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Ohio’s back in the Big Dance after winning the MAC

D.J. Cooper, T.J. Hall

Ohio’s D.J. Cooper, right, hugs T.J. Hall after they defeated Akron 64-63 in an NCAA college basketball championship game in the Mid-American Conference men’s tournament on Saturday, March 10, 2012, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)


You may know the name DJ Cooper, but unless you are a Georgetown fan, no one would blame you if you confused Ohio’s diminutive point guard with our country’s most notorious fugitive.

In the 2010 NCAA Tournament, Cooper, then just a freshman, had 23 points, eight assists and three steals to lead the Bobcats to a first-round upset of the three-seed Hoyas. And thanks the 23 points, six assists and four steals that Cooper had on Saturday night, he will be headed back to the NCAA Tournament as the Bobcats knocked off Akron 64-63 in the title game of the MAC Tournament.

The win wasn’t without excitement, however. Up 64-61 on the Zips with less than seven seconds left, Ohio fouled Akron and to prevent them from getting a chance to tie the game. Akron hit the first and tried to miss the second, and it initially looked like they did and had the ball tipped in to tie the game. But, as it turned out, the ball ended up bouncing off of the back of the rim and to the front of the rim before falling through.

This was the sixth-straight time that Akron was in the MAC title game. They’ve advanced to the tournament twice.