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Akron and Ohio win; will face off in MAC Tournament Championship Game for 3rd time in 4 years


Friday night saw the fans come out and support MAC basketball with more fans in attandance for the 2013 MAC Basketball Tournament's semifinals than in the previous two nights combined. With three of the conference's most popular teams in Northeast Ohio in action, Akron, Kent State and Ohio, the semifinal round on Friday night drew and announced attendance of over 10,000 fans; nearly double the previous two nights combined.

The action began in a renewal of the MAC's Northeast Ohio rivalry as #1 seed Akron faced #4 seed Kent State in the rubber match of their season series. The Zips bounced back from an early deficit and while they seemed in control at many points during the game, Kent State continued to battle throughout. In the end the defense of Akron proved to be the defference as the Zips held on for a 62-59 victory.

In the night game the #2 Ohio Bobcats built a 17 point lead by the half and held off Western Michigan's run in the second half for a 74-63 win. The 3rd seeded Broncos were able to take advantage of the foul calls to start the second half and chip away at the lead. However a pair of Walter Offutt three pointers killed WMU's momentum and extended Ohio's lead back to 8 as the Bobcats cruised to the victory.

The wins by Akron and Ohio means the two will face off in the MAC Championship Game for the 3rd time in 4 years with Ohio having won each of the previous two Championship Game match-ups. Akron returns to the MAC Championship Game for the 7th straight year having won twice - in 2009 over Buffalo and 2011 over Kent State. The 2013 MAC Basketball Championship Game will be televised live on ESPN2 on Saturday evening at 6:30 pm ET.


> Western Michigan, Kent St. advance to semifinals of 2013 MAC Tournament

> Buffalo, EMU advance on 1st day of 2013 MAC Tourney