It should be interesting to watch how Akron responds from the emotional loss at Kent State.
Central Michigan is more than fodder. The Chippewas are a high-scoring, turnover-forcing team.
That's exactly how they blew out Michigan at Ann Arbor -- scoring 78 points and forcing 23 screw-ups.
Giordan Watson was in the middle of that, scoring 22 and grabbing three steals. With stats of 16.5 points, 4.3 assists and 1.76 steals per game, he is one of the MAC's best guards. Watson is in the MAC's top six in each category.
Last year, Akron did a good job defending Watson, who shot a combined 10-for-28 in the Zips' two victories.
Outside of Watson, the Chips' lineup has been in flux. Twelve players have started at least three games. The team also lacks consistency in the front court. Only two players average more than three rebounds per game -- and one is a swingman (Nate Minnoy). Minnoy has been cold since conference play began, shooting only 37 percent.
The game starts at 2:30 p.m. today and will be on Fox Sports Ohio.
Prediction -- After Kent State, Akron should not have a problem with motivation to beat this MAC West opponent. Combine that with the fact that the Zips are good at shutting down a team's star -- especially when that team is one-dimensional, like CMU is. The Zips are 6.5-point favorites, but I think that's five to 10 points off. The Chippewas have a chance to beat the spread (not win) if Steve McNees keeps up his Yinka Dare approach to offense management.
Akron 85, Central Michigan 67