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Dartmouth hopes to take their program to the next level this season by making it to the Ivy League tournament. Their first test promises to be a big one as they face Buffalo, a team that's made it to the NCAA tournament in each of its last two seasons.
Friday's game marks the second time the teams faced each other in the past two years. In last year's contest, the Bulls dominated the Big Green 110-71.
Tip-off for Friday's game is at 7 p.m. EST. The contest takes place at Alumni Arena.
A good measuring test for the Big GreenDartmouth returns many of their key personnel last season, including forward Chris Knight who led the team in scoring last season by averaging over 15 points per game. Knight was also dominant in the paint as he led the team in rebounding.
Another player to watch is guard Brendan Barry. Barry did an excellent job creating scoring opportunities where he led the team in assists with three per game and steals with over one. Having this experience back should help the Big Green as they welcome in five talented freshmen who should add some much-needed depth.
Dartmouth hopes to put this experience to work on the road against a talented Buffalo team that should be in the running for the MAC title again this season. And playing on the road in the first game of the season means the Big Green has to play fast and make scores early to take the crowd out of the game to dictate the tempo. If they cannot, Buffalo is simply too talented and runs away with this.
The new look Bulls ready for the same successThere will be new faces on Buffalo's sideline this season including coach Jim Whitesell. Whitesell told reporters what they should expect from this year's team, "There's going to be changes because of the personnel on the floor, but we want to keep the same system. It's more about playing great defense. We want to be a transition team that goes up and down."
Returning for the Bulls is Davonta Jordan and Jayvon Graves, who averaged 7.4 and 9.7 points per game respectively. They'll have more scoring opportunities this season as they must replace the production by departing seniors CJ Massinburg, Jeremy Harris, and Nick Perkins.
Luckily, they have a talented core returning. Moreover, the Bulls have size inside with a pair of forwards in David Nickelberry and Laquill Hardnett, both of whom are six-foot-seven-inch. This size, coupled with the guard play will make it difficult for Dartmouth to establish any offensive rhythm.
If the Bulls can achieve quick defensive stops, it should lead to easy transition baskets.
Trends found on Covers.com Buffalo is:
- 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 non-conference games
- 0-4 ATS in last 4 games against MAC opponents
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Buffalo has more athleticism throughout its roster. Even with having to replace many of their scoring leaders last season, they have a great crop of returning players who know what it takes to win. Expect them to use this experience, size, and athleticism to challenge an overmatched Dartmouth team, who'll struggle to have a consistent offensive attack. The Bulls use these quick defensive stops to push the tempo on their way to an impressive victory.
Prediction: Buffalo -12
Full-Game Total Pick
Buffalo has the talent and depth to score points in a hurry. Dartmouth will have to play a quicker tempo to keep up with the Bulls, who scored 111 points in their exhibition game, illustrating the explosiveness they have. Look for this to be a quicker tempo game filled with many points as Buffalo prevails.
Prediction: Over 145