Conference: Mid-American Conference
How They Qualified: MAC Tournament Champions
The Akron Zips held the longest active winning streak in the nation this season. In fact, they rode that puppy so hard that many felt they might have been in-line for an at-large bid. Unfortunately, Akron lost Alex Abreu for the remainder of the season and out went any chance of the team receiving a birth in the NCAA Tournament outside of the automatic qualifier. Luckily for them, they just so happened to win the MAC Tournament and head to the dance for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
What You Need to Know:
Leading Scorer: Zeke Marshall (13.1 ppg)
Leading Rebounder: Demetrius Treadwell (7.9 rpg)
Leading Passer: Alex Abreu (6.0 apg)
Bad Losses: Coastal Carolina, Buffalo
Good Wins: Oklahoma State, Ohio (3x)
Abreu being out is a huge loss for the Zips. Many assumed the team would be as dangerous as any in the field. However, now that he is gone the question remains if they are still as strong without him. But, Akron does still have the behemoth known to many as Zeke Marshall. Marshall is likely a second round pick in the draft and is a legit offensive threat underneath. How he goes, so does the Zips.
Without Abreu, though, I just can’t imagine this team going as deep as previously expected. Maybe a win, but more likely an early exit out of the big dance.
The Akron Zips are dancing!
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. For the love of Sam Cassell, follow Joe on the mean streets of Twitter @JosephNardone