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VinceTheRoundballWriter

What is the Greatest Moment in Akron Men's Basketball History?

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Hi Zips Fans,

I am writing a comprehensive book entitled, “Moments of Glory:  The Greatest Moments in Every Division I Team's College Basketball History” – and I need your help!

 

In a posted response on this thread, can you describe your choice for Akron’s most glorious moment in their College Basketball history??? A “moment” can be a special, memorable play, game or season from the team’s past, or even a super-human individual performance by a player. Please be sure to consider any vintage moments that go back to the early days of Zips basketball, as well as more recent moments that you think qualify as “momentous”.

 

You can as brief or as detailed in your response as you want to be. Every response counts ….. so I’d love to you hear from each of you! Thanks for your input!!!

 

Let’s Go Zips,

 

Vince the Roundball Writer

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Maybe not the greatest moment, but my favorite was Zeke Marshall swatting a KSU player into next year to clinch the MAC championship game. My Zips fandom only goes back to 2007, so perhaps others can share pre-2007 moments. There's a clip floating around youtube of it somewhere.

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Vince,  

 

Let me at least recap the 4 D-I years during which we won titles, and made the Big Dance, and see if anyone wants to elaborate on any of them.

 

1) 1986 (Ohio Valley) - Came out of nowhere to capture the regular season title, and hosted the OVC Tournament the following weekend in our fairly new arena, and won the title.

2) 2009 (MAC) - Made our 3rd straight appearance in the title game in Cleveland, and won as the #5 seed, after surviving an overtime at home in the first round, including two last second baskets in regulation and overtime.

3) 2011 (MAC) - Made our 5th straight appearance in the title game in Cleveland, and won as the #6 seed, defeating nemesis and #1 seed Kent State in overtime.  This tournament included a double overtime win in the quarterfinals over Miami (OH).

4) 2013 (MAC) - Made our 7th straight appearance in the title game in Cleveland, and blew out Ohio University in the title game.  That season was highlighted by a 19-game winning streak to make us the #1 seed in the tournament.    

Edited by skip-zip

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1.  Zips beating Kant in overtime to win the MAC tournament and then not knowing a fight broke out until I came home from the Q and watched the replay of the game.

 

2.  After Carlos Medlock drained the 3 for EMU, Steve McNees drove the floor and swished a three falling backwards to tie the game.  I watched the end game on STO and was stunned.

 

3.  Waiting to leave for a co-workers going away party until the the Akron/Miami triple (or was it double) OT MAC Tourney game was over.  I never made it.  If I recall, almost our entire first string had fouled out.

Edited by NWAkron
Typo

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This is an easy one for me: Jimmal Ball in his freshman year dropping in shots from everywhere on the court versus Xavier at the JAR.  The back and forth big shots in that OT game defined college sports excitement.  That was the day this guy became a Zips fan for life.

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The University of Akron Men's Basketball team comes back from a 12-point deficit to win their first round game in the MAC Tournament against Toledo in overtime. Humpty Hitchens nails a three at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime. After a miracle shot by Toledo, Brett McKnight tips the ball in from an inbounds pass by Hitchens.  An amazing game that I was sure we had lost at least 3 times.

 

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7 hours ago, zippypitt said:

This is an easy one for me: Jimmal Ball in his freshman year dropping in shots from everywhere on the court versus Xavier at the JAR.  The back and forth big shots in that OT game defined college sports excitement.  That was the day this guy became a Zips fan for life.

 

It was TRIPLE overtime.  

 

5 hours ago, 1981 grad said:

The University of Akron Men's Basketball team comes back from a 12-point deficit to win their first round game in the MAC Tournament against Toledo in overtime. Humpty Hitchens nails a three at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime. After a miracle shot by Toledo, Brett McKnight tips the ball in from an inbounds pass by Hitchens.  An amazing game that I was sure we had lost at least 3 times.

 

 

This was the first round game at home during the our first MAC tournament win in 2009 that I referenced above.  Brett's basket was actually a catch-and-shoot in the paint, all in one motion.  It was a pretty unbelievable play.  The audio of Steve French's call on those two plays is classic.  

