It is a MAC conference showdown on friday night in the final between the Zips and the Golden Flashes. There is plenty to play for tonight for both teams so expect fireworks.
In-state rivals meet for the 131st time on Friday when Kent State Golden Flashes hosts Akron in the conference finale for both schools. The Golden Flashes have already clinched a share of the conference’s regular-season title at 11-4, and will claim the No. 1 seed in the MAC Tournament with a win. Akron needs a victory and an Ohio loss at Miami-Ohio to secure a first-round bye in next week’s conference tournament.
A win on Friday would also give the Akron Zips 20 wins for a school-record sixth straight season. The Zips are looking to quickly recover from Tuesday’s 80-55 blowout loss to Ohio, which snapped a seven-game win streak (both SU and ATS). They were dominated on the boards, 40-21, and allowed the Bobcats to shoot over 50% from the floor for the second time this year. Akron has not allowed another MAC opponent to shoot over 47% FG this season.
The Zips won the last meeting with Kent State, 65-52, on Jan. 8 in the conference opener for both teams. Zeke Marshall (8.7 PPG, 4.6 RPG) had 20 points and 11 rebounds in the win, while Brett McKnight (10.1 PPG) added 19 points. Marshall has not played well recently with almost as many fouls (20) as points (23) in his past six games. Nikola Cvetinovic leads Akron in points (12.4 PPG) and rebounds (7.0 RPG). He averaged 20.7 PPG and 7.0 RPG over a three-game stretch before scoring just eight points with two rebounds in the loss to Ohio.
Kent State Golden Flashes
Kent State has won three of its past four games including a 63-57 win at Bowling Green on Tuesday. Justin Greene (15.5 PPG, 8.3 RPG) had 12 points and 14 rebounds on Tuesday, while Michael Porrini (9.6 PPG, 4.2 APG) scored 13 points and dished out nine assists for the second straight game. Rodriquez Sherman (12.8 PPG) also had 13 against the Falcons and is averaging 15.9 PPG on 54% FG over his past seven games.
Sherman, who scored 19 points against Akron in the January meeting, is the only senior on the roster. He will be honored before his final home game Friday night as the only player in school history to play for three MAC Championship teams. A victory over Akron would make the Golden Flashes just the second team since 1963 to win consecutive MAC titles outright.
College Basketball Stats and Trends
These teams have been playing since the 1915-16 season with Kent State holding a 68-62 series advantage. The Flashes are 6-2 SU (7-1 ATS) against Akron in the past eight games and are 29-3 SU in the past 32 home meetings. Kent State is 14-2 SU (6-6 ATS) at home this season, outscoring opponents by 9.0 PPG and limiting them to 39% FG. KSU is also 10-5 ATS in conference play. Akron is 8-7 ATS in MAC games and 6-5 ATS on the road. The Flashes are just too good at home, especially in recent years versus Akron, to pick against them in a nationally-televised, senior night game. This contest will be close like most of these meetings, but Kent State will eventually pull away for the win and cover. The NCAA basketball betting trends provide two more reasons to back the Golden Flashes as the pick.
KENT STATE is 28-10 ATS (73.7%, +17.0 Units) revenging a road loss vs. opponent since 1997. The average score was KENT STATE 70.1, OPPONENT 62.2 - (Rating = 2*).
Play Against - A road team (AKRON) - after beating the spread by 48 or more points total in their last 10 games against opponent after going over the total by 54 or more points total in their last 10 games. (38-17 since 1997.) (69.1%, +19.3 units. Rating = 1*).
Although Kent State has played seven of its past eight games Over the total, this highly-rated FoxSheets trend leans towards the Under to occur.
KENT STATE is 9-1 UNDER (+7.9 Units) when the total is 130 to 139.5 this season. The average score was KENT ST 63.0, OPPONENT 66.4 - (Rating = 3*).