Opinion: Beat Akron

Josh Johnston

Beat Akron.

You’ve seen the T-shirts, the advertisements and hopefully that giant pullout poster in Wednesday’s Stater. From day one here, we’re taught to love the Flash and hate the Roo. This game against Akron is kind of a big deal.

But not really.

In the not-so-grand scheme of Mid-American Conference basketball, Kent State has already clinched at least a share of the regular season title. Thank you, Buffalo, and your suffocating defense. With Miami’s 59-49 loss to Buffalo Wednesday, the Flashes are the first team to take back-to-back titles since 1992-1993, when Miami did it.

So Kent State holds a full one-game lead on the rest of the MAC pack and all the tiebreakers. Rod Sherman could play hopscotch on the mid-court logo all night tonight, and the Flashes will still be playing in at least the National Invitation Tournament.

But it wouldn’t matter if the Flashes had a 10-game lead in the conference and an automatic ticket to the NCAA Tournament. Beating Akron is all that matters.

The Kent State men’s basketball team could, God forbid, go 2-18 on a season, but as long as those two wins were against those kangaroo-loving city kids, then the season wouldn’t be looked upon as a catastrophe.

Beat Akron. It’s a big deal.

I’ve followed Kent State sports since my freshman year. I have seen track and field championship meets, MAC basketball tournament games, NIT games and field hockey championship games. Nothing compares to this game tonight. Heck, the Kent State-Akron football game can’t even hold a candle to it.

Student attendance at basketball games is always so-so. The addition of the Krew is nice, but one corner of the M.A.C. Center standing and screaming isn’t enough.

So flat out, this is what I’m saying: Go to the game. Paint up. Lose your voice from cheering so much. Have some pride, at least for two hours.

And beat Akron.

Contact Josh Johnston at [email protected].