Much could be on the line Saturday when the University of Akron takes on Central Michigan — at least with respect to some glamour.
The Zips’ performance in that game could help decide whether they get one of 13 TV slots in ESPN’s BracketBusters weekend Feb. 17-19.
All 12 MAC teams will play a nonconference opponent in games meant to help improve positioning for postseason tournament invitations.
MAC officials are expected to participate in meetings with ESPN today and Sunday, according to conference sources.
Who would the Zips face?
Based on RPI rankings, the three likeliest are Iona, Oral Roberts and Davidson. They will play on the road.
The event will feature 142 teams from 16 conferences this year, the largest ever.
UA will soon learn whether hiring coach Terry Bowden to revive the football program will have an impact on season tickets, which went on sale this week.
The 2012 schedule features six home games at InfoCision Stadium, including four against Mid-American Conference opponents Buffalo, Miami (Ohio), UMass and Northern Illinois, as well as nonleague contests against Central Florida on Thursday, Aug. 30, and Morgan State on Saturday, Sept. 15. Dates for the MAC games will be announced by the first week of March.
Tickets can be ordered from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays by calling 888-992-5766 or visiting the ticket office at InfoCision Stadium at 375 E. Exchange St. at South Union. Season tickets also may be purchased online via GoZips.com/tickets starting at 9 a.m. today.
UA to honor 1972 team
The 1972 Division II basketball runner-up team will be recognized at halftime of the Zips game Feb. 4 against Eastern Michigan for the 40th anniversary of its accomplishment.
All 13 players from coach Wyatt Webb’s team will attend, including All-Americans Lenny Paul, Larry Jenkins and academic All-American Wil Schwarzinger. Webb’s widow, Barbara, and her family will also attend.
Track to Nebraska
The University of Akron track and field team will return to action Saturday at the Mark Colligan Memorial meet, hosted by the University of Nebraska at the Devaney Center Indoor Track in Lincoln, Neb. The one-day meet begins at 12:30 with field events, followed by running events at 1 p.m. Live scoring will be available online at Huskers.com. The Zips will compete against athletes from Georgia, Illinois and Michigan (women only).
The UA women’s basketball team broke even for the week, beating Ball State on the road last Saturday and falling to Northern Illinois on Wednesday. The women (9-12, 3-4) are at Eastern Michigan (13-7, 5-2) at 2 p.m. Saturday. … The Zips tennis team is off to a 2-0 start, beating Oakland and Michigan State. ... The swimming and diving team finishes its regular season today when it hosts Buffalo at Ocasek Natatorium. The meet starts at 4 p.m.
George M. Thomas can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Zips blog at http://zips.ohio.com. Follow the Zips on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeorgeThomasABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sports.abj.