While the seedings may not show it, the two best teams in the Mid-American Conference will battle it out for the 2011 MAC Tournament Championship and an automatic bid in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Kent State and Akron have been staples in the MAC Tournament for years - this is the 5th title game in a row for the Zips - and are the most complete teams in the MAC.
Akron once again used a big 1st half to get past #2-seed Western Michigan in the Semi-finals 79-68. Quincy Diggs scored 18 points to lead the Zips.
WMU (20-12) was paced by Demetrius Ward, who scored a game-high 22 points in a losing effort. Mike Douglas also got involved, netting 11 points for the Broncos, while Flenard Whitfield tallied nine points and 10 rebounds and Nate Hutcheson grabbed 12 boards.
Akron got off to a fast start, shooting 50 percent from the floor in the first half, to take a 41-27 lead at the break.
The Zips put the game away in the second stanza, knocking down 14-of-19 free- throw attempts, en route to an 11-point victory.
The Akron bench proved to be the difference in this contest, outscoring the Broncos' reserves 27-12 in the win.
Kent State used a big second half to get past Ball State in yesterday's late game. Justin Greene's double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds led the top-seeded Kent State Golden Flashes past the fourth- seeded Ball State Cardinals, 79-68, in a Mid-American Conference Tournament semifinal matchup from Quicken Loans Arena.
Michael Porrini scored 15 points and grabbed nine boards for Kent State (23-10), which earned a date with sixth-seeded Akron in the tournament championship. Rodriguez Sherman added 13 points for the Golden Flashes, while Carlton Guyton and Justin Manns added 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Both teams were hot early, as the first half saw Kent State shoot 60 percent from the field and Ball State shoot 56 percent from the field. The Golden Flashes attempted 10 more field goals than the Cardinals, however, to take a 48-43 lead into the break.
After intermission, Kent State applied pressure defensively, holding the Cardinals to just 32.1 percent shooting to earn the win.
The Golden Flashes never did cool off, shooting an efficient 55.4 percent from the field for the game.