CBB: Buffalo vs Vanderbilt Preview and Prediction
College basketball season is here–and as we have done for the last few years, MFST will be previewing and predicting the winners of all of the games each day. We pride ourselves on our love for the mid-majors, so you can count on us for all of your game previews and analysis. This year, we will be keeping track on our picks against the spread–the last two years we have had better than a 50% pick-rate ATS. Let’s make the 2019-20 season the most profitable yet…
Buffalo vs Vanderbilt
An underrated non-conference matchup takes place in the Music City on Tuesday night as the UB Bulls visit the Vanderbilt Commodores.
Get to know Buffalo
The Bulls will play their first true road contest of the year on Tuesday night when UB heads to Vanderbilt, looking for their first ever win against a program from the SEC. Under first year head coach Jim Whitesell, the Bulls have won five of their last six ball games as they begin a tough two-game road trip at Vanderbilt and Sunday at DePaul. The Bulls most recently defeated William & Mary on Saturday afternoon, 88-77. UB shot 54.8% from the floor, its highest total against a D-I opponent.
If UB is going to pull the upset, they will need their senior leader, Davonta Jordan to step up. Over the last two seasons, Jordan has played in 71 of the 72 possible games. He has started in all of those contests except two, one of those being senior day last season.
Jordan has been named the MAC’s all-defensive team each of the last two seasons as he has recorded 93 steals over the last two year. In each of his three seasons, Jordan as constantly increased his scoring, capped off by averaging 7.4 points per game last year. In the season opener, Jordan led the Bulls with 17 points, 13 of those coming over the final 12 minutes of the game. He tied his career high with four three-pointers, while adding six rebounds and four steals.
In the Charleston Classic, Jordan had a double-double with 10 points and tied his career high with 10 assists in the win over Towson. In the final game against Missouri St., Jordan set a new career high in scoring with 25 points, hitting 5-of-6 shots from three point range. Jordan had seven steals against William & Mary, fourth in school history in a single game and tied for the most by a player this year. He also moved into fifth place on UB’s all-time list for career assists.
Get to know Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt’s current run against tough competition didn’t get off to a successful start over the weekend. But greater lessons are often learned in defeat than victory.
The Commodores (5-2) will be looking to show they learned some of those lessons after Saturday’s defeat to Tulsa while they try to get back in the win column against Buffalo.
“It’s just about staying focused to the details and making sure that we don’t have those mental lapses,” Vanderbilt head coach Jerry Stackhouse said Saturday. “I don’t mind losing games to teams that come in and have a Herculean effort and they beat us. They jump up and they make shots, contested shots against our defense – the way we want to play.
“I don’t think that was completely the case (against Tulsa). Tonight’s loss was some of our own doing and we have to figure out a way to clean that up.”
A 67-58 setback to Tulsa was the first inside Memorial Gymnasium this season for Vandy. It was also the lowest point total of the campaign so for for the Commodores as they struggled to figure out the Golden Hurricane’s matchup zone defense.
Vanderbilt shot just 35.7 percent from the floor on the loss, had 16 turnovers to just 12 assists and, although it made eight 3s, missed 16 shots from long distance.
“Overall this is good for us. This is a good test for us against a team that is good at what they do,” Stackhouse said. “Their matchup zone is something, hopefully, we won’t see every night in our league. But that’s what we’re trying to prepare for, different things that we’ll see in our league.
“I think it’s a good thing we’re seeing these type of defenses and the fact that our non-conference schedules presents those challenges for us. It’ll be good for us in the long run.”
LINE: -2 Vanderbilt
Score Prediction: Buffalo 77 Vanderbilt 75
Dan’s Bet: Buffalo +2