Any fan of the Mid-American conference certainly knows how important the Akron-Kent State rivalry is to both schools. Over the past three seasons, Akron has eliminated Kent State from the MAC Tournament – in the Semi-Finals in both 2012 and 2013 and in one of the best MAC Tournament Finals of all-time in 2011. Overall, Akron has won seven of the last nine meetings.
The matchup is of two teams that are trending in opposite directions at this point in the season. The Golden Flashes started the year at 9-2 before losing seven of their next nine games, including an upset loss Wednesday night at home to Northern Illinois. They are 2-5 in MAC play although it’s worth noting they’ve already had to play Buffalo, Ohio, and Toledo (and both the Ohio and Toledo games were close). Kris Brewer is Kent’s leading scorer (12.6 PPG) with Darren Goodson (10.3), Derek Jackson (10.9) both averaging double-digits as well. Kent State comes in as the third highest scoring team in the conference.
Akron, on the other hand, has been rolling. They come into this matchup as winners of eight of their last nine contests with their sole MAC loss coming in a beating delivered by the Toledo Rockets on January 18th in Akron. Demetrius Treadwell and Quincy Diggs are obviously key players or the Zips but Jake Kretzer and Reggie McAdams might be just as important to the Zips. When the two three-point specialists are hitting from deep, Akron is very tough to beat.
Despite the direction both teams seem to be moving and the records they’ll come in with, one thing that is likely to happen is a close game. The last six matchups between the two rivals have all ended with a final margin of less than six points.
The game tips off at 6 PM and can be seen on www.mac-sports.com.