- The Kent State Golden Flash and Akron Zips clash on Saturday in the MAC Tournament final
- Kent State has won 14 straight, while the Zips earned their trip to the final with an upset win over top-seeded Toledo
- Read on for all the odds and trends ahead of Saturday night’s matchup at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse
The Mid-American Conference (MAC) Tournament title and a berth at this year’s NCAA Tournament will be on the line on Saturday night, when the Kent State Golden Flash take on the Akron Zips in the tournament final at 7:30pm ET at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland.
Akron Zips vs Kent State Golden Flash Odds
|Akron Zips||+2 (-110)||Ov 124.5 (-110)||+108|
|Kent State Golden Flash||-2 (-110)||Un 124.5 (-110)||-130|
*Odds at DraftKings as of March 12, 2022.
After extending their current straight-up win streak to 14 games with a 67-61 win over Ohio in Friday’s semi-final action, the Golden Flash is perched as slim 2-point favorites in their bid to return to claim their first MAC Tournament title since 2017.
Losers to Kent State in their last tournament final appearance, five years ago, the Zips are pegged as +108 moneyline underdogs in Saturday’s contest after tallying a 70-62 upset victory over top-seeded Toledo in semi-final action.
Zips vs Golden Flash Betting Trends
Saturday night’s matchup marks the third meeting of the season between these conference rivals and their first March clash in two years. Kent State swept the season series, racking up a pair of SU and against the spread wins, capped by a narrow 66-64 victory as 2.5-point road underdogs back on February 11.
The Golden Flash’s success this season marks a dramatic turnaround after falling defeat in five of their previous seven dates with Akron. Kent State has also faced the Zips in the tournament final on three previous occasions since 2008, claiming victory on two occasions, capped by their 70-65 win in 2017. Low scoring has been a historical theme when these teams meet.
These two clubs have combined to score over 130 points just once during a 4-0-0 run for the UNDER, which has also paid out in 19 of their past 22 clashes.
Akron Zips Outlook
Pegged as the No. 4 seeds in this year’s tournament, the Zips have been red-hot since getting past a three-game losing streak in conference play during the month of February. Akron has won seven straight since and has shown exceptional character in their most recent outings.
ZIPS WIN! @ZipsMBB advances to the title game of the @MACSports MBB Tournament with a 70-62 victory over top-seeded Toledo. The Zips will battle the winner of the No. 2 Kent St./No. 3 Ohio game on Saturday at 7:30 pm on ESPN2 for an NCAA berth#GoZips 🦘 #1Akron | #FindAWay pic.twitter.com/cQy4RQV1WJ
— Akron Zips MBB (@ZipsMBB) March 12, 2022
The squad mounted an impressive second-half comeback on their way to a 57-56 win over Central Michigan in their season finale, which also assured them of a fourth-place finish. The Zips also held off a late rally by the rival Buffalo Bulls to claim a 70-68 quarter-final, and never trailed in Friday’s upset win over the Rockets that clinched their berth in the final.
— Tyler Carey (@TC_CLE) March 11, 2022
Sophomore big man Ali Ali led the attack throughout the season, posting a team-best 14.2 points and 2.6 assists per game. However, it has been Xavier Castaneda that has risen to the occasion down the stretch. The junior guard piled up 26 points in Friday’s win and has averaged 20 points over his past four outings.
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Kent State Golden Flash Outlook
Since overcoming early-season struggles, the Golden Flash have emerged as one of the hottest teams in the nation while winning 14 straight. Kent State shooters have regularly run up the score during the team’s hot streak, averaging 76.7 points per game. That scoring prowess has been key to the squad’s current 13-2-2 ATS run.
Kent State beats Ohio 67-61 and will play Akron in the MAC Championship Game for a spot in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday night. pic.twitter.com/pAQdub0dhh
— Shawn Dunagan (@shawndunagan) March 12, 2022
However, it has been a stingy defense that has set this team apart. Kent State has limited opponents to fewer than 70 points in nine of their recent 14 wins, a run that has vaulted them to No. 95 in adjusted defensive efficiency at Kenpom.
— TV2 Sports (@TV2KSUsports) March 12, 2022
Sincere Carry has led the Golden Flash offense throughout the season. The junior guard leads all shooters by a wide margin with 18.6 points per game and has also tallied a team-best 4.9 helpers. But it has been Malique Jacobs who has been the difference-maker at this season’s tournament.
The junior guard has been the top scorer in both tournament outings, recording back-to-back double-doubles, capped by a 19-point, 10-rebound performance in Friday’s victory.
Zips vs Golden Flash Prediction
Kent State has owned the Zips, both in recent regular-season action and on the tournament stage. Look for that trend to continue with a decisive win on Saturday night.
The Picks: Golden Flash -2 (-110); OVER 124.5 (-110)
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