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CBI Preview: Akron Zips vs Green Bay Phoenix

Previewing Akrons 1st Round CBI game against Green Bay


Akron has lost many a heartbreaking MAC Championship games. Saturday it could add another to the list.

Steve McNees sank a three to send it to overtime but the 3 rd seeded Zips could not contain the Cinderella Bobcats in overtime. There would be no back-to-back NCAA tournament births for the Zips.

Instead, Akron heads to the third incarnation of the CBI. The Gazelle Group’s tournament features the unique best-of-three final format. 24-10 Akron will take on 21-12 Green Bay out of the Horizon League in a first round matchup in Akron.

Green Bay was also the third seed in its conference tournament. But the Phoenix suffered an early defeat to 7 th seeded Detroit. In that game, it was an absolute offensive breakdown. Green Bay shot just 37.7% from the field overall and was 3 of 16 from three.

The biggest win of the season for Green Bay came in an 88-84 overtime game against Wisconsin. Against MAC teams, the Phoenix are 1-1, a one-point overtime win at Kent State and a home loss to Buffalo.

Akron’s Horizon competition was Valparaiso, who it beat 77-57 and the 8-25 Illinois-Chicago Flames, who fell 77-65. Both of those teams finished behind Green Bay in the Horizon standings.


Junior guards Rahmon Fletcher and Bryquis Perine lead Green Bay. Fletcher is averaging 16.1 PPG and Perine 13.8 a game. Perine is a strong distributor with 4.2 assists per game and a 1.77 assist/turnover ratio. He has had an assist in all but one game this season. Troy Cotton shoots 40% from three and is on a roll in the last four games. Randy Berry is a strong rebounder who will matchup with Zeke Marshall and the McKnights inside.


Find a solid selection ofAkron Zips hats & merchandise in our Team Fan Shop and support Buffalo wherever you go.


Akron squeaked by Eastern and Western Michigan in the MAC Tournament, needing late heroics both times. Its good fortune ran out against Ohio but Akron is still a strong team. The Zips have a group of five or six players who can be the guy any given night. It could be Jimmy Conyers or the McKnights or McNees or Humpty Hitchens.

Green Bay is a weak defensive team and Akron should be able to capitalize. The Phoenix are 231 st in the country in field goal percentage defense. Akron is also a far better rebounding team and along with the defensive disparity, that should make the difference.

Prediction: Akron 75, Green Bay 63



By Connor Kiesel
VanDelay Sports Staff Writer
Published March 16, 2010