University of Akron Zips blog
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Keith Dambrot would be thrilled, I think, if the McKnight brothers enjoyed as much success as the Pollitz brothers have for Miami.
If you needed further proof this would be a low-scoring game. It's 4-4 after five minutes of action.
As you probably read in the quotes below, Wood wants another shot at KSU. As an Akron fan, I don't. I want to avoid the stronger team. In five years, people won't remember who you beat in the MAC Championship. The question will be, did you win it? Akron has handled Miami twice. Kent State has handled Akron twice. You judge who the more favorable matchup would be.
Sure, local bragging rights are nice. If Akron beats Miami in the championship, KSU fans can boast about beating the Zips twice. However, Akron fans can point to their MAC Championship.
Miami's Nick Winbush got rejected by the rim on a dunk attempt. I hope Charlie Coles isn't watching the game from the hospital like in "Major League II."
The PD's Elton Alexander looks spiffy tonight, wearing a sportjacket. An Akron fan heckled him earlier for picking KSU to win the tournament.
Akron assistant Terry Weigand is sitting three seats from me, presumably scouting the game. If you tried hard enough, you should be able find each coach in the stands somewhere.
Kent State's cheerleaders are performing in conjunction with Miami's cheerleaders. I don't think you'll see this tomorrow if Kent wins.
I can cross off another Akron coach off my "I Spy" list. Lamont Paris just walked by.
Wally Szczerbiak is in the house. He got a nice ovation from the crowd when he was on the big screen.
Kent's students are chanting "Akron sucks!" Akron students are responding. The MAC would be wise to separate these sections tomorrow. Fights might be inevitable either way.
By the way, Kent leads by four with 3:45 to play in the half.
Halftime score: Kent State 25, Miami 23
The WMU fans think they know what started the ruckus between Nate Linhart and a Broncos player. Supposedly Linhart was talking smack, then another player stepped in.
It was hard watch Joe Reitz cry during the press conference. I don't blame him one bit. He has been a heckuva player for four years. You can understand the disappointment of not reaching the NCAA Tournament during a great career.
Halftime stats of note: Tyler Dierkers leads both teams with 11 points and nine rebounds. Tim Pollitz has six points and three rebounds. KSU's Chris Singletary has the only impressive stat for his team with three steals. The teams are close in shooting percentage, rebounds and assists/turnovers.
Miami has the fifth-ranked dance team in the country. That begs the question, who the heck ranks them? Regardless, the choreography was dazzling. My only complaint is they used a techno version of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'." Some songs never should be altered.
I checked another coach off my "I Spy" list. Rick McFadden was walking around looking for Nick Dials.
Word is, Coles is in the building, possibly in a suite. My motivation to play 007 is not here tonight, or else I'd go on a mission to find him.
I just came my closest to participating in Division I basketball. During halftime warmups, I blocked a rebound from hitting my laptop. I whipped the ball back to Singletary.
Win or lose, Kent State's season is not over. The Flashes earned an invitation to the NIT through their MAC regular season title. If Akron loses tomorrow, I presume the Zips will be on the bubble between the NIT and CBI.
Kent's cheerleaders have the most annoying chant of all time: "Shoot two .. or three!"
Because of the late start, the ABJ's Stephanie Storm and Patrick McManamon will be on a tight deadline. A lot of times, the writer will have to pre-write the story, hoping for no drastic changes in the final minutes of the game.
That reminds me of a time I was covering a midget car race for the Indianapolis Star. Because of a plethora of caution flags, my deadline almost coincided with the checkered flag. I had my whole story written, ready to send once the race concluded. The leading cars made contact on the last lap and went through the finish line spinning. The stress of re-writing the story was intense. My shirt was soaked with sweat afterwards.
Oh yeah. Miami leads 31-29 with 15:29 to play.
The RedHawks are getting a lot of easy buckets. They are running screens for the big men and their guards are making nicely timed passes. Kent State could prevent it with a zone, but Jim Christian, like Dambrot, does not run many zones.
Kent State is picking up the defensive intensity.
Storm says there is no way Kent State makes the NCAA Tournament if it loses here. The Flashes went on a 6-0 run to make sure that's not a question. They lead 35-34 with 11:54 to play.
I get the feeling KSU is about to pull away. All it takes is a couple 3's. KSU's defense feeds off its offense. Miami seems to have some momentum, though.
In typical Michael Bramos fashion, the Miami guard waited until 9:21 left in the game to hit his first field goal. He's either the star or he's invisible. Miami is up 38-35.
If Miami wins, I hope someone pilfers ESPN's video footage of Penno's Prayer. You know they'll play it at least five times tomorrow.
Regardless of who wins, there will be great storylines for the journalists. Miami crushed Akron last year. Its coach left the team with heart problems. Kent State, on the other hand, would create a title game between cross-town rivals.
Tim Pollitz is dribbling way too much. He turned the ball over on the last possession and came close again just now.
The referees are using video replay to review a foul on Kenny Hayes. They reviewed it to see if Hayes was in the act of shooting. They determined he was shooting. Still, it's an odd way to use replay.
This is a great game. I'm glad I stayed. Best case scenario for Akron is a triple-overtime game. Miami will probably be spent either way.
Haminn Quaintance got hurt on a scuffle for the ball with Tim Pollitz. The refs are reviewing this play, too. This is a joke. Eric Pollitz had blood running down his ear after the play. He had to leave the game. Kent State leads 44-43 with 3:44 left.
I found out why fans chant "0.13" when Singletary is at the free-throw line. He was charged with OVI, and allegedly 0.13 was his blood-alcohol content.
The game is tied with 1:36 left. Kent State has the ball.
The teams traded baskets. Now there's 33 seconds left. The shot clock is off. Kent State has the ball. You can bet it's going to Al Fisher for dribble penetration.
Quote of the night: Adam Ferrise says, "It would be nice to see Miami go home on a buzzer beater, preferably a bank."
Fisher hit a runner in the lane. It's 49-47, Kent's lead. Miami will have 3.5 seconds to tie or win. Paging Doug Penno. Paging Doug Penno.
Kent State slapped the ball out of bounds at midcourt. That actually helps Miami because that's where they'll get the ball. I think they're reviewing how much time went off the clock there. It certainly wasn't 0.6 like they originally said. They corrected it to have 0.2 come off.
Tim Pollitz came off a screen and got a good look at a runner, but was short on the shot. Akron vs. Kent State is tomorrow at 7 p.m.
Final score -- Miami 47, Kent State 49
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