CLEVELAND— It will be the sixth straight time that the University of Akron (22-10) will be in the Mid-American Conference championship game. The Zips knocked off arch rival Kent State 78-74 in the conference semi-finals. Tournament time is what coach Keith Dambrot has his Akron team ready for year in and year out.
The game was as exciting as last year’s overtime final when the Zips nipped Kent State 65-66. Quicken Loans Arena was full, jumping with excitement and energized as the game come down to the wire.
Akron senior Nikola Cvetinovic scored 15 points and Alex Abreu (Puerto Rico) made two important free throws with 15 seconds left that gave Akron the win. Cvetinovic, a 6’8” Serbian National was a steady force throughout the game.
The Golden Flashes (21-11) made a late rally and Randall Holt finished with 21 and Justin Greene had 20 but the late free throw prowess of Akron saved the game.
Akron will play Ohio for the MAC Championship. Ohio beat Buffalo in the other semi-final, 77-74. The winner will advance to the NCAA tournament.