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I still think my favorite JAR game was the Cleveland State matchup in December 1986.  Both teams had just come off of NCAA tournaments, and both teams returned most of their arsenals.  We won in overtime, in the most packed JAR I have ever seen.  The students packed the bleachers on the West side while the Girls game was still being played beforehand.  By the time the game started, they began letting people sit on the stairs.  Then, they started letting them sit in front of the glass on the walking track.  I don't remember any of us in those West stands sitting down the entire game.  

 

I've also gotten some clarity on the ongoing debate about whether that Cleveland State team was ranked.  They WERE ranked at the start of that season (#20 AP), but had a loss against Memphis that knocked them out of the rankings before they came to the JAR.

 

This source finally provided that info. for me.

 http://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/schools/cleveland-state/1987-schedule.html

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On Saturday, December 03, 2016 at 1:05 AM, 1981 grad said:

The University of Akron Men's Basketball team comes back from a 12-point deficit to win their first round game in the MAC Tournament against Toledo in overtime. Humpty Hitchens nails a three at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime. After a miracle shot by Toledo, Brett McKnight tips the ball in from an inbounds pass by Hitchens.  An amazing game that I was sure we had lost at least 3 times.

 

This gets my vote. I was at the game and was going nuts. That was a wild MAC tournament for the Zips

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On 12/2/2016 at 10:59 PM, zippypitt said:

This is an easy one for me: Jimmal Ball in his freshman year dropping in shots from everywhere on the court versus Xavier at the JAR.  The back and forth big shots in that OT game defined college sports excitement.  That was the day this guy became a Zips fan for life.

I agree with this, best game I watched at the JAR. The name Ali Kart will be forever burnt into my memory because of this game. 

Great time for MAC basketball. Two bid conference. NBA players. 

 

Hilltopper referenced the game here.

 

Looking forward to this book, will it be available for Christmas?

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I was at both the Xavier game and the 1986 Cleveland State game.  The reason I rate the Cleveland State game higher is because of the crowd, the atmosphere, and the fact that it was a WIN over a highly ranked team.  

 

But, the amazing thing that many people don't know about the Xavier game is that this was a bad Akron team.  They had won only once before that Dec. 21st game, and that was a win against the College of Wooster.  Pretty unbelievable.  This was definitely one of those games where super human performances came to the surface for one game.  I just wish that a packed house was there to see it.  

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Joe Jakubick leads the nation in scoring in 83-84.

 

1986- Huggins leads a group of overachievers to Akron's first NCAA tourney where they give Michigan a run for their money.

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After the Toledo video plays, a couple other classic Zips Basketball videos come up in the box of related videos to watch.  

 

1) The 09 game at Kent where Singletary punches Linhart, and continues to insist that he hit him with his hand.  In fact, I would like to nominate all of the ".19" chants that we directed at him while he stood at the foul line as some of the funniest JAR moments in recent memory.  

 

2) And the game in 08(?) when we almost knocked off #20 Dayton on the road, which went to Double OT, and Dials gets fouled heaving a long shot at the end, and should have gotten 3 FTs, and only got two. (He was a 90+ FT shooter, and that certainly would have sent the game to Triple OT).   

 

 

Edited by skip-zip

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The Bosaley/Ball-era win at Kent that broke something like a 31-year losing streak at Kent's building. After the game Jimmal Ball threw his armband into the crowd and I caught it. It's in a box somewhere in my house. If he wants it back he can call me. ;)

 

After the game we had some beers at Ray's Place. Hipsher was there celebrating with assistant Joe Piggati and their wives. That stuff doesn't happen anymore.

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Let me add another game as well.

 

How about the end-of-season Overtime win at Kent in 2007?  So much happened in that game.  LeBron was in attendance and cheering on the Zips, and the Kent fans were booing him.  Joyce fouled out in regulation, and Dials was playing the Point through the entire overtime.  Wood made a ton of critical Free Throws, and he was a horrible FT shooter.  And a drive by Dials, and dish to Wood for an easy basket won the game.

 

AND

 

5 days later, we played Kent again in the MAC semifinal, and trailed by 14 at the half.  We started the 2nd half on a 13-3 run, and we were actually leading by the 10 minute mark.  That might be the most exciting 10 minute stretch of Zips basketball that I have ever witnessed.   

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