The Buffalo Bulls know that if they want to earn a higher NCAA Tournament seed, they need to continue their upswing. Can the Miami Hawks pull off the upset in an important MAC game?
The No. 21 Buffalo Bulls (25-3, 13-2 MAC) will look to continue the roll that they are on when they take on the Miami Redhawks (15-3, 7-8) in Oxford, Ohio. The Bulls need to win at least one more game to secure the No.1 seed for the MAC Tