Water Street roared last Sunday in the small college town of Kent, Ohio when it was announced that the Men’s Golden Flashes had gotten their ticket punched to the “Big Dance.”
KSU hoop dreams turned into March Madness starting with a 70-65 win against their perennial “cross-town” rivals the day before their announced entry into the 2017 NCAA Basketball Tournament. The Golden Flashes claimed the Mid-American Conference (MAC) title against Akron at Quicken Loans Arena on Saturday, behind a 30-point MVP performance from sophomore guard Jaylin Walker. It was a game-winning shot by Kent’s super sophomore against Ohio University that created the Kent vs Akron MAC championship matchup in the first place.
The KSU Golden Flashes are led by its head coach Robert (Rob) Senderoff. Senderoff was hired in 2011 to replace Geno Ford, who he served under as associate head coach for three seasons
Kent’s last trip to the Big Dance was in 2008 when it also last claimed a MAC title.
“FLASH” FORWARD: What does Kent State have in store for them by getting a ticket to the NCAA dance punched? Kent, No. 14 (22-13) draws a first round matchup with No. 3 (29-4) UCLA Bruins in the South Region on Friday in Sacramento, Calif. The “Sac-Town” crowd will undoubtedly be stacked with UCLA fans there to cheer on the “So-Cal” darlings.
The Bruins are one of the most heralded teams in the history of college basketball, and are currently led by one of the most talked about players in college game today, freshman guard Lonzo Ball.
Ball is expected to be among the top picks in the upcoming NBA draft. The soon-to-be a “one and done” freshman was recently cleared to play with “no sanctions” by the NCAA after violation concerns over the use of his image by his family on their “Big Baller Brand” apparel website. Ball’s dad LaVar made news recently by suggestion the family’s brand will be requesting a billion dollar shoe deal “out the gate” that will tout is son Lonzo and his two other sons LiAngelo and LaMelo, both of the younger Balls are Southern California high school phenoms at Chino Hills High School (where LiAngelo scored 72 points in a game in November and LaMelo dropped 92 in a game last month).
The first round Kent vs UCLA game takes place Friday, March 17, at approximately 9:57 EST. Kent’s game is the late game and will begin after the first game starting at 7:27 and televised on TruTV.