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Kent State Golden Flashes vs. Akron Zips February 3 Betting Preview
The game of the year in the MAC could be taking place on Friday night, as the Kent State Golden Flashes take on the Akron Zips. These teams are tied at the top of the conference standings at 8-1 in league play thus far, and a win here would be a big statement from either side. With both teams being among the best defensive squads in the country, this game could be a low-scoring affair, but an entertaining one nonetheless.
Kent State Golden Flashes
The Kent State Golden Flashes have won two straight games after dropping their first conference game of the season to Northern Illinois.
Those wins came against Buffalo and Central Michigan, with both of those wins coming at home. Now Kent State heads back on the road to play one of their most important games of the season, one that could decide where they land in the MAC standings at the end of the season.
Kent State is led by point guard Sincere Carry, who is averaging 17.1 points and 5.0 assists per game for the Golden Flashes. His outside shooting has the potential to flip this game in Kent State’s favor, but that shooting has been inconsistent. How he performs could decide not just this game, but the MAC regular season title as well.
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The Akron Zips have been on fire as of late, winning seven games in a row going into this marquee matchup on Friday. They started their conference campaign at 1-1, but those seven straight wins have put them in a tie for first place at 8-1 in MAC play. Now, they hope that their star can outplay the star of the Golden Flashes to earn a leg up on the rest of the conference in the final month of the regular season.
Xavier Castaneda is that star for Akron, entering this game at 20.9 points per game and leading the pack in the conference player of the year race. But he could see those numbers slip against a Kent State team that is arguably the best defense in the conference along with the Zips.
Castaneda is similar to Carry, in that he scores and shoots at a high volume, and a more efficient performance than usual may be needed here.
Keys To The Game
The defense that plays the best in this game will give its team a significant leg up on the competition on Friday night. Kent State is averaging over nine assists per game this year, and their ability to get into passing lanes could be the difference maker in this contest. At the same time, the team that does the best job taking care of the ball could come away with this one instead.
Rebounding will also be the key to this game for both teams. These squads are separated by one rebound per game this season, and we could see a very evenly matched contest on the glass. But the team that wins that battle could very well win the war here.
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