Kent State Golden Flashes men's basketball

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Kent State Golden Flashes
Basketball current event.svg 2020–21 Kent State Golden Flashes men's basketball team
Kent State basketball.svg
UniversityKent State University
Head coach Rob Senderoff (10th season)
Conference Mid-American
Location Kent, Ohio
Arena Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center
(Capacity: 6,327)
Nickname Golden Flashes
ColorsNavy Blue and Gold [1]
         
Uniforms
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Home
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Away
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Alternate
NCAA Tournament Elite Eight
2002
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
2002
NCAA Tournament Round of 32
2001, 2002
NCAA Tournament Appearances
1999, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2017
Conference tournament champions
1999, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2017
Conference regular season champions
2002, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2015
Conference division season champions
2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2015

The Kent State Golden Flashes men's basketball team represents Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, United States. The Golden Flashes compete in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division I level as a member of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) East Division. The team was founded in 1913 and played their first intercollegiate game in January 1915. They joined the Mid-American Conference in 1951 and have played in the East division since the MAC went to the divisional format in 1997. Home games are held at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center, which opened in 1950 and is one of the oldest arenas in college basketball. Rob Senderoff was hired as head coach in 2011, the 24th coach in the program's history.

Contents

The Flashes gained national attention in the late 1990s and early 2000s after earning their first bid to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in 1999. Two years later, Kent State picked up their first tournament win, followed the next year by their run to the Elite Eight in 2002 as a 10th seed where the Flashes finished the season ranked 12th nationally. The 2002 Golden Flashes also set a team record with 30 wins along with a MAC single-season record of 17 conference wins. Through the 2016–17 season, Kent State has six total appearances in the NCAA Tournament, the most recent being in 2017, along with eight appearances in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), and four in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT). In MAC play, the Flashes have six regular-season titles, nine East division titles, and six MAC Tournament championships.

History

The men's basketball team is Kent State's oldest collegiate team, founded in 1913 during the first fall semester at the new Kent State Normal School campus. [2] The team was organized, though only five men were enrolled out of the initial enrollment of 140 at the beginning of the term, as the new school was a teacher training college and thus had a predominately female student body. More men would arrive at the school in the coming weeks. [3] They played and won their first game against Kent High School and competed against local company and high school teams for that first season, going 7–2. During the following season, Kent State played its first intercollegiate game, a 56–6 loss to Otterbein College, on January 22, 1915. An additional intercollegiate game, a 54–18 home loss to Muskingum College, was played that year along with three other games against local teams. [4] Kent State's first intercollegiate win was recorded March 10, 1916, a 27–17 home win over Ashland College, played in the former heating plant and manual training building. [5] A shortage of men during both World Wars prevented teams from being formed for the 1917–18, 1918–19, and 1943–44 seasons. Beginning in 1932, Kent State played as a member of the Ohio Athletic Conference before joining the Mid-American Conference and beginning league play in 1951. Kent State was placed in the East Division when the MAC went to a divisional alignment in 1997. [6]

During their first years of existence, a variety of different venues were used for home games including on-campus facilities at what is now Cartwright Hall and the old heating plant, as well as off-campus facilities at the local Congregational Church gymnasium and Theodore Roosevelt High School, until Wills Gymnasium opened in 1925. [7] In 1950, the team moved to their current home, the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center, known originally as the Men's Physical Education Building until 1956 and later as Memorial Gym until 1992.

The team played in relative anonymity for most of its existence. They made their first appearance in the MAC Tournament Championship game (which began in 1980) in 1984, losing a close 42–40 [8] game. They would make the title game again in 1987 [8] and 1989, [8] losing both 64–63 and 67–65 respectively. The Flashes made their first post-season appearance in the 1985 National Invitation Tournament, losing in the first round. They returned to the NIT in 1989 and 1990, losing in the first round both times. [6]

Beginnings of success

In 1996, Gary Waters was hired as head coach and began to build what would become the longest run of success in Mid-American Conference history. In 1999 the Flashes won over 20 games and defeated the Miami RedHawks in the MAC Tournament Championship game in Toledo to win their first MAC Tournament title and make their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, [9] where they were defeated by Temple [10] in the opening round at FleetCenter in Boston. The following season, the Flashes again won over 20 games and finished second in the MAC East, but failed to win the conference tournament and received their first NIT invitation since 1990. The Flashes hosted the first-round game against Rutgers and recorded their first-ever post-season win, a 73–62 victory. Kent State would win their second-round match-up at Villanova before falling in the quarterfinals at Penn State. The 2000–2001 season saw the Flashes win their first-ever MAC East title [9] and their second tournament title to return to the NCAA Tournament. The experience in the NIT proved to be valuable as Kent State scored their first win, a 77–73 [11] upset over the fourth-seeded Indiana Hoosiers, before falling to the Cincinnati Bearcats in the second round in San Diego. [12] At the end of the 2000–01 season, Waters accepted the head coaching job at Rutgers. While at KSU, Waters overall record was 92–60. He was succeeded at Kent State by Stan Heath.

