The time has come. Last year, Akron lost to Western Michigan in the quarterfinals of the MAC Tournament.
This year should be different. I have 26 reasons why. However, you will have to pick up a copy of the Buchtelite to see that list. I forgot to e-mail myself the PDF, and it's not on the Buchtelite's Web site.
- Mike Hixenbaugh's MAC preview is. He gives outlooks for each team.
- He also spoke with coach Keith Dambrot, who said Akron is further along offensively and defensively this year.
- Do you remember how I said the Zips have a cakewalk to the finals, at least when compared to Kent State's path? Coach Dambrot wishes to differ. After reading that on my blog, he told Hixenbaugh that I should never write that. I guess I should be glad Dambrot isn't overlooking any team in the tournament.
- Those crazy Outsiders also debated whether next year's team will be better than this year's.
- My favorite sports journalist, Terry Pluto, wrote an interesting feature about Dambrot. It talks about the coach's past and future.
- Here is Tom Gaffney's overview of the four quarterfinals games for today.
- Here is Gaffney's Akron-Western Michigan preview.
- The MAC announced its player and coach of the year. I am disappointed to report that Kent State's Jim Christian won the coach award. Kent State guard DeAndre Haynes won the player award. Just blame the liberal media; MAC team writers voted on the winners.
- As expected, Romeo Travis earned All-MAC First Team honors. Dru Joyce won honorable mention (he deserved at least second team).
- The Plain Dealer's Elton Alexander wrote that the MAC semifinal games likely will be on TV, but probably on satellite or cable.
- ESPN.com's Kyle Whelliston previewed the tournament. He says it will come down to Kent State and Akron. Surprise! However, he does drop a "Fear the Roo" on Kent State.
- Dan Whitmyer of VanDelaySports.com previewed the game. He says Akron needs to stay out of foul trouble and have good ball movement. I couldn't agree more.
- Here is the preview from the Detroit Free Press.
- Here is the preview from GoZips.com.
- Danny Sheridan of USA Today says Akron is an 11-point favorite.
- Other oddsmakers say the spread is either 10 or 11.
Hixenbaugh also wrote about Natalie Sako, John Russell and Tomasz Smialek, who are going to the NCAA Championships this weekend.
It's too bad that the basketball tournament is the same weekend as this event.
Swimming and diving
Lastly, the Buchtelite's Andrew Adam wrote about two divers, Melissa Holbach and Katie Carter, who will compete in the NCAA Zone Diving Meet this weekend.