Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

Miami men’s basketball looking to upset the University of Akron Zips in the MAC Tournament

Anderson Mirambeaux led Miami with 19 points in a victory against Akron in the regular season
Anderson Mirambeaux led Miami with 19 points in a victory against Akron in the regular season

The MAC tournament officially kicks off this Thursday, and the Miami University RedHawks (15-16, 9-9 in MAC play) will take on the University of Akron Zips (21-10, 13-5 in MAC play) in the opening round. The game is set to tip off at 4 p.m. on ESPN+.

The RedHawks are coming off of a 72-59 loss at the hands of the Ohio University Bobcats at Millett. Leading the scoring output for Miami was senior center Anderson Mirambeaux with 13 points and first-year guard Eian Elmer with 12. Elmer also contributed seven rebounds and three blocks.

For the Zips, they are coming off a tough two game losing streak to two non-qualifying teams in the Eastern Michigan University Eagles, and most recently to the Western Michigan University Broncos. In the matchup against the Broncos, senior guard Greg Tribble led the Zips in scoring with 18 points, followed up by 17 from senior guard Ali Ali.

On the year, Akron gets most of their production from senior forward Enrique Freeman, who leads the team in points per game (18.1), rebounds per game (12.8) and blocks per game (1.5). Freeman’s rebounding numbers are good enough for first in all of college basketball.

The RedHawks last met the Zips in Oxford in January, where Miami pulled off a massive upset to defeat Akron 70-68. Mirambeaux once again led the RedHawks in scoring with 19 points, while Elmer and senior guard Darweshi Hunter both scored 13. Hunter also nailed the go-ahead basket with a second to go to put Miami up for good. 

For Akron, Ali scored 23 points, while Freeman scored 18. The defeat was their first conference loss of the season after starting off 7-0.

The first time these two teams met was over 100 years ago, in 1915. Since then, the RedHawks hold a 33-37 all-time record against the Zips, including 2-8 over the last 10. Miami’s win against Akron in February broke a five year losing streak.

The RedHawks will enter the contest with a 14.1% chance of winning, according to ESPN analytics. However, given the outcome of their last matchup, as well as Akron’s latest skid, an upset is certainly in the cards for Miami, making way for an exciting dose of March Madness.


Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter