Friday, February 15, 2013

Zipper Problems, Part II

So BG heads over to the JAR tomorrow for its first rematch of the season, this one against the University of Akron Zips.  Akron leads the MAC and is undefeated in conference play heading into the game.

I'm not going to recap the preview I did last time, because not much has changed.  You can go back and check it out.  Akron is a very, very good team that has now beaten BG in 16 out of the last 17 games played between the two teams.  Coming into the game at the Stroh, the Zips had won 11 straight overall and since the BG game they have beaten OU, CMU, @Miami and @EMU to make it a 16 game winning streak.

They have an RPI of 53 and a kenpom of 54.  There has been talk of whether they could get an at-large bid if the don't win at the Q, but at this point, there are not mentioned as being on anyone's bubble.  Perhaps a win in the Bracket Buster (North Dakota State at the JAR) will help their number, though they would have been better off getting a road assignment.

They are 12-0 at home this year and 39-4 over the past 3 seasons.

If you recall, the first game between the two teams resulted in a 13 point Zip win at the Stroh.  It was a game that prompted some soul searching on the BG sidelines, as the Falcons, in the words of Chauncey Orr, "retreated" in the face of the strong Zip challenge.  In that game, Akron had a huge advantage in shooting and that was pretty much the difference in the game.  BG even had a big lead in free throws and turnovers were even....Akron just shot the ball a lot better than BG did.

In that game, Zeke Marshall scored 15 points to lead the Zips.  Treadwell and Harney both had 10.  (Remember, no one plays big minutes for Akron, so no one racks up big numbers).  For BG, Chauncey Orr had 16 and Calhoun had an 11/11 double-double but shot 2 of 13 from the field.

Dambrot said something after the game like, if you can stop Calhoun and Crawford, you have stopped BG.  The Falcons will definitely need to get more people involved because Akron was determined not to give any chances to Calhoun inside.  It might help to move him out to mid-range, as BG did against WMU.  For the Falcons to pull off the improbable win at the JAR on Saturday, it isn't actually too complicated.

They are going to have to play their absolute best game on both ends of the floor, get contributions out of a lot of guys and get a couple breaks.  Akron is #2 in the MAC in scoring and scoring defense...they are deep and they are tough to beat.  On the other hand, someone loses a game like this every night and why shouldn't it be this one?

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