Akron made more than 60 percent of its shots and committed only nine turnovers in a 80-77 win at Ohio.
"Our guys never cease to amaze me," Keith Dambrot said. "Every play we ran in crunch time worked. We won in two places that are two very difficult places to win (Miami)."
Akron won despite grabbing only half the rebounds that Ohio did (28 to 14). Jerome Tillman scored 18 with nine rebounds. Leon Williams, the Bobcats' other post power, scored 23.
The Zips countered with 19 points each from Cedrick Middleton and Jeremiah Wood.
"We had a hard time with their size and strength, but we shot 60 percent from the field and only turned the ball over nine times. When you do that, you have a chance," Dambrot said.
In other MAC action, Kent State won and Western Michigan lost. That means Akron certainly will be the No. 3 seed. It also means the Zips will win a share of the MAC regular season title by beating Kent State Sunday.
"For four years, we've gone to the last week of the season with a chance to win the MAC Championship," Dambrot said. "I would like nothing more than this team, which has gone through so much adversity, to have that chance."
Ohio had not lost at home in more than a year. Bubba Walther scored the Bobcats' last 13 points and 22 total. Chris McKnight and Wood combined to go 13-for-13 from the field. McKnight had 13 points.