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Akron Zips vs. Miami RedHawks men's basketball preview: Zips look to get back on winning track against Miami

Akron looks to get back on track against Miami on Tuesday night as their MAC lead has slipped to one game over Kent State and Ohio.

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Akron is looking to move to 11-4 in the MAC on the season as they face the RedHawks of Miami in Oxford on Tuesday night. The Zips opened the season with only two losses through non-conference play, defeating Arkansas on the road and Iona while losing to number one team in the nation Villanova by double digits. Once MAC conference play opened they opened up with two wins vs. Buffalo and Western Michigan. However they followed that up with two losses to MAC West schools Central Michigan and Toledo both on the road. At that point they were 2-2 in conference play and had four losses overall - it was early but the Zips didn't look like themselves of old.

Then came a stretch of a seven game win streak that included a comeback win over Eastern Michigan and victories over NIU, Miami, Ohio, Central Michigan, Bowling Green and Ball State. Of those seven schools those victories came against the 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11 and 12 seeds throughout the conference - a very impressive stretch for any school. They then lost to NIU on the road in their second go around by one in a very tightly contested game. They came home and rebounded nicely defeating the current 5 seed Buffalo by double digits before losing to Kent State the three seed by nine on the road on Friday night.

In the final four games, the Zips have Bowling Green and Miami in very winnable games and also the next two in the standings Ohio and Kent State. It's an important stretch but it's also important for Akron to not overlook the lower seeded schools as it's already been a season of #MACtion through the first 14 games of MAC play.

Miami has had a lot of struggles this season particularly offensively but has been playing better of late. They're assured an opening day matchup although they can play spoiler with a strong finish in MAC play as they only sit two games behind Western Michigan for the 10 seed and one game back of Bowling Green for the 11 seed.