This courtesy of UA’s Gregg Bach on gozips.com:
The University of Akron men's basketball team's March 5 game against neighborhood rival Kent State at UA's Rhodes Arena, the regular-season finale for both squads, will be televised on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. ET, the UA Department of Athletics announced on Thursday.
The television assignment makes this the first time a Zips-Golden Flashes regular-season matchup will be available to a national audience. UA and KSU did face off on ESPN2 in the 2008 Mid-American Conference Tournament title game – a contest the Flashes claimed 74-55 (March 15, 2008).
"Playing this game in front of a national TV audience in a prime time slot is great for both programs and the league," sixth-year Akron head coach Keith Dambrot said. "This is a game that has a great college basketball atmosphere and usually has something more than just bragging rights riding on the outcome."
With their campuses located about 10 miles apart, six of the last seven UA-KSU matchups have taken place with either the Zips and/or the Golden Flashes being in first place or playing for first place in the league's East Division. The 2009-10 season marks the fifth straight in which the two teams will meet in the final game of the regular-season. Akron plays at Kent State's M.A.C Center on Jan. 23 as well.
The remainder of the league's TV basketball schedule, to include ESPNU and FS Ohio time slots, will be announced at a later date. The UA basketball program appeared on TV 12 times last season, including games carried by CBS, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN Regional.
Akron returns the bulk of its roster from last season (13 of 15 letterwinners), when it posted a 23-13 record (10-6 MAC), won its first-ever MAC Tournament championship and made its second-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first since 1986. Included in the group of returnees is leading scorer (11.2 ppg) and MAC Sixth Man of the Year, All-MAC Second Team and MAC All-Tournament Team selection junior forward Brett McKnight, a key reserve last season.
The Zips return four starters from last season: senior forward Chris McKnight, senior guard Darryl Roberts, sophomore guard Anthony "Humpty" Hitchens and sophomore forward Nikola Cvetinovic. The only starter lost was Nate Linhart, a four-year standout forward. Key reserves returning are: senior forward Jimmy Conyers, junior guard Steve McNees, junior center Mike Bardo and sophomore guards Brett McClanahan and Ronnie Steward.
The 2009-10 edition of the Zips also features highly-touted 7-foot freshman center Zeke Marshall. The consensus top-100 recruit and rival.com’s highest-ranked player to ever sign with a MAC school, boasts a 7-foot-5 wingspan. Marshall averaged 14 points, nine rebounds and eight blocked shots as a high school senior.
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