Dec 9, 2012; Omaha, NE, USA; Akron Zips guard Alex Abreu (11) dribbles around Creighton Bluejays guard Austin Chatman (1) during the first half at the CenturyLink Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Ryerson-USA TODAY Sports

The Akron Zips Hold College Basketball’s Longest Active Winning Streak

As of the first Saturday in February, there’s a new golden standard in college basketball:

Those contentious, exasperating Akron Zips.

March 10, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA: Akron Zips center Zeke Marshall (44) points to a teammate after scoring against the Ohio Bobcats during the second half of the finals of the 2012 MAC Tournament at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Eric P. Mull-USPRESSWIRE

Love ’em or hate ’em, the Mid-American Conference frontrunner now owns the longest active winning streak in the country. The Zips have won 13 consecutive games since suffering back-to-back losses at Creighton and Detroit, a streak second to none after previous title holder Kansas fell to Oklahoma State at Allen Fieldhouse for the first time in 19 tilts.

Led by do-everything senior center Zeke Marshall, one of college basketball’s most unheralded great players, Akron has diced opponents over the last month-and-a-half. The Zips have won by an average of 15.5 points per game over their 13-game surge, peppering opponents with a balanced diet of opportunistic 3-point shooting, rugged inside play and the conference’s most efficient defense. Credit Zeke, the enforcer himself, for two-thirds of that homemade recipe.

On Saturday, Keith Dambrot’s team dealt its biggest intra-league challenger—which entered the contest the only other remaining unbeaten in the MAC—a crackling 14-point blow. In so doing, his Zips exacted some therapeutic revenge for the comeback that fell tantalizingly short last year: a one-point loss to D.J. Cooper and the Bobcats in the conference championship game. The message sent? Akron is atop the MAC to stay this go-around.

A little-known public school — on the national basketball scene, that is — from Akron, Ohio is the hottest commodity in college hoops nearing the final leg of the regular season. If there’s a more fitting emblem of the the 2012-13 college basketball season than that, I’m all ears.

Tags: Akron Zips Basketball

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