It seems like there is an abnormal amount of buzz in the community about tonight's game.
A lot of non-Zips fans are asking me about it. A lot of people were talking about it last night at the bars.
(That gave me the opportunity to start my first-ever "Kent State sucks" chant in a public place that's not Rhodes Arena. A Flashes fan responded by displaying the double-fisted bird.)
Here are some things to watch for tonight...
I have to admit I was wrong. I thought Kent State's rebuilding would be much rockier. Jim Christian is my MAC Coach of the Year for making it all work, despite some chemistry and discipline problems.
The Flashes may be as talented as the Zips. They lack experience, but you can definitely see how this rivalry will continue to flourish the next few seasons.
Earlier in the year, I said there would be four MAC games Akron would lose. Kent State, Miami, Ohio and Toledo was the list.
I need to amend that. I really think the Zips are ready to win a big road game. It's hard to say if this will even be a road game in terms of fan support, anyhow.
To win, Akron needs to close the spigot on Kent State's guard penetration. A zone defense might be appropriate, considering the Flashes aren't a great shooting team.
It should be an amazing game and serve as an appetizer for March Madness.
College basketball rules.
Prediction: Akron 70, Kent State 64