The University of Akron men’s basketball team made something of a national splash last week with the dustup concerning its new uniforms. The NCAA didn’t see the fun in placing a Twitter handle (@ZipsMBB) on the back of the jerseys.
By the weekend, all of that had faded, the Zips providing a more compelling reason for attention. A victory over Ohio University, in a battle of the unbeatens within the Mid-American Conference, extended the Zips winning streak to 13 games, longest in the country. The win also carried the sweet taste of avenging that narrow loss to Ohio in the conference title game last season, the victor landing the coveted spot in the NCAA tournament.
Winning streaks are part of the Coach Keith Dambrot era, the team invariably steadying itself, and then reaching new heights. Add this season a formidable front line, timely outside shooting, along with the usual aggressive defense, and it hardly surprises the play of the Zips has slipped into the national conversation.
All of it resulted in a noisy and packed Rhodes Arena early Saturday evening. That is as it should be, even this evening, at midweek, the Zips facing visiting Central Michigan. Next, imagine the home court advantage if an amply filled student section was moved courtside, along the sideline as other schools have done. Fear the Roo, you say?