Red-Hot Teams Playing For NCAA Tourney Bid
The Toledo Rockets try to sweep the regular-season and tournament championships in the Mid-American Conference when they take on the Kent State Golden Flashes in the MAC Tournament title game on Saturday night.
Toledo has won 17 straight games, including a semifinal win over Ohio, and won the MAC regular-season title by ja game over the Golden Flashes.
Kent State has been nearly as hot, taking 9 of its last 10 contests, and it was the Golden Flashes who handed the Rockets their last loss back in January. The automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament is on the line in this one, so let’s take a closer look at this contest and help you determine how you want to bet online on the title game.
Kent State Hoping For Better Result
It was just a year ago that it was the Kent State Golden Flashes entering the MAC tournament title game with a long winning streak (14 games) only to see their NCAA Tournament dream end one game short with a loss (to Akron). Now the Golden Flashes are hoping to make college basketball news by snapping Toledo’s long winning streak and finally make it to the Big Dance.
The Golden Flashes would love to see the same kind of performance from senior forward Miryne Thomas in this game as they got in the semifinal win over Akron on Friday. Thomas had 24 points, five rebounds and two steals, far above his usual scoring average of 10.6 points per game this season, though he does lead the team with 5.4 rebounds per game.
Senior guard Sincere Carry has been the top scorer and assist man for Kent State this season, averaging 17.3 points and 4.9 assists. He had 21 points in the semifinal victory and has averaged 23.0 points over the last four contests.
The Golden Flashes also get solid contributions from senior guard Malique Jacobs, who averages 12.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.8 steals per contest. Jacobs ranks second in the country in steals per game and had four in the semifinals to go with 14 points and four rebounds.
Toledo Trying To Finish the Job
The Toledo Rockets have been atop the MAC for much of the season, but they could find themselves outside of the Big Dance with a loss on Saturday. Still, the Rockets are just trying to take it one game at a time, though they know they can reach their goal with a win in the title contest.
“Right now, we’re just living in the moment,” Toledo guard Dante Maddox Jr. said after Friday’s semifinal win over Ohio. “We’re happy with this win, but we’ve got to keep going. Tomorrow, we’re 40 minutes away. We know that we’re more than capable. It’s just about executing the plan at this point.“
Maddox did his part with the plan on Friday, finishing with 20 points, three assists and two steals. Maddox is averaging 11.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals while shooting 46.3% from 3-point range this season.
Maddox’s backcourt mate, junior RayJ Dennis has been filling it up this season as well, averaging 19.5 points and dishing out 5.8 assists per game. Dennis had 28 points, six rebounds and two assists in Friday’s contest, the second time in his last three games that he’s scored 28 or more points.
Kent State vs Toledo Game Injuries
Kent State vs Toledo Head-To-Head
Kent State won the only matchup between these teams this season, topping Toledo by 12 points at home on Jan. 10. The Golden Flashes have won three straight against the Rockets, including sweeping both matchups between the teams in the 2021-22 season.
The college basketball lines for Saturday’s conference tournament title tilt are expecting a close contest, with the game listed as a pick ‘em at almost every sportsbook.
Kent State vs Toledo Game Information
- Game: Kent State (27-6) vs Toledo (27-6)
- Location: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
- Day/Time: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Kent State vs Toledo Live Stream: TBS.com
Kent State vs Toledo Betting Lines
Kent State vs Toledo Picks & Prediction
The Kent State Golden Flashes had the upper hand over the Toledo Rockets in the regular season, but we like the Rockets to come out on top in this one. The NCAA basketball odds expect a close one, as do we, but look for Toledo to come out on top and advance to the NCAA tournament.
When making your college basketball picks, take Toledo to win the MAC Tournament title.