Every year, there are No. 4 seeds that appear ripe for the picking. On the other hand, there usually are No. 4 seeds that have just as much talent as the boys at the top. Akron stumbled into the backyard of one of them, fought them punch-for-punch, but eventually succumbed.
If there was ever a loss where Keith Dambrot doesn't have to read negative comments, it should be this one. The Zips were like the little brother who made enough shots to give the older brother a scare in the driveway. Eventually, size, experience and skill became too much for the underdog.
Congratulations to this Nate Linhart-led team, which broke new ground for the program and refused to be satisfied with just seeing its name on the bracket. If you still don't comprehend what Linhart has meant to this team, you have chosen not to. The postseason also revealed the next generation of Zips leaders: Chris McKnight, Brett McKnight, Steve McNees and Humpty Hitchens.
Indeed, the program is in great hands, even without adding a monster shot blocker next season.