The Rams, who reached the Final Four two years ago, kicked off their effort this year with a one-sided victory that included a 53-percent shooting show. Virginia Commonwealth turned the ball over just five times and forced 21 by Akron.
Virginia Commonwealth built a 25-point halftime lead and earned a third-round meeting on Saturday with Michigan, which earlier in the evening disposed of South Dakota State 71-56. The Rams come into the tournament as the No. 5 seed in the South Region.
Juvonte Reddic added 21 points for the Rams (28-8).
Akron was the regular-season and tournament champion of the Mid-American Conference and wound up being the only member of that league to earn an NCAA bid.
The Zips (26-8) were paced by Demetrius Treadwell with 15 points.