Buffalo vs Central Michigan Preview and Prediction
Buffalo vs Central Michigan Preview
The Buffalo Bulls (17-6, 9-1) return to the road for two straight games against the MAC West beginning on Tuesday night with a trip to Central Michigan (15-8, 4-6). The Chippewas are one of just two MAC teams that UB has not seen yet this season. This will be the only regular season meeting between the two teams.
Buffalo has won 11 straight games against MAC West teams dating back to last year, its longest streak against the opposite division since joining the league. UB will play its next two games against the MAC West, heading to Northern Illinois on Saturday afternoon.
The Bulls like to share
After recording 21 assists on Friday night, the Bulls are now averaging 17.5 assists per game in 10 MAC contests. UB is averaging 16.8 assists per game, which is top 30 in the nation. Five times this season, UB has recorded 20 or more assists in a game.
Buffalo is currently 22nd in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 83.3 points per game. UB has only averaged 80.0 for an entire season once in their school history back during the 1970-71 season. On Tuesday night, Buffalo will be playing a Central Michigan team that averaged over 80.0 points per game last season with Marcus Keene and Braylon Rayson.
Get to know the Chippewas
Central Michigan is coming off a double overtime road win at Ohio on Saturday afternoon and they are 15-8 on the year and 4-6 in the league. The Chippewas began the year 12-2 as they rolled through non-conference, but have won just three of their last nine. CMU is currently riding a two-game winning streak.
The Chippewas are the best free throw shooting teams in the country as CMU shoots 80.5% as a team from the line which leads all of the NCAA. Central Michigan is the only team in the country to shoot better than 80% from the line.
Central Michigan has four players averaging double figures led by Shawn Roundtree, who is averaging 15.0 points per game and a team-high 95 assists. Cecil Williams is adding 14.8 points and David DiLeo is averaging 12.6 points and a team-high 7.5 rebounds. Luke Meyer chips in 10.0 points per contest.
Keno Davis is in his sixth season as head coach at Central Michigan. In 2016-17, that Davis-coached offense ranked third in the nation, averaging an explosive 88.3 points per game, triggered by the dynamic backcourt duo of Marcus Keene and Braylon Rayson, the former the nation’s leading scorer. In one season at Drake and three at Providence, Davis compiled a 74-55 (.574) record and made two postseason appearance. Prior to taking over as the head coach at Drake, Davis served as an assistant under his father, Dr. Tom Davis, at Drake from 2003-07. Keno Davis began his coaching career in 1995 as an assistant for two years under Bruce Pearl at Southern Indiana. Keno and his father share the distinction of being the only father-son duo to have captured national coach of the year honors.
1,000 x 2
The Buffalo Bulls have two 1,000 point scorers on their ball club. Junior CJ Massinburg is the seventh fastest to do so, achieving it in his 73rd career game, which is quicker than previous MAC Players of the Year Turner Battle, Mitchell Watt, and all-time leading scorer, Javon McRea.
Junior forward Nick Perkins became the latest member of the 1,000 point club as he scored 20 points at Ohio on Jan. 26 to become the 21st player in school history to accomplish the feat.
If this game was in Buffalo, I would have the Bulls winning by double-figures, but this Chippewas team cannot be taken lightly and will be ready to battle the first-place Bulls.
LINE: -6 Buffalo
Buffalo 84 Central Michigan 80