Eastern Michigan vs Buffalo Preview and Prediction
Eastern Michigan vs Buffalo Preview
These teams met just two weeks ago with the Buffalo Bulls dominating from start to finish, cruising to a 74-58 victory. Now with home court advantage, will the winning margin grow for the Bulls? Or will Eastern Michigan exact revenge?
In the first meeting, the Bulls shot 50 percent and held the Eagles to 33.3 percent shooting. Buffalo also had a decided advantage in paint points (38 to 22), bench scoring (27 to 9), and points off turnovers (20 to 6).
“You have to make sure when you get an opportunity, Division I players have to make open shots,” Eastern Michigan coach Rob Murphy said shortly after that game. “We didn’t make open shots. I thought that was the difference in the game.”
Since that game, Eastern Michigan (8-9 overall, 2-2 MAC) has recorded victories over Ball State and Kent State and dropped a 51-49 decision to Akron.
The Eagles missed two layups in the last six seconds against the Zips. Eastern Michigan outscored Akron 34-16 in the paint and had a 35-25 rebounding advantage but shot just 3-for-15 from beyond the arc. Eastern Michigan is shooting 29.4 percent from long-range this season.
Eastern Michigan has three players averaging double figures, led by 13.6 points per game from Elijah Minnie and 13.3 points per contest from Paul Jackson. James Thompson IV is averaging a double-double for EMU with 10.9 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.
UB (16-1, 4-0) was tested last time about against Western Michigan, but still managed an 11-point victory, 88-77. Senior swingman Jeremy Harris led the way with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Harris has led the team in scoring three consecutive games, averaging 24.3 points during that span.
“It’s as close as we’ve had in a while,” Bulls coach Nate Oats told the Buffalo News. “It’s not the worst thing we’ve had happen to us, but we’ve got to fix some stuff. We’re not headed in the right direction. We’ve got to start playing better on defense to start the game. Our rebounding’s got to get better, and they were killing us on the glass early, which has been a problem with us lately. They came out and played hard, most of the game.”
LINE: -16 Buffalo
Dan’s Bet: Over 146
EMU picked as the preseason favorite to win the MAC West as they received 183 points and 17 first place votes–so despite its record, the Eagles are a good basketball team. The wide point spread makes me wary a bit, Buffalo will win but if they come out soft like they did against WMU it could be a single-digit ball game.
Score Prediction: Buffalo 88 Eastern Michigan 78