2001–02 season

Kent State enjoyed its best season in 2001–02, led by seniors Trevor Huffman, Andrew Mitchell, Demetric Shaw, and Eric Thomas and junior transfer Antonio Gates. The season saw MAC records set in overall wins (30), conference wins (17), and longest winning streak (21). [9] After beginning the season 4–4, Kent State won 20 of their next 21 games. Following their only MAC loss of the season (a 66–65 loss at Buffalo), they proceeded to win 15 straight games to close the regular season at 24–5 with a 17–1 record in the MAC and winning their first-ever MAC regular season title. After winning the 2002 MAC Men's Basketball Tournament, the Flashes qualified for the 2002 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament and were seeded tenth in the South regional bracket. [13] After scoring a mild upset of the seventh-seeded Oklahoma State Cowboys, the Flashes gained national attention by defeating second-seeded SEC champion Alabama 71–58 to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. [14] [15] The Flashes followed that win with a 78–73 overtime win over third-seeded Pitt to become the first MAC team to advance to the Elite Eight since Ohio in 1964, when the tournament contained only 22 teams. [16] The Flashes 21-game winning streak and season came to an end in the Elite Eight with an 81–69 loss to Indiana. [17] The Flashes finished the season at 30–6 and were ranked 12th in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll released after the tournament. [18] Following the season, Stan Heath accepted the head coaching job at the University of Arkansas, leaving after just one season and a record of 30–6. Assistant coach Jim Christian was hired later that year as the next head coach.

Jim Christian

KSU versus the Akron Zips on January 23, 2008, at the MAC Center KSUMACC5.JPG
KSU versus the Akron Zips on January 23, 2008, at the MAC Center

The Flashes continued their success under Jim Christian, winning over 20 games every season he was coach along with MAC East titles in 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2008; MAC overall titles in 2006 and 2008; and winning the MAC Tournament again in 2006 and 2008. In both 2003 and 2004, Kent State lost in the MAC Tournament championship game and received bids to the NIT. [9] Following their 2006 MAC Tournament title, they advanced to the 2006 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament as a 12th seed where they lost in the opening round. [19] In 2004, Kent State broke the MAC record for consecutive seasons with 20 or more wins by posting their sixth consecutive season. The streak is currently at ten as the 2007–2008 team won their 20th game on February 12, 2008 at Central Michigan University. [20] In addition, Kent State broke the record for consecutive seasons with ten or more conference wins in a season by posting their ninth consecutive season of ten or more conference wins in 2006–2007, breaking the previous record of eight. The 2007–2008 season has seen several firsts and milestones for the program. On February 19, 2008, the Flashes recorded their 1,000th win in program history, a 76–66 win over the Buffalo Bulls at Buffalo's Alumni Arena. [21] On February 24, the Flashes scored their first-ever win against a ranked team in the regular season, defeating the Saint Mary's Gaels 65–57 in Moraga, California. [22] This was followed by Kent State's first-ever regular season ranking, rising to 23rd in the Associated Press poll and 24th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. [23] With their 61–58 win at Akron on March 9 to close out the regular season, Kent State set a program record for wins in the regular season with 25, breaking the previous record of 24 set in the 2001–2002 season. [24] Following their fifth conference tournament title, Kent State earned the highest seed in school history, [25] a ninth seed in the Midwestern region of the 2008 NCAA Tournament, where they fell to the UNLV Runnin' Rebels in the opening round. [26] On March 29 Jim Christian resigned to take the head coaching job at Texas Christian University. He finished with a career record of 138–58 at Kent State. [27] Christian was replaced by his top assistant coach Geno Ford, who officially took over the program on April 2. [28]

Geno Ford

Geno Ford took over the program in 2008 and led the team to three winning seasons, including two regular season MAC Championships in the 2009–10 and 2010–11 seasons. It was the first time a team had won successive MAC regular season championships since Miami in 1991 and 1992 and the first time a team had won two consecutive outright titles since Ball State in 1989 and 1990. In 2011, KSU appeared in their 11th MAC Tournament Championship game, but fell in overtime. Although the team failed to advance to the NCAA Tournament during Ford's tenure, they did have three consecutive post-season appearances including the 2009 CollegeInsider.com Tournament and the 2010 and 2011 NITs. Kent State advanced to the second round of the 2010 NIT, winning their first post-season game since the 2002 Elite Eight run, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2011 NIT with two road wins. Ford left the team to take the head coaching job at Bradley University on March 27, 2011. Ford finished with a 68–37 record at Kent State. [29]

Rob Senderoff

Rob Senderoff, succeeded Ford as head coach on April 7, 2011 after briefly serving as interim head coach after Ford's departure. [30] Senderoff had worked as an assistant at Kent State with Ford under Jim Christian from 2002–06 before joining the staff of Kelvin Sampson at Indiana as an assistant. Following the Kelvin Sampson recruiting controversy, Senderoff was issued a three-year show-cause penalty by the NCAA and forced to resign at Indiana. He was rehired at Kent State in 2008 as associate head coach. [31] In his first two seasons as head coach, the Flashes continued some of their recent success, winning 20 games in each season and advancing to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament in 2012. The 2012–13 season was Kent State's first season not winning at least 10 MAC games since the 1997–98 season, though the team did advance to the 2013 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament where they finished 1–1. The 2013–14 team struggled to a 16–16 record and 7–11 record in MAC play, the team's worst season since a 13–17 overall record in 1997–98 and worst MAC record since a 7–11 mark in 1996–97. [6]

During Senderoff's tenure, the Flashes became the first Division I program in any team sport to sign a recruit diagnosed with autism to a National Letter of Intent. Kalin Bennett, a center from Little Rock, Arkansas, was signed in November 2018 [32] and arrived on campus in August 2019, making his debut in the last minutes of the Flashes' 2019–20 season opener. [33]

MAC season results

As Mid-American Conference member [34]
SeasonOverall record*MAC tournament record**Postseason recordHead coach [35]
1951–5214–10 (3–7)Clarence Haerr
1952–537–15 (3–9)
1953–548–13 (3–9)
1954–558–14 (5–9)
1955–5610–11 (5–7)Dave McDowell
1956–575–18 (2–10)
1957–589–14 (3–9)Bill Bertka
1958–5911–13 (6–6)
1959–607–16 (2–10)
1960–619–14 (4–8)
1961–622–19 (1–11)Bob Doll
1962–633–18 (1–11)
1963–6411–13 (5–7)
1964–659–11 (4–8)
1965–668–16 (3–9)
1966–675–18 (1–11) Frank Truitt
1967–689–15 (3–9)
1968–6914–10 (6–6)
1969–707–17 (2–8)
1970–7113–11 (4–6)
1971–727–17 (6–4)
1972–7310–16 (5–7)
1973–749–17 (1–11)
1974–756–20 (3–11)Rex Hughes
1975–7612–14 (7–9)
1976–778–19 (4–12)
1977–786–21 (4–12)Rex Hughes/Mike Boyd
1978–7913–14 (7–9) Ed Douma
1979–8010–17 (7–9)0–1; Lost in quarterfinal
1980–817–19 (5–11)Did not qualify
1981–8210–16 (6–10)Did not qualify
1982–8315–13 (9–9)0–1; Lost in quarterfinalJim McDonald
1983–8415–14 (8–10)2–1; Lost in final
1984–8517–13 (11–7)1–1; Lost in semifinal0–1 in NIT
1985–8611–16 (7–11)Did not qualify
1986–8719–10 (11–5)2–1; Lost in final
1987–8810–18 (6–10)0–1; Lost in quarterfinal
1988–8921–10 (12–4)2–1; Lost in final0–1 in NIT
1989–9021–8 (12–4)0–1; Lost in quarterfinal0–1 in NIT
1990–9110–18 (4–12)0–1; Lost in quarterfinal
1991–929–19 (6–10)0–1; Lost in quarterfinal
1992–9310–17 (7–11)0–1; Lost in quarterfinalDave Grube
1993–9413–14 (8–10)0–1; Lost in quarterfinal
1994–958–19 (5–13)0–1; Lost in quarterfinal
1995–968–10 (14–13)0–1; Lost in quarterfinal
1996–979–18 (7–11)0–1; Lost in quarterfinal Gary Waters
1997–9813–17 (9–9)1–1; Lost in semifinal
1998–9923–7 (13–5)3–0; Won tournament0–1 in NCAA Tournament
1999–200023–8 (13–5)0–1; Lost in quarterfinal2–1 in NIT
2000–0124–10 (13–5)3–0; Won tournament1–1 in NCAA Tournament
2001–0230–6 (17–1)3–0; Won tournament3–1 in NCAA Tournament Stan Heath
2002–0322–9 (12–6)2–1; Lost in final0–1 in NIT Jim Christian
2003–0422–8 (13–5)2–1; Lost in final0–1 in NIT
2004–0520–13 (11–7)1–1; Lost in quarterfinal0–1 in NIT
2005–0625–9 (15–3)3–0; Won tournament0–1 in NCAA Tournament
2006–07 21–11 (12–4)1–1; Lost in semifinal
2007–08 28–7 (13–3)3–0; Won tournament0–1 in NCAA Tournament
2008–09 19–15 (10–6)1–1; Lost in quarterfinals0–1 in CIT Geno Ford
2009–10 24–10 (13–3)0–1; Lost in quarterfinals1–1 in NIT
2010–11 25–12 (12–4)2–1; Lost in final2–1 in NIT
2011–12 21–12 (10–6)1–1; Lost in semifinals0–1 in CIT Rob Senderoff
2012–13 21–14 (9–7)1–1; Lost in semifinals1–1 in CIT
2013–14 16–16 (7–11)0–1; Lost in first round
2014–15 23–12 (12–6)0–1; Lost in quarterfinals2–1 in CIT
2015–16 19–13 (10–8)0–1; Lost in first round
2016–17 22–14 (10–8)4–0; Won tournament0–1 in NCAA Tournament
2017–18 17–17 (9–9)2–1; Lost in semifinals
2018–19 22–11 (11–7)0–1; Lost in quarterfinals0–1 in CIT
2019–20 20–12 (9–9)1–0; Canceled after first round No postseason held
2020–21 15–8 (12–6)0–1; Lost in quarterfinals

Overall conference titles shaded in ██ gold. East division titles shaded in ██ light yellow.
*Overall record includes tournament and postseason results; Regular-season conference record contained in parentheses.
**The MAC Tournament was first held in 1980. From 2000–20, it included all conference members. [34]

MAC Tournament

Kent State has appeared in all but three Mid-American Conference tournaments since the tournament began in 1980 and through 2020 has an overall record of 41–31 in tournament play. [34] Through 2018, the Flashes have appeared in 12 MAC title games, winning six. The six tournament championships are tied for second-most in conference history with Ohio, behind Ball State's seven titles. The 12 title game appearances are the most in conference history. [8]

YearSeedLocationRoundResult
19804th Memorial Gym  · Kent, Ohio QuarterfinalL 73–71 to (5) Ball State
19836th Centennial Hall  · Toledo, Ohio QuarterfinalL 79–64 to (3) Toledo
19847th Rockford MetroCentre  · Rockford, Illinois QuarterfinalW 57–53 over (2) Ohio
SemifinalW 67–58 over (6) Eastern Michigan
FinalL 42–40 to (1) Miami
19854th Centennial Hall  · Toledo, Ohio QuarterfinalW 85–74 over (2) Eastern Michigan
SemifinalL 57–55 to (1) Ohio
19872nd Centennial Hall  · Toledo, Ohio QuarterfinalW 84–75 over (2) Western Michigan
SemifinalW 66–59 over (3) Bowling Green
FinalL 64–63 to (1) Central Michigan
19887th Rose Arena  · Mt. Pleasant, Michigan QuarterfinalL 66–56 to (2) Central Michigan
19892nd Savage Hall  · Toledo, Ohio QuarterfinalW 65–56 over (7) Bowling Green
SemifinalW 88–43 over (3) Toledo
FinalL 67–65 to (1) Ball State
19902nd Cobo Arena  · Detroit QuarterfinalL 82–65 to (7) Central Michigan
19918th Cobo Arena  · Detroit QuarterfinalL 66–47 to (1) Eastern Michigan
19926th Cobo Arena  · Detroit QuarterfinalL 61–57 to (3) Western Michigan
19938th Battelle Hall  · Columbus, Ohio QuarterfinalL 77–57 to (1) Ball State
19947th Anderson Arena  · Bowling Green, Ohio QuarterfinalL 68–58 to (2) Bowling Green
19958th Millett Hall  · Oxford, Ohio QuarterfinalL 77–49 to (1) Miami
19968th Bowen Field House  · Ypsilanti, Michigan QuarterfinalL 84–72 to (1) Eastern Michigan
19977th Millett Hall  · Oxford, Ohio QuarterfinalL 75–65 to (2) Miami
19986th James A. Rhodes Arena  · Akron, Ohio QuarterfinalW 95–88 over (3) Akron
SeaGate Centre  · Toledo, Ohio SemifinalL 64–59 to (7) Miami
19992nd MAC Center  · Kent, Ohio QuarterfinalW 79–76 over (7) Marshall
SeaGate Centre  · Toledo, Ohio SemifinalW 68–57 over (3) Ohio
FinalW 49–43 over (1) Miami
20003rd Gund Arena  · Cleveland QuarterfinalL 69–68 to (6) Ohio
20012nd Gund Arena  · Cleveland QuarterfinalW 71–64 over (7) Bowling Green
SemifinalW 67–55 over (6) Ball State
FinalW 67–61 over (8) Miami
20021st Gund Arena  · Cleveland QuarterfinalW 82–70 over (8) Marshall
SemifinalW 86–61 over (4) Toledo
FinalW 70–59 over (3) Bowling Green
20032nd Gund Arena  · Cleveland QuarterfinalW 79–57 over (7) Marshall
SemifinalW 73–70 over (11) Ohio
FinalL 77–72 to (1) Central Michigan
20042nd Gund Arena  · Cleveland QuarterfinalW 79–66 over (7) Bowling Green
SemifinalW 66–56 over (3) Miami
FinalL 77–66 to (1) Western Michigan
20055th MAC Center  · Kent, Ohio OpeningW 91–60 over (12) Central Michigan
Gund Arena  · Cleveland QuarterfinalL 62–55 to (4) Ohio
20061st Quicken Loans Arena  · Cleveland QuarterfinalW 76–67 over (8) Buffalo
SemifinalW 72–59 over (5) Ohio
FinalW 71–66 over (7) Toledo
2007 3rd Quicken Loans Arena  · Cleveland QuarterfinalW 75–66 over (6) Western Michigan
SemifinalL 61–54 to (2) Akron
2008 1st Quicken Loans Arena  · Cleveland QuarterfinalW 77–57 over (8) Toledo
SemifinalW 49–47 over (5) Miami
FinalW 74–55 over (3) Akron
2009 6th Quicken Loans Arena  · Cleveland OpeningW 64–61 over (11) Northern Illinois
QuarterfinalL 65–62 to (3) Buffalo
2010 1st Quicken Loans Arena  · Cleveland QuarterfinalL 81–64 to (9) Ohio
2011 1st Quicken Loans Arena  · Cleveland QuarterfinalW 73–62 over (8) Buffalo
SemifinalW 79–68 over (4) Ball State
FinalL 66–65 OT to (6) Akron
2012 4th Quicken Loans Arena  · Cleveland QuarterfinalW 76–72 over (8) Western Michigan
SemifinalL 78–74 to (1) Akron
2013 4th Quicken Loans Arena  · Cleveland QuarterfinalW 70–68 over (8) Buffalo
SemifinalL 62–59 to (1) Akron
2014 9th Millett Hall  · Oxford, Ohio First roundL 71–64 to (8) Miami
2015 3rd Quicken Loans Arena  · Cleveland QuarterfinalL 53–51 to (7) Akron
2016 5th MAC Center  · Kent, Ohio First roundL 70–69 to (12) Bowling Green
2017 6th MAC Center  · Kent, Ohio First roundW 116–106 OT over (11) Central Michigan
Quicken Loans Arena  · Cleveland QuarterfinalW 68–65 over (3) Buffalo
SemifinalW 68–66 over (2) Ohio
FinalW 70–65 over (1) Akron
2018 5th MAC Center  · Kent, Ohio First roundW 61–59 over (12) Northern Illinois
Quicken Loans Arena  · Cleveland QuarterfinalW 76–73 over (4) Ball State
SemifinalL 78–61 to (1) Buffalo
2019 4th Quicken Loans Arena  · Cleveland First roundL 89–81 to (5) Central Michigan
2020 5th MAC Center  · Kent, Ohio First roundW 86–76 over (11) Eastern Michigan
Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse  · Cleveland Quarterfinalvs. (3) Ball State (Canceled)
2021 4th Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse  · Cleveland QuarterfinalL 63–85 to (5) Ohio
Totals: 12 finals appearances, 6 championships, 41–32 record in tournament

Postseason

NCAA Tournament

The Golden Flashes have appeared in six NCAA Tournaments. Their combined record is 4–6.

YearSeedLocationRegionRoundResult
1999 11th FleetCenter  · Boston EastFirstL 61–54 to (6) Temple
2001 13th Cox Arena  · San Diego WestFirstW 77–73 over (4) Indiana
SecondL 66–43 to (5) Cincinnati
2002 10th BI-LO Center  · Greenville, South Carolina SouthFirstW 69–61 over (7) Oklahoma State
SecondW 71–58 over (2) Alabama
Rupp Arena  · Lexington, Kentucky Sweet SixteenW 78–73 (OT) over (3) Pitt
Elite Eight L 81–69 to (5) Indiana
2006 12th The Palace of Auburn Hills  · Auburn Hills, Michigan OaklandFirstL 79–64 to (5) Pitt
2008 9th Qwest Center Omaha  · Omaha, Nebraska MidwestFirstL 71–58 to (8) UNLV
2017 14th Golden 1 Center  · Sacramento, California SouthFirstL 97–80 to (3) UCLA

NIT

Kent State has appeared in nine National Invitation Tournaments. Their combined record is 5–9.

YearSeedLocationRegionRoundResult
1985 Riverfront Coliseum  · Cincinnati FirstL 77–61 to Cincinnati
1989 Cobo Arena  · Detroit FirstL 83–69 to Michigan State
1990 St. Louis Arena  · St. Louis FirstL 85–74 to Saint Louis
2000 MAC Center  · Kent, Ohio FirstW 73–62 over Rutgers
The Pavilion  · Villanova, Pennsylvania SecondW 81–67 over Villanova
Bryce Jordan Center  · University Park, Pennsylvania QuarterfinalL 81–74 to Penn State
2003 MAC Center  · Kent, Ohio OpeningL 72–66 to College of Charleston
2004 MAC Center  · Kent, Ohio OpeningL 65–54 to West Virginia
2005 E. A. Diddle Arena  · Bowling Green, Kentucky OpeningL 88–80 (OT) to Western Kentucky
2010 4th MAC Center  · Kent, Ohio IllinoisFirstW 75–74 over (5) Tulsa
Assembly Hall  · Champaign, Illinois SecondL 75–58 to (1) Illinois
2011 7th McKeon Pavilion  · Moraga, California ColoradoFirstW 71–70 over (2) Saint Mary's
Webster Bank Arena  · Bridgeport, Connecticut SecondW 72–68 over (6) Fairfield
Coors Events Center  · Boulder, Colorado QuarterfinalsL 81–74 to (1) Colorado

CIT

Kent State has appeared in five CollegeInsider.com Tournaments. Their combined record is 3–5.

YearLocationRoundResult
2009 Athletics Center O'rena  · Rochester, Michigan FirstL 80–74 to Oakland
2012 G. B. Hodge Center  · Spartanburg, South Carolina FirstL 73–58 to USC Upstate
2013 MAC Center  · Kent, Ohio FirstW 73–71 over Fairfield
Reitz Arena  · Baltimore SecondL 73–59 to Loyola (MD)
2015 Murphy Center  · Murfreesboro, Tennessee FirstW 68–56 over Middle Tennessee
American Bank Center  · Corpus Christi, Texas SecondW 69–65 over Texas A&M–Corpus Christi
Walkup Skydome  · Flagstaff, Arizona QuarterfinalsL 74–73 OT to Northern Arizona
2019 Fant-Ewing Coliseum  · Monroe, Louisiana FirstL 87–77 to Louisiana–Monroe

Awards

All-Americans

All-America [36]
NameYearTeam
Anthony Grier1985Honorable Mention
Antonio Gates 2003Honorable Mention
DeAndre Haynes 2006Honorable Mention
Al Fisher 2008Honorable Mention
Justin Greene 2011 Honorable Mention
Academic All-America
Dennis Odle1974Second Team

Retired numbers

Kent State Golden Flashes retired numbers
Kent State Shaw 10.png Kent State Mitchell 12.png Kent State Huffman 24.png Kent State Thomas 40.png Kent State Gates 44.png
Demetric Shaw
G, 1999–2002
Andrew Mitchell
G, 1998–2002
Trevor Huffman
G, 1998–2002
Eric Thomas
SG, 1998–2002
Antonio Gates
PF, 2001–2003

Rivalries

Kent State vs. current Mid-American Conference teams through 2019–20 [6]
TeamMeetingsWins–LossesPercentageStreakFirst meeting
Akron
154
78–76
.506
L1
1916
Ball State
86
46–40
.535
L1
1922
Bowling Green
163
75–88
.460
W2
1917
Buffalo
53
33–20
.623
L1
1939
Central Michigan
83
49–34
.590
W1
1950
Eastern Michigan
79
44–35
.557
W1
1950
Miami
147
55–92
.374
W1
1948
Northern Illinois
59
37–22
.627
L1
1964
Ohio
150
54–96
.360
L1
1931
Toledo
133
50–83
.376
L2
1934
Western Michigan
121
64–57
.529
W1
1951
Kent State vs. non-conference rivals [6]
Cleveland State
54
31–23
.574
W5
1933
Youngstown State
47
31–16
.660
W9
1929

The principal rivalry for the Golden Flashes is with the Akron Zips from the University of Akron, located in Akron, Ohio, approximately 10 miles (16 km) southwest of Kent. The series dates back to February 19, 1916, when the two teams played in Kent in the basement of the old heating plant, won by Akron 37–16. Kent State recorded their first win in the series, a 23–21 win at Wills Gymnasium, in 1927. Through the 2019–20 season, the Flashes lead the series 78–76. Akron's longest winning streak in the series is a nine-game streak from 1942 to 1949, while Kent State's longest winning streak is five games, which has occurred three times. Kent State had a 19-game home winning streak against the Zips, which spanned from 1964 to 1998. Despite the length of the rivalry and close proximity of the campuses, the series has only been a conference meeting since 1992 when Akron joined the Mid-American Conference. Prior to 1992, the rivalry was played in the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) for two periods, the first from 1932, when Kent State joined the conference, until 1936, when Akron left the OAC. The second period of conference play began in 1944 after Akron returned to the OAC, and ended when Kent State left the conference in 1951 to join the MAC. When the MAC created East and West divisions in 1998, both teams were placed in the East division. Since 2011, the games count as part of the larger Wagon Wheel Challenge between the two schools. [6]

Since the start of MAC divisional play late 1990s, the two programs have met regularly with MAC East and overall championships on the line. Through the 2019–20 season, the Flashes and Zips have combined for 16 MAC East titles, 10 MAC regular-season championships, and nine MAC tournament championships. The teams typically have their second meeting of the season as the regular season's final game, with several of those games featured in national broadcasts. Akron won the East division with a 66–64 overtime win at the MAC Center to end the regular season and claimed the MAC regular-season title in 2012 with a 61–55 win in Kent. The second meeting in 2010, played at James A. Rhodes Arena and broadcast nationally on ESPN, featured both teams atop the conference standings at 12–3. Kent State won the game 74–61 to clinch the MAC regular-season title. The following season, the Flashes clinched their second-consecutive MAC title with a 79–68 win over the Zips at the MAC Center in a nationally televised game on the regular season's final day, repeating the feat in 2015 with a 79–77 win over the Zips on ESPN2 to claim the regular-season and East division co-championship. [6] [37] [38]

Kent State vs. Akron at James A. Rhodes Arena in 2010 KSU UA 3510 JAR.jpg
Kent State vs. Akron at James A. Rhodes Arena in 2010

The Zips and Flashes have also met in the MAC Tournament on a number of occasions, including three times in the championship game, all at the Cleveland venue now known as Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Kent State defeated the Zips 74–55 in the 2008 MAC Championship game, the Zips claimed the 2011 MAC Tournament championship over Kent State with a 66–65 overtime win, and Kent State won the 2017 MAC Tournament championship over Akron, 70–65. Overall, the Zips hold a 5–3 edge in MAC tournament games, with Kent State picking up wins in 1998, 2008, and 2017, and Akron defeating the Flashes in 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015. [6]

Kent State also has local rivalries with the Cleveland State Vikings from Cleveland State University and the Youngstown State Penguins from Youngstown State University, both members of the Horizon League and located in Northeast Ohio near Kent. The series with Cleveland State began in 1933 when Cleveland State was Fenn College, though was discontinued after 1945. It resumed in 1971 and has been held regularly since then. Kent State leads the Vikings 31–23 following an 81–59 win in Kent early in the 2019–20 season. The series with Youngstown State began in 1929 and lasted through 1960. It resumed in 1998 and has been held regularly since then. The Flashes lead the series 31–16 following a 111–78 Kent State win at Rhodes Arena in Akron to open the 2017–18 season, the Flashes' ninth straight win in the series. Kent State, Cleveland State, Youngstown State, and Akron signed a four-year agreement in 2014 to create the Northeast Ohio Coaches vs. Cancer doubleheader, a season opening event featuring the region's Division I basketball programs that rotates to each of the four schools. Kent State hosted the inaugural doubleheader in 2015, followed by Youngstown State in 2016 at the Beeghly Center, Akron in 2017 at James A. Rhodes Arena, and Cleveland State in 2018 at the Wolstein Center. [6] [39]

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2013–14 Kent State Golden Flashes mens basketball team American college basketball season

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2014–15 Kent State Golden Flashes mens basketball team American college basketball season

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Kent State Golden Flashes womens basketball

The Kent State Golden Flashes women's basketball team represents Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, United States. The Golden Flashes compete in the Mid-American Conference East Division and last played in the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament in 2002. Founded in 1973 as a club team, the Kent State women's basketball team received varsity status in 1975 and played their first official game in January 1976. Through the 2016–17 season, the Flashes have five total appearances in the NCAA Division I women's basketball tournament along with three Mid-American Conference tournament championships, five MAC overall titles, and eight MAC East division titles. Home games are held at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center, which has been the team's home venue since 1977. The head coach is Todd Starkey, who was hired April 19, 2016.

2015–16 Kent State Golden Flashes mens basketball team American college basketball season

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2016–17 Akron Zips mens basketball team American college basketball season

The 2016–17 Akron Zips men's basketball team represented the University of Akron during the 2016–17 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The Zips, led by 13th-year head coach Keith Dambrot, played their home games at the James A. Rhodes Arena as members of the East Division of the Mid-American Conference. They finished the season 27–9, 14–4 in MAC play to win the MAC East Division and MAC overall regular season championship. They defeated Eastern Michigan and Ball State to advance to the championship game of the MAC Tournament where they lost to Kent State, losing in the championship game for the second consecutive year. As a regular season conference champion who failed to win their conference tournament, they received an automatic bid to the National Invitation Tournament where they defeated Houston in the first round before losing to Texas–Arlington.

2016–17 Kent State Golden Flashes mens basketball team American college basketball season

The 2016–17 Kent State Golden Flashes men's basketball team represented Kent State University during the 2016–17 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The Golden Flashes, led by sixth year head coach Rob Senderoff, played their home games at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center, also known as the MAC Center, as members of the East Division of the Mid-American Conference. Kent State finished the regular season 22–14, 10–8 in MAC play to finish fourth in the MAC East division. As the No. 6 seed in the MAC Tournament, the Flashes defeated Central Michigan, Buffalo, Ohio, and Akron to win the tournament for the first time since 2008. As a result, the Flashes received the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament as the No. 14 seed in the South region. In the First Round, they lost to UCLA.

2017–18 Kent State Golden Flashes womens basketball team

The 2017–18 Kent State Golden Flashes women's basketball team represents Kent State University during the 2017–18 NCAA Division I women's basketball season. The Golden Flashes, led by second year head coach Todd Starkey, play their home games at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center, also known as the MAC Center, as members of the East Division of the Mid-American Conference. They finished the season 13–19, 5–13 in MAC play to finish in fourth place in the West Division. They advanced to the quarterfinals of the MAC Women's Tournament where they lost to Buffalo.

2018–19 Kent State Golden Flashes mens basketball team American college basketball season

The 2018–19 Kent State Golden Flashes men's basketball team represented Kent State University during the 2018–19 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The Golden Flashes, led by eighth-year head coach Rob Senderoff, played their home games at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center, also known as the MAC Center, as members of the East Division of the Mid-American Conference. They finished the season 22–11, 11–7 in MAC play to finish in third place in the East Division. They lost in the quarterfinals of the MAC Tournament to Central Michigan. They were invited to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament where they lost in the first round to Louisiana–Monroe.

2020–21 Kent State Golden Flashes mens basketball team American college basketball season

The 2020–21 Kent State Golden Flashes men's basketball team represents Kent State University in the 2020–21 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The Golden Flashes, led by 10th-year head coach Rob Senderoff, play their home games at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center, also known as the MAC Center, in Kent, Ohio as members of the East Division of the Mid-American Conference (MAC). It is the program's 105th season of play and 70th as a member of the MAC.

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