Kyle Randall, CMU, Guard
  • Khaliq Spicer, Kent, Center
  • Romeo Travis, Akron, Forward
  • Demetrius Treadwell, Akron, Forward
  • Jay Youngblood, Kent, Guard

Mid-American Unity is a 7 seed and they take on Khol Blooded, a Wisconsin themed team that also includes a former Eastern Michigan Eagle. I suppose you could say Jarred Axon is Khol blooded, hahaha. However, this game should be interesting basketball, because Unity is on the small side, while Wisconsin is on the tall and plodding side. That should make for a nice game of contrasting styles. The game takes place on July 19th, at Capitol University in Columbus. While it’s not full on #MACtion, it is a nice diversion this hot summer.