You didn't think I lost my marbles, did you? No, I have not been hanging out with Doug Martin. Of course I think Akron will beat Kent. Here are five reasons why...
1) The atmosphere -- You're going to see close to 6,000 people in white, creating the most unique basketball climate that Akron has ever seen. They will be loud and they will be rowdy.
2) A different Zips team -- Akron has gone 9-2 since losing at Kent State. Over the years, Akron has hit cold spells where the team can't score. Akron has improved in limiting these stretches, like the 19-0 one that spoiled the Zips' chances at the M.A.C. Center.
3) Zeke's coming out party -- Zeke Marshall says he plays his best in big games. Keith Dambrot seems to agree, saying that Marshall's main problem has been losing interest and/or not showing enough emotion. This is his first "big" game. He will respond accordingly. Given the crowd's infatuation with the 7-footer, just one big-time block can shift momentum in Akron's favor.
4) Behind the arc -- Akron is capable of piling on points very quickly. The Zips are better than Kent State in both 3-point shooting and 3-point defense. Steve McNees, Darryl Roberts and Humpty Hitchens will be launching 3s if they sense blood in the water. At home, you have more freedom to take risks, knowing that it's easier for the home team to shift the momentum back. Akron wants nothing more than a double-digit lead at halftime.
5) McKnight and McDay -- Dambrot is absolutely right when he says his team is best when the McKnights play well. Since scoring only two points at Kent State, Brett McKnight has averaged 11.5 points per game. Chris McKnight also has averaged double-figures and more than five rebounds since Jan. 23. Considering it's Chris' final home game, we are likely to see the brothers come out strong.