Akron embracing the basketball side of #MACtion

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Looks like one team is really embracing the cult love of #MACtion. At least to an extent.

Akron is planning it’s own Social Media Night along with unveiling the programs’ new uniforms for the team’s game against Ohio on Saturday. The uniforms will be Nike’s newest addition to college basketball and will “feature the Akron Z in black and white on the jersey, blue and white-accented side panels, as well as the word “Akron” outlined in white on the shorts.

All this is according to a release from the school.

As far as the social media aspect, the Zips have adorned their court with Twitter hashtags #ZipsGameday and #ThinkBigger along the sideline and near the basket supports. According to the release, the #ThinkBigger tag is an adage to coach Keith Dambrot’s motto for the 2012-13 season for Akron.

Fans will also be able to enter for a chance to be a “social media correspondent” for the team by tweeting @ZipsMBB, using the hashtag #ZipsSocialMedia or posting a message to the ZipsMBB Facebook page. The deadline for that is 5 p.m. tomorrow.

There are other ways fans can get involved and win prizes, such as winning an autographed basketball by tweeting photos of their gameday experience to the Zips official Twitter account.

Got to hand it to Akron. Embracing social media is very important to a lot of low and mid-major schools in college athletics, especially for fan engagement and growing a programs’ fan base. In a conference that has one of the greatest hashtag phenomenons in recent memory — despite that it’s primarily intended for football — it’s good to see the basketball side catching up.

#MACtion, baby. Catch the fever.

Photo courtesy of the University of Akron Athletics Department

David Harten is the founder of The Backboard Chronicles. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.

VIDEO: Michigan State’s Miles Bridges is dunking again

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Just what you wanted to see, a video of former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine throwing an alley-oop off the glass to current Michigan State star Miles Bridges in a Pro-Am in Michigan:

VIDEO: Kentucky’s entry into the #DriveByDunkChallenge

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A day after Grayson Allen threw an alley-oop to Trevon Duval for Duke’s entry into the #DriveByDunkChallenge, Kentucky’s team of freshmen decided to do one of their own:

https://twitter.com/i/web/status/889947577734574085

That would be, in order, Johnny David, Jarrod Vanderbilt, Nick Richards, PJ Washington and Kevin Knox abusing some poor sap’s rim somewhere in Lexington.

But was that better than John Calipari’s attempt?

VIDEOS: Michigan State’s Miles Bridges puts on another show at local summer Pro-Am

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Watching Michigan State’s Miles Bridges throw down high-level dunks in local summer pro-ams has been a good way to pass the time the last few weeks.

The 6-foot-7 Bridges has been annihilating rims all summer as he had more ridiculous dunks on Tuesday night. Playing with former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine and some of his current Spartans teammates, Bridges had more crowd-pleasing plays to add to his summer reel.

Lansing State Journal reporter James Edwards III has been on the scene for Bridges’ games all summer as he has more dunks from the future lottery pick.

Minnesota keeps in-state three-star 2018 guard Gabe Kalscheur at home

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Minnesota is keeping a big-time shooter at home as Class of 2018 shooting guard Gabe Kalscheur pledged to the Golden Gophers on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-4 Kalscheur is the third in-state prospect to pledge to head coach Richard Pitino in the Class of 2018 as he joins three-star forward Jarvis Thomas and four-star big man Daniel Oturu. The three-star Kalscheur gives Minnesota a valuable floor spacer and a winner as he’s a three-time state champion at DeLaSalle. All three of these commitments also played together with Howard Pulley in the Nike EYBL.

During this spring and summer in the Nike EYBL, Kalscheur averaged 14.9 points and shot 39 percent from three-point range as he made 61 treys in 21 games.

Pitino has certainly done a nice job of keeping local players home as he’s hoping that trend continues with upcoming in-state five-star prospects like 2018 point guard Tre Jones and 2019 forward Matthew Hurt. The Golden Gophers will have to win national recruiting battles to keep those guys home, but they’ve done a nice job of getting the other guys that they need to keep home.

North Carolina and NCAA set August hearing

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North Carolina and the NCAA have released additional responses and set the dates for a future hearing on Tuesday amid an investigation into paper classes given by the university’s African-American Studies Department.

The NCAA’s allegations center around UNC’s athletes — most notably members of football, men’s and women’s basketball teams — allegedly being guided to the fake classes in order to keep GPAs high enough to remain eligible. The fake classes typically had a high number of athletes enrolled each semester.

While North Carolina argued in May that this should be a school matter and not an NCAA matter, the NCAA responded to the matter in its belief that it has the right to investigate the classes. North Carolina is facing five top-level charges in the case with lack of institutional control among the charges.

A two-day hearing will be held with the NCAA in Nashville on August 16-17.

“The hearing is the next step in bringing closure to this longstanding issue by allowing us the opportunity to address the Committee on Infractions and present the facts,” said Joel Curran, vice chancellor of University communications. “The NCAA has requested certain individuals from the University attend the proceedings. It is standard practice for the current head coaches of programs referenced in a notice of allegations to attend. Therefore, Coaches Larry Fedora (football), Sylvia Hatchell (women’s basketball) and Roy Williams (men’s basketball) will accompany University representatives to the hearing.”