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Bowling Green Falcons vs. Akron Zips men's basketball preview: A rematch in the Stroh

When these teams met on January 14, the Zips beat the Falcons by seventeen in Akron, and it wasn't even that close. The match up at the Stroh Center should be closer.

Akron's goal is to make Chris Jans look like this all night.
Akron's goal is to make Chris Jans look like this all night.
Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

The Bowling Green Falcons and Akron Zips are tied both tied for second place in the MAC East with records of 5-2. The two teams have already met up once this year: that was a seventeen-point dismantling of Bowling Green at the hands of Akron at Rhodes Arena. On Saturday, however, it won't be so easy for the Zips as they travel to Bowling Green to take on the Falcons at the Stroh Center.

In the last meeting, the Zips were able to blow out the Falcons even though they only scored 67 points. That came against the 18th best team in scoring defense in the nation. It seemed like the defense was awful during the game, but it really wasn't that bad. There were far bigger problems in that game.

One glaring issue for Bowling Green in the previous match-up was offense. They shot just 20-61 from the field for 32 percent and went 4-20 from the 3-point line. Akron was able to beat them by seventeen by shooting seventeen fewer shots. Bowling Green's Richaun Holmes is one of the best players in the league, and he fouled out of that game with just ten points and four boards. You won't be able to beat a team with depth like Akron has if your star player fouls out.

A player that gave Akron a bit of trouble in that game was sophomore guard Zack Denny. Denny only had eight points, but he recorder five rebounds and four steals. He will need help from guys like Jovan Austin and Anthony Henderson both offensively and defensively against Noah Robotham, Nyles Evans, and the many other guards that Akron uses.

Akron is coming off of wins at Western Michigan and against Ball State. They have been playing pretty well as of late. Center Pat Forsythe scored 17 points on Tuesday against Ball State as well as grabbing five rebounds. This Akron team is like most that Keith Dambrot has had at Akron. The stats are even throughout the lineup. In fact, Dambrot did the unthinkable against Ball State. He played 11 different players and each of those players played at least 11 minutes. If you don't think that's balanced, then you don't know what you're talking about.

Bowling Green isn't a great offensive team, and they may struggle against Akron in this game. Akron is currently ranked 71st in scoring defense, nationally. However, when the Akron Zips come to town, everyone comes to play. This game shouldn't be a blowout. Hopefully it's a great MAC East battle like the ones of old.

Where: Stroh Center, Bowling Green, Ohio

When: Saturday, January 31 at 7:00PM

Streaming: $$STREAM HERE FOR $6.95$$

Radio: Akron-1350AM WARF Akron on the Akron IMG Sports Network, which is available on IHeart Radio.

Bowling Green- 99.1 WFRO Click here to listen.