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Bigger Plans: Riding nation's longest win streak, Akron has sights on deep NCAA tourney run

  • 3c897cbe9a07da04280f6a7067009520.jpg

    In this photo taken Feb. 5, 2013, Akron head coach Keith Dambrot yells to his players in an NCAA college basketball game against Central Michigan in Akron, Ohio. With the nation's longest winning streak, a dominant center with NBA potential, the fiery Dambrot and LeBron James as a supporter, Akron could become the next mid-major to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan) (The Associated Press)

  • 56c868d09a07da04280f6a706700fd49.jpg

    In this photo taken Feb. 5, 2013, Akron players huddle before an NCAA college basketball game against Central Michigan in Akron, Ohio. With the nation's longest winning streak, a dominant center with NBA potential, a fiery coach and LeBron James as a supporter, Akron could become the next mid-major to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan) (The Associated Press)

  • 3e5f4d8a9a07da04280f6a70670060b5.jpg

    In this photo taken Feb. 5, 2013, Akron's Zeke Marshall (44) celebrates a play with Chauncey Gilliam (23) in an NCAA college basketball game against Central Michigan in Akron, Ohio. With the nation's longest winning streak, a dominant center with NBA potential, a fiery coach and LeBron James as a supporter, Akron could become the next mid-major to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan) (The Associated Press)

  • 31adf78a9a07da04280f6a706700cbe8.jpg

    In this photo taken Feb. 5, 2013, Akron head coach Keith Dambrot questions a call during an NCAA college basketball game against Central Michigan in Akron, Ohio. With the nation's longest winning streak, a dominant center with NBA potential, the fiery Dambrot and LeBron James as a supporter, Akron could become the next mid-major to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan) (The Associated Press)

  • 31bca49c9a07da04280f6a706700cc4b.jpg

    In this photo taken Feb. 5, 2013, Akron's Alex Abreu (11) talks with Demetrius Treadwell (1) and Zeke Marshall (44) during an NCAA college basketball game against Central Michigan in Akron, Ohio. With the nation's longest winning streak, a dominant center with NBA potential in Marshall, a fiery coach and LeBron James as a supporter, Akron could become the next mid-major to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan) (The Associated Press)

The nation's hottest college basketball team has much bigger plans. Akron wants to make some March madness of its own.

With a 14-game winning streak, a shot-swatting 7-foot center and NBA superstar LeBron James as one of their biggest supporters, the Zips intend to make a deep run in this year's NCAA tournament. They're on their way, which is what coach Keith Dambrot had in mind when he returned to coach at his alma mater nine years ago.

Dambrot, who coached James in high school and has no intention of leaving Akron, has grown a model mid-major program, one that hopes to stand alongside Butler and Gonzaga on a national stage.

Dambrot believes that if the Zips can make the NCAA field "we are built better to win there than ever before."