The Akron Zips are not your father's mid-major. Led by Zeke Marshall, the MAC's leading shot-blocker, Akron strung together an NCAA-best 19-game win streak this season. Can the Zips, who knocked off last season's March darling, Ohio, in the MAC championship game, don Cinderella's slippers like their conference counterpart of a year ago?
ESPN Insider has your answers, as Joe Lunardi has enlisted a team of Bracketologists to compile advanced metrics, key scouting intel and best- and worst-case tournament scenarios for all 68 teams, in order to help you make smart picks in your bracket. Plus, as Lunardi fills out his bracket, he'll give you his prediction on how each team will fare.
The Zips bounced back nicely to win the Mid-American Conference tournament after losing guard Alex Abreu late in the regular season. A bad home loss to Kent State was followed by convincing performances when it counted. But can Akron somehow withstand VCU's famed "havoc" without a top guard. You'd have to think not.
Best wins: Middle Tennessee, Ohio (three times), North Dakota State
Worst losses: at Coastal Carolina, at Buffalo