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Northern Illinois Huskies vs Akron Zips men's basketball preview: The must-watch game of the night

The Huskies and Zips highlight Tuesday night's MACtion in Ohio.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The Huskies and Zips highlight Tuesday night's MACtion in Ohio. The Northern Illinois Huskies 16-3 take on the Akron Zips at 15-4. It's been a matchup we have been looking towards as MAC play opened when both schools entered with two losses respectively. In the first six games of conference play the Huskies are 5-1 and the Zips are 4-2. After taking down Toledo in an impressive defensive display the Huskies moved to 13-0 at home this season.

Akron has been an interesting story throughout MAC play as being the favorites once the season opened. Akron opened with two victories vs. Buffalo who's in the middle of the pack and Western Michigan an upcoming team. They then got a wakeup call versus Central Michigan on the road. The Zips gave up 92 points and got defeated by double digits to get their third loss of the season. Their next game was on the road at Toledo and they got defeated once again on the road by double digits. Akron then came back to beat Eastern Michigan late and beat down lowly Miami at home to get to 4-2 on the season in MAC play.

Travon Baker led Northern in their 58-49 victory over Toledo on Friday night. It was another defensive matchup as they held Jonathan Williams the conference's second leading scorer to 1-for-12 from the field. Baker had 21 points keyed by his success from beyond the three point line with six threes. Levi Bradley has turned into the third option for the Huskies behind Baker and Marin Maric. Bradley had another double digit game his third in a row for the Huskies. If the Huskies are going to defeat Akron Tuesday night they'll need Maric to have a big game to pair with Bradley and Baker. Both teams average around 75.5 points per game while the Huskies give up 63.4 points per game.

I'm projecting a 72-67 victory for the Huskies as the three player mentioned above have big games to eek out a victory on the road. Northern faces bottom dweller Miami this weekend on the road while Akron has another big game at Ball State.