In one of the most phenomenal basketball games you are likely to see, Akron defeated Kent State in overtime 66-64 to capture the MAC East title and earn the second seed in the conference tournament.
Kent State nailed a 3-pointer with 10 second left in overtime to tie the game. Without a timeout, Nick Dials led the Zips down the floor, drove right, attracted two defenders and fired a pass to Jeremiah Wood under the hoop for the game-winning score.
Wood, Dials and Cedrick Middleton played tremendous games, each showing a little more than ever before in their Zips careers.
- LeBron James was in attendance. Television cameras caught him several times showing his enthusiasm by standing up, pumping his fist, etc. It's clear to me James is no longer just a fan of Romeo Travis and Dru Joyce. He loves the Zips.
- The game should never have went into overtime. The traveling call on Nate Linhart with a minute left was completely bogus. Without that call, Akron has the ball with the lead and only 40 seconds to go.
- Speaking of Linhart, it was a pleasant surprise to see him back. I don't remember him shooting, but he definitely affected the game with his rebounding and defense.
- MISSING: Haminn Quaintance. He had a great first half. I don't remember even seeing him after halftime. From what I hear about his character, it doesn't surprise me he plays with effort when he feels like it.
- I really like Mike Scott. The junior forward is long, athletic and loves to hustle. That's the one player from Kent State I would want most on the Zips. Freshman forward Chris Singletary is going to be a good one, too.
- Did anyone else notice that Fox Sports Ohio was using the TV graphics and background sounds from ESPN's typical telecast? Can anyone explain why?
- Speaking of TV, I miss Michael Reghi, who did the commentary tonight. Here's a plea to Dan Gilbert: Fred McLeod is OK, but Reghi simply is Cavaliers basketball to me and many fans.
- The Zips will play Thursday at 7 p.m. in Cleveland. I'll have more on the game once the stats come out.