Featured Video from Scott Reichel
Friday, March 22 4:00 P.M. in Tulsa, Oklahoma
The First Four games are complete, and the tournament field of 64 is finally set. Buffalo is coming off a MAC Championship, and will be a six-seed in this tournament. They will be taking on Arizona state who picked up a First Four win on Wednesday night over St. John’s.
Buffalo Ready to Attack Tournament After MAC Title
Buffalo ran through the MAC tournament with relative ease. They picked up a 36-point win over Akron in their first game. They were challenged in the second round, but rebounded nicely against Bowling Green in the Championship game. The Bulls picked up a 14-point win to secure the MAC Championship after entering the tournament as the top-seed. They were the best team in conference play all season, and the win in the tournament just solidified it. They will be representing the MAC in the NCAA Tournament and will look to get a first-round win over Arizona State.
— UB Men's Basketball (@UBmenshoops) March 21, 2019
C.J. Massinburg has been the catalyst for Buffalo basketball all season long. He averaged 18.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game to lead the Bulls in both categories. Buffalo finished the season as one of the highest scoring teams in the nation. They averaged 84.9 points per game as a team which was fourth in the nation. Buffalo did a lot of their work from three-point range. they ranked 18th in three’s attempted, and eighth in three-point shots made during the season. In the tournament, they are considered a dark-horse to come out of their region. It will not be an easy road, but the Bulls have the ability to win some games in this tournament.
Arizona State Outlasts St. John’s in First Four
Arizona State and St. John’s played one of the ugliest basketball games possible. Arizona State led by 13 at halftime while holding the Johnnies to just 25 points. The Sun Devils defense came up big holding the Red Storm to 31.9% from the field, and 8-31 from three-point range. They did not play perfectly in their own right, but they were good enough to get a win. Arizona State will prepare to take on Buffalo on Friday in hopes of becoming this year’s Cinderella team.
😈 SUN DEVILS WIN 🔱
ASU knocks off St. Johns to pick up Coach Hurley's first NCAA Tournament win as Head Coach! pic.twitter.com/jeqtfB56hm
— Sun Devil MBB (@SunDevilHoops) March 21, 2019
Lugentz Dort took a hard spill in this game, but was ultimately okay. this was a moment that made the Sun Devils hold their breathe. He has been their best player all season long. Dort showed off his ability to score from anywhere on the floor, and use his athleticism to get to the rim. He finished the season scoring 16.3 points per contest. Arizona State was a high scoring team throughout the season whose defense let them down often. they scored 77.7 points per contest, but did not have a high point-differential because of their shoddy defense. This was the opposite against St. John’s. They will have to play a similar style of defense if they want to slow down a dynamic Buffalo offense.
- Bulls are 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games
- Bulls are 19-6-2 ATS in their last 27 neutral site games
- Bulls are 33-16-4 ATS in their last 53 games following an ATS win
- Over is 5-1-1 in Bulls last 7 neutral site games
- Over is 35-15-2 in Bulls last 52 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
After watching Arizona State and St. John’s play, it would be hard to take either of these teams against Buffalo. The Bulls come in at 31-3 on the season, and one of the highest scoring teams in the nation. They play at a fast pace that will make Arizona State uncomfortable. St. John’s had many wide open shot attempts that they were not knocking down in their First Four game. This will not be the case when the Sun Devils take the floor against Buffalo. They are one of the best shooting teams in the nation that can score from anywhere. This will be a double-digit margin of victory for Buffalo that will get them rolling in the tournament.
Prediction: Buffalo -5
Full-Game Total Pick
Neither of these teams played many overs this season due to high numbers because of their explosive offenses. In this game, both teams will come out hot to start with plenty of energy for the first round of the tournament. Free throws late are always a killer in the over/under. This is a way to sneak in the backdoor if you need late points. It should not take that though. These two teams should play an up-and-down game that has them scoring all afternoon.
Prediction: Over 156