The Ohio Bobcats (13-7) meet in-state rival Kent State (15-7) for a Mac Championship quarterfinal matchup against the Golden Eagles. On the season Ohio has put up big numbers but Kent State has done much better in their single-game matchup. Both of these teams have battled this unfortunate season with many games postponed.
Ohio at Kent State Preview: Ohio Outlook
Guard Jason Preston is the most productive player on Ohio’s team-leading them with 15.4 points per game and 7.6 assists per game. On the season Ohio has put up a good amount of points averaging 80.2 total points per game and the Bobcats do a great job of setting each other up for baskets with 18.1 assists per game. In this game, Ohio will need to score points and limit the production from Kent State forward Danny Pippen.
Ohio at Kent State Preview: Pippen Leading the Golden Eagles
Forward Danny Pippen is easily the best player on the court in this matchup and at 6’9” 222 lbs, he will be difficult to contain. Pippen leads all scorers with 19.3 points per game and 8.7 rebounds per game and if Kent State wins he will make a major impact. Pippen has taken the next step improving from last year averaging 5.0 points per game more than the previous season.
Ohio at Kent State Preview: Previous Matchup
Earlier this year Kent State and Ohio faced off and Kent State jumped all over the Bobcats winning 89-79. Kent State opened the first half taking a 40-26 lead into halftime. In the second half, both teams showed their ability to score as both teams exploded for a combined 102 points. Danny Pippen led the Golden Eagles with 22 points and eight rebounds.
Kent State had four players in double figures and that was the difference. Ohio struggled to find production other than guard Jason Preston who scored 23 points and forward Ben Vander Plas who contributed 24. For Ohio to succeed in this one they need to find more offense from a variety of different players.
Ohio at Kent State Preview: Last Five Games
Ohio has been the stronger team in their past five games, but this matchup is much closer than people may think. Yes, Ohio lost in their first game against Kent State, but they are a much better team later in the season and competed in a similar way against the University of Buffalo. Over a month ago Ohio beat Buffalo, but then in their last game got wrecked.
Kent State (3-2)
Kent State has begun to struggle a little bit of late and will need to turn things around quickly as Ohio is coming in hot. Kent State and Ohio are both coming off a recent whooping at the hands of the University of Buffalo.
Ohio at Kent State Preview: Early Odds
Ohio -1.5 (-109) Over/Under 149 (-110)
Kent State +1.5 (-109) Over/Under 149 (-110)
Prediction: Kent State +1.5
As Kent State showed earlier in the season they are the better team in this game. Forward Danny Pippen is the clear x-factor in this matchup and should be able to lead the Golden Eagles to a victory advancing them to the semi-finals.
I am a little bit surprised when seeing the early odds have Kent State is the underdog. Kent State cruised to victory earlier this year against Ohio and I do realize they have slowed down recently, but I think they will figure it out.
After seeing both teams get beaten badly by the University of Buffalo I do feel that they are very close in competition at this point of the season and understand why the spread is so close.
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