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March Madness scores and live updates: NCAA Men’s Tournament streaming, Duquesne vs. BYU, Michigan State vs. Mississippi State, brackets, results

No. 14 seed, Midwest Region

Opponent, time, TV: Creighton, 1:30 p.m., TNT

Team in 16 words: Enrique Freeman is a unicorn, and there’s enough roster experience that Akron could be a tough out.

Record: 24-10 (13-5 MAC)

Coach: John Groce (4-4 in NCAA Tournament)

Player to watch: Enrique Freeman (MAC Player of the Year)


BetMGM title odds: +100000

Sweet 16 projected chance: 6.2 percent

Final Four projected chance: 0.3 percent

Outlook: The Zips have length, experience and defense. They block shots, defend the 3-point line (12th nationally per KenPom) and aren’t overly reliant on one player at the offensive end. They have a senior star in Enrique Freeman, who’s improving offensively and routinely dominates the glass, but he’s just one of six upperclassmen who won’t be fazed by the big moment.

However, their shot selection is often questionable, and the offense can go stale for long stretches. The Zips are still playing in spite of a late-season offensive slump that saw them drop a series of head-scratching games and lose their grip on the MAC regular-season title. Akron wants to play a half-court game, but when shots don’t drop, it’s hard to keep up with quality opposition.

Freeman and 6-foot-8 senior guard Ali Ali have played in the NCAA Tournament before, and both are gifted enough to dominate in stretches. The defense sets up the offense, and Freeman was a load in the post against MAC competition. Can a bottom-100 team in 3-point shooting make enough treys to advance a game or two? If a few shots drop and Akron gets its tempo, it can hang with most of the field.

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