No. 1 Akron (25-6, 14-2 MAC) vs. No. 2 Ohio (24-8, 14-2 MAC)
6:30 p.m. ET • Ohio leads series 35-33
Watch LIVE on ESPN2
• The “Battle For The MAC” returns one final time in 2012-13, as the No. 2 seed Ohio University men’s basketball team (24-8, 14-2) takes on top-seeded Akron (25-6) in the MAC Tournament Final Saturday evening at Quicken Loans Arena.
• Ohio will play in its eighth MAC Championship game Saturday. The Bobcats are 6-1 all-time in the title game, while Akron is 2-4. Two of Ohio’s title game wins have come against the Zips (2010, 2012). The Bobcats are playing in the MAC Tournament Final for the third time in four seasons. The Bobcats are 10-1 (.909) in their past 11 MAC Tournament contests. Ohio has won two of the past three MAC Tournaments.
• The Bobcats advanced to the MAC Championship after defeating No. 3 seed Western Michigan, 74-63, on Friday (March 15) at Quicken Loans Arena. Senior guard D.J. Cooper (Chicago, Ill.) dazzled with 21 points (4-6 3pt FG) and 10 assists to record his sixth double-double of the season. Fellow senior guard Walter Offutt (Indianapolis, Ind.) added his second double-double of 2012-13 with 14 points and a career-best 11 rebounds in 32 minutes of action. Cooper continues to shine when the pressure is greatest. The Chicago, Ill., native has averaged 14.1 points and 7.0 assists per game in 10 career MAC Tournament games. Offutt has also been strong in the clutch, averaging 13.9 ppg while shooting 53.1 percent (34-64) in seven career post-season games at Ohio.
• Akron will be making their seventh-consecutive MAC Title Game appearance. The Zips, who are now two-up on Miami (Ohio)’s run of five-straight title game appearances (1997-2001). The Zips’ run is the second-longest active streak in the nation (Gonzaga, 16). This season, Akron won both meetings between the MAC East rivals. Last season, the `Cats upended the Zips, 64-63, in the MAC Championship game to advance to the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Akron has posted a 25-6 record this season and finished tied with Ohio for first place in the MAC East.
• Behind Zeke Marshall’s 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocked shots, top-seeded Akron defeated fourth-seeded Kent State on Friday night in the semifinal round of the FirstEnergy Mid-American Conference Tournament at Quicken Loans Arena. Marshall shot 7-of-11 from the field, including making his only attempt from behind the 3-point arc. He also went 3-for-6 from the foul line. Demetrius “Tree” Treadwell tallied 14 points and 12 rebounds and four assists for UA, while Nick Harney scored 11 points on the strength of a 4-for-4 showing from the floor. Harney also had four assists as the Zips had 16 dishes on 22 made field goals.