The Zips announced their 14-game nonconference schedule.
It includes home games against Temple and Wyoming, trips to Dayton and Winthrop and a three-game tournament in Alaska.
For the second-straight year, it does not include any big boys. Some people think it's worthless to play an ACC or Big 10 team on the road. I disagree. I think even a loss accomplishes important objectives, such as learning to play in a hostile environment, which the Zips will have to do during league play at Ohio and Kent State. I see it as a win-win situation, because even if you get your brains beat in, it's good to have your weaknesses exposed early in the season, rather than later. Also, it obviously improves your strength of schedule.
That said, Akron's schedule isn't all bad. I love the deals with Winthrop and Dayton. Playing eight home games almost guarantees Keith Dambrot his third-straight 20-win season. The favorable draw in the Top of the World Classic prevents the possibilty that the Zips are rusty in the opener, like against Arkansas-Little Rock last season.
The schedule strength isn't where it needs to be for at-large consideration. But the MAC is a one-bid league, so the season easily could come down to another Cedrick Middleton free throw.