MAC Final: Bowling Green vs Buffalo Prediction
Bowling Green vs Buffalo Preview
Two teams MFST predicted would meet for the MAC Title came to fruition, even if took a few scares along the way. Buffalo (30-3, 16-2) might have looked like the prohibitive favorite to start the conference tournament, but the Bulls’ 85-81 victory over the conference’s fifth-seeded team in Central Michigan was a reminder that a repeat MAC tournament title will be a tough task, much less a deep run in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
Bowling Green (22-11, 12-6) also dealt with their own scare as they blew a 23-point lead to Northern Illinois in their own MAC semifinal but still finished off a 71-67 victory behind 25 points from junior guard Dylan Frye. Sophomore guard Justin Turner leads the Falcons with 18.4 points per game but managed only 14 against NIU.
And there is history between these two teams.
Bowling Green is the last team Buffalo lost to before going on its current 11-game winning streak.
Back on Feb. 1, Bowling Green earned a 92-88 victory at home over Buffalo, but the Bulls avenged that defeat in the regular-season finale on March 8 with an 84-73 decision.
UB head coach Nate Oats who constantly compares his team to blue-collar workers just doing their job, had some praise for his team just getting to the MAC final:
“I’ll give our guys credit that they figured out how to win a game,” Oats said. “We couldn’t make a shot from (the) three (point range). … We were going to have to figure out a different way. Get boards, turn them over, get some transition buckets. We did a little bit of everything and did just enough to squeak out of here with a win.”
MAC Conference Player of the Year C.J. Massinburg has struggled to get going in the tournament, shooting a combined 3-for-14 in the first halves of the Bulls tournament games. He only mustered four points in the first half against CMU.
Buffalo is expected to get an NCAA tournament invite even if it loses to Bowling Green on Saturday. It means that teams on the bubble and waiting for the committee to put them in the tournament will be rooting for Buffalo so that the MAC qualifies just one team.
Seeding however, is important. While most ‘experts’ have the Bulls as high as a No.6 seed in the NCAA Tournament, I believe with a win over BGSU, UB can find themselves in the 5vs12 matchup (as the 5-seed of course).
LINE: -10 Buffalo
Dan’s Bet: Over 159
Score Prediction: Buffalo 90 Bowling Green 82