Rejoice college basketball fans! Now that football is finished and baseball season is still months in the future, many casual sports fans will turn their attention to college basketball. Those fans are turning in at a great time as conference play is starting to wind down and postseason implications seemed to be mentioned every contest. Once again we look where bracketologists placed the MAC representative in their latest brackets.
ESPN's Joe Lunardi released his latest projections on Thursday. Lunardi listed Akron as the team to beat out of the Mid-American Conference. His latest bracket has Akron as a 13 seed in the West Region. This would set up a contest with the 4 seed Texas A&M in Denver, Colorado. The winner of that game would play the winner of USC and San Diego State.
Jerry Palm of CBS Sports released his latest bracket on Wednesday afternoon. Palm also selected Akron to represent the MAC as a 13 seed in the West Region. Palm predicts Akron to play the 4 seed Iowa State Cyclones in Oklahoma City, where the winner would play victor of Utah and LSU.
Once again Brad Evans does his predictions different from other bracketologists. Evans projects four teams per seed and creates a list of the 68 teams he believes will make the tournament, rather than a formal bracket such as CBS Sports and ESPN construct. Evans listed Akron a 13 seed along with Chattanooga, UAB, and South Dakota State.
SB Nation published their latest predictions on Tuesday. Much like the other three brackets, SB Nation selected Akron as the MAC champion. They currently have 14 seeded Akron facing off against 3 seed Iowa State in the East Region. The winner of the Akron contest would play the survivor of Utah and LSU.
Why are the experts so high on Akron? Below we dissect the 2015-16 Akron Zips basketball team.
Conference Record: 9-2
Best Wins: @ Ohio, @Buffalo, UC Santa Barbara, @ Arkansas
Worst Losses: @ Green Bay, @ Central Michigan
Strength of Schedule: 203
KenPom Ranking: 64th best team in the country. Listed as a better team than UCLA, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, BYU, and others.
Akron is a very impressive team and could possibly be a cinderella team come March. The Zips have the perfect team to make noise come the NCAA Tournament. If a team can shoot well from behind the arc they can beat anyone in the country. Akron shoots about 30 three-pointers per game while converting on about 12 of those three-pointers. If Keith Dambrot's can play more intense defense and keep the scoring up, they just might be able to win the MAC and pull of an upset come tournament time.