Preview: Bowling Green vs. Akron
These two MAC foes will square off in an important game on Tuesday
- We have a battle for conference supremacy in the midwest, as the Akron Zips go on the road to take on the Bowling Green Falcons.
- Our model has gone 77-27 (74.04%) across all Akron bets this season!
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- These are the two best teams in the MAC and the winner will have a leg up in conference tournament seeding.
- For more information on this game, see our Akron vs. Bowling Green prediction below.
The Akron Zips are the hottest team in the MAC. Akron has gone on a five-game winning streak that has allowed them to take the lead in the Mid-American Conference. They have an overall record of 21-6 and a conference record of 11-3. The Zips began the season strong, going 10-3 in their non-conference schedule. They weren't able to get a big signature non-conference win, but they beat the teams they were supposed to beat. Their three out-of-conference losses were to West Virginia (94-84), Louisville (82-76), and Liberty (80-67). Louisville and West Virginia are currently ranked in the Top 25, and Liberty is 22-3, so it's difficult to say Akron had any bad losses out-of-conference.
They began conference play by winning their first 4 games vs. MAC opponents. Their season then hit a few stumbling blocks as they would lose 3 out of their next 5 games. Akron lost to Toledo, Buffalo, and Kent State all within the span of 2 weeks. Since then, the Zips have reeled off wins over Eastern Michigan, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, and Miami (OH). Akron is the most well-balanced team in the MAC, ranking in the MAC's top five in scoring offense and scoring defense. The Zips are the only team in the conference that can make that claim.
Akron is led by 5'8'' point guard Loren Jackson. He averages 19.1 points and 4.6 assists per game. Jackson ranks in the top four in both categories in the Mid-American Conference. Similarly, guard Tyler Cheese ranks in the top 10 in both categories, averaging 16.1 points and 3.2 assists per game. Senior forward Xeyrius Williams ranks 3rd in the MAC with 9.4 rebounds, while also contributing 13.8 points per game. If this Akron team can win out, they would clinch a potential spot in the NIT (at worst) and cement themselves as the #1 seed in the upcoming MAC tournament.
The Bowling Green Falcons are looking to reclaim the outright top spot in the MAC in this meeting. Bowling Green had the lead in the Mid-American Conference for most of the season. In their first nine conference games, they went 8-1 and had the best record in the conference. However, recent road losses to Central Michigan and Akron have put them in tie for 1st with the Zips. Because of their 15-point loss at Akron two weeks ago, the Zips are currently in the driver's seat for the MAC's No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.
The Falcons have an overall record of 20-7 and a conference record of 11-3. Like Akron, Bowling Green will probably need to win their conference tournament in order to make the NCAA Tournament. The MAC doesn't have a lot of nationally respected teams and Bowling Green doesn't have the type of resume that gets the attention of the selection committee. The Falcons do have a 91-84 overtime win over Cincinnati in their pocket but it isn't enough to offset losses to Norfolk State, Quinnipiac, and Central Michigan. A win over the Zips in this rematch would put them back in firm control of the MAC's regular-season championship.
Bowling Green is led by Justin Turner, Dylan Frye, and Daegwon Plowden. Guard Justin Turner scores 19.0 points per game, the 4th-highest mark in the Mid-American Conference. Turner also ranks 9th in the conference with 1.4 steals per game. His backcourt mate, Dylan Frye, averages 13.5 points and 4.0 assists per game. Frye is 5th in the conference in assists. Daegwon Plowden averages 12.5 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Plowden, a 6'6'' guard, ranks 6th in the Mid-American conference in rebounding.
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