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Bobcats Battle Akron For NCAA Tournament Berth

Offutt has averaged 13.9 ppg in seven postseason games with the Bobcats

March 16, 2013

Ohio vs. Akron MAC Final Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Listen Live | Live Stats | WatchESPN Link

The Last Meeting
February 27, 2013
Athens, Ohio
Ohio Drops Overtime Thriller to #24 Akron, 88-81
The Ohio University men's basketball team (20-8;11-2 MAC) fell 88-81 in overtime to Akron (23-4;13-0 MAC) Wednesday evening at the Convocation Center.

CLEVELAND, Ohio - 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.

The title game will be broadcast across the nation on ESPN2. Bob Wischusen will handle play-by-play duties while Stephen Bardo will provide color commentary. In addition, "Voice of the Bobcats" Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius will call the action live on the Ohio IMG Sports Network, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:00 p.m.

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.

Senior forward Reggie Keely (University Heights, Ohio) added 12 points and three rebounds.

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.

Scouting The Zips (25-6, 14-2)

The Bobcats and Zips will meet for the 69th time on the hardwood Saturday. The Green and White hold a 35-33 (.522) edge in the all-time series and have won five of the last eight meetings. Ohio and Akron first met during the 1911-12 season, with the Zips earning a 21-18 win in Athens.

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. Ohio has defeated Akron in the MAC Championship game in two of the past three seasons to earn an NCAA Tournament berth.

Akron has posted a 25-6 record this season and finished tied with Ohio for first place in the MAC East. Last time out, the top-seeded Zips defeated No. 4 Kent State, 62-59, on Friday (March 15) in the evening's first semifinal. Senior center Zeke Marshall led Akron with 18 pts, 10 rebounds and seven blocks.

Marshall ranks first on the team with 13.1 points per game and is fourth in the nation with 3.5 blocks per contest. Junior Demetrius Treadwell is Akron's leading rebounder (7.9 rpg) and also leads the Zips in assists (1.5 apg) in the absence of guard Alex Abreu. Head coach Keith Dambrot is in his ninth season at Akron, during which he's compiled a 209-93 (.692) record.