One day after news broke that Akron starting point guard Alex Abreu had been suspended indefinitely following his arrest on marijuana drug trafficking charges, the Zips hit the court for their final home game of the season.
The Zips however, struggled against visiting Kent State, clearly missing Abreu’s production in the process.
After rattling off 19 consecutive victories, the Zips have stumbled a bit down the stretch here and in turn the talks of their NCAA Tournament hopes and potential have certainty taken a hit. Other rivals within the MAC are licking their chops at the loss of Abreu and this comes with the conference tournament set to begin next week.
On Friday night, Kent State only added fuel to that fire with a 68-64 win at Akron.
The game itself wasn’t even nearly as close as the final score indicates, as the Golden Flashes simply dominated their opponent on Friday night. In fact, Kent State even held a 40-25 lead at the half, yet had to cling to a four-point victory when all was said and done.
As for Akron however, there is certainly a cause for concern. At 24-6 overall and 14-2 within the conference, the Zips do have an impressive resume. Yet, two losses in their past three games does sting and without Abreu in the lineup now, it will be interesting to see a) how the Zips fare in the MAC Tournament and b) how the NCAA Tournament committee will handle their at-large chances should they fail to win the league’s automatic berth.
Akron’s progress next week within the conference tournament will be one to follow closely, especially for bubble teams across the country. The Zips need to hit the hardwood and work on getting things situated in their rotation with Abreu now sidelined.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS