Council praises U of A basketball team for first MAC championship

March 31, 2009

Akron City Council unanimously passed a resolution of praise and recognition for the University of Akron men's basketball team's first Mid-American Conference championship and entry into the NCAA playoffs.

The resolution was offered by Ward 8 Councilman Raymond W. Cox III, also interim chair of the university's Department of Public Administration and Urban Studies.

 "I want to recognize the Zips for an exciting season of basketball and displaying the determination, work ethic and drive that has developed the University of Akron's reputation as a solid mid-major program," Cox said. "My hope is that this is an annual event and that we will recognize you a year from now as you go to a second NCAA tournament."

The Zips (pictured with Council above) captured their first MAC championship when they defeated The State University of New York at Buffalo 65-53 March 14, and advanced to the NCAA tournament for only the second time since 1986. The team lost in the first round to 10th-ranked, fourth-seeded West Coast Conference champions Gonzaga University on March 19. The team did hold Gonzaga in check for more than 30 minutes, however, before the Gonzaga Bulldogs rallied to overtake the Zips with a 77-64 victory.

Zips head coach Keith Dambrot and several members of the men's basketball team were present to accept recognition and a standing ovation from Council.

"The city and the university are very important to me," Dambrot said. "We work together to make our program as good a program as it can be. We appreciate all the city does to support the university."