Kent State - Akron
Separated by just 14 miles, No. 1 seed Kent State (23-10) and No. 6 seed Akron (22-12) bring the biggest rivalry in the Mid-American Conference to the national spotlight with a NCAA Tournament berth on the line as the two meet in the MAC Tournament Championship game tonight, Saturday, March 12, at 6 p.m.
The 2011 MAC Player of the Year, junior forward Justin Greene helped advanced the Golden Flashes past the semifinal round scoring 20 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in a 79-68 victory over No. 4 seed Ball State. The double-double was the fifth straight and 13th of the year for Greene who is the only player in the league this season ranked top seven in scoring (7th; 15.7 ppg), rebounds (2nd; 8.5 rpg) and blocked shots (5th; 1.5 bpg). Junior guard Michael Porrini, the 2011 MAC Defensive Player of the Year has been all over the floor for Kent State during the MAC Tournament. After racking up 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in the semifinals, the 6’2” Porrini is averaging 14.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 3.0 steals in the two tournament wins.
The No. 6 seed, Akron advanced to the championship game with a 79-68 win over Western Michigan Friday night. Quincy Diggs came off the bench to score 18 points in the game while Nikola Cvetinovic leads the team with 12.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.
TV / Radio
- ESPN2 (Bob Wischusen & Stephen Bardo)
- WNIR 100.1 FM (Ty Linder & Dave Carducci)
Next Up For Kent State
With a win the Golden Flashes will head to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in school history.
- Kent State has won five MAC Tournament titles (1999, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2008)
- Kent State is 11-1 all-time as the No. 1 seed in the MAC Tournament.
- Justin Greene has had a double-double in five straight games (13 on the year) and is averaging 11.0 rpg in the last eight games.
- Since Feb. 1 (12 games) KSU’s only senior, Rodriquez Sherman is averaging a team best 15.4 ppg. His numbers include 9.2 ppg and a 60.9 percent (42-69) field goal percentage in the second half alone.
- Kent State is averaging 77.1 ppg in its last 10 games vs MAC opponents.
- Kent State is averaging 44.7 points in the paint in the last three games (50 vs Ball State). The Golden Flashes have scored over 30 points in the paint in 15 straight games and are 21-4 when scoring 30+ this season.
- The first team to score 60 points in the Kent State-Akron rivalry has won 24 of the last 25 games in the series.
- Of Kent State’s 10 losses this season only four have come to team’s ranked out of the RPI top 100 and none have been to a team lower than 167.
- Kent State is the only team in the MAC with five players averaging more than nine points per game (Greene, Sherman, Guyton, Holt, Porrini).
- Kent State is the first MAC team in 21 years and just the second in the last 48 years to win back-to-back regular season titles outright.
- Against MAC competition this season Rodriquez Sherman has given Kent State a +129 advantage in points scored when he is on the court. An average of 7.2 ppg.
- Kent State leads the MAC in field goal percentage defense at 41.6 percent. The Golden Flashes are also first in 3-pt field goal percentage defense at 31.2 percent.
- Kent State leads the all-time series 69-62.
- This is the fourth meeting in the MAC tournament with the Golden Flashes holding a 2-1 edge.
- The two teams split the regular season this year with each defending their home court.
- This is the first time the two teams are meeting in a rubber match.
- Kent State has won seven of the last nine meetings.
- The 69 wins are the most for Kent State against any opponent.
Justin Greene posted his fifth straight double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead five players in double figures. Junior guard Michael Porrini just missed his second straight double-double with 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
A match-up of two of the top defensive teams in the league was anything but in the first half as the teams combined for 91 points in the first 20 minutes action. Kent State shot 60 percent (21-35) from the field in the period to help build a 48-43 lead at halftime.
The second half was almost a mirror opposite as the Golden Flashes shot just 4-13 (31 percent) and the Cardinals 3-11 (27 percent) in the first eight minutes of the stanza. Ball State would twice pulled within a single point mid-way through the half, but Kent State answered with a jumper from junior Carlton Guyton and then a lay-up from senior guard Rodriquez Sherman as the Golden Flashes never relinquished the lead.
- Visit the men's basketball section of Kent State's Intercollegiate Athletics Department website for more information about the team.
- Visit the women's basketball section of Kent State's Intercollegiate Athletics Department website for more information about the team.
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