Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Previewing the Bulls....

The MAC season continues as the Falcons head into Buffalo to take on the Bulls Wednesday.  BG battled Buffalo once this season, in BG, and were dealt a pretty disappointing loss when Sean Smiley stroked a 3 in the final seconds to give the Bulls the win.  It was much like many BG games in that game was close until about 5 minutes left in the first half, but hit the skids and went into the locker room down 9.  BG rallied from there and made it close, but Smiley had the shot at the end.  Rodney Pierce had 21 points and looked like an all-MAC player, and BG's inside players did not shoot well, and that spelled a Bull win that was pretty disappointing.

They are 7-5 in MAC play, but it has been a topsy-turvey season for them.  They won their first 3 MAC games (including over Akron), but then lost 5 of their next 6 before winning their last 3 coming into this game.  In their last game, they beat Kent by 15 in Alumni Arena.

Looking at the stats, it is pretty easy to see why the two teams played such a close game the first time around and are only one game apart in the standings.  It is even more interesting because the teams really do play two different styles, especially in the context of today's MAC, where there are no true up-tempo teams.  In the game at AA, BG controlled the tempo and kept the scoring down, and the same test will be played out in Buffalo.

Comparing Buffalo's offense to BG's defense first, we find that the teams are pretty evenly matched.  BG will be tested to protect the boards and keep Buffalo off the free throw line.

Flipping it around, the story is very similar.  Buffalo plays somewhat of a less defensively-oriented game, and BG does have the opportunity to score against them if they get the opportunity.

So, I don't suppose this is an especially complicated challenge.  It would be great to see BG put together two strong games in a row.  BG has been tough on the road this year and Buffalo has 4 home losses and crowds have been small, from what I hear.  If BG can get the inside play it got against Miami or the guard play it has gotten in other games, handle Buffalo's pressure, I think they can really pick up a road victory.  On the other hand, Buffalo appears to be coming around, and still have a very good shot to earn a bye to the Q, and they will be ready to play as well.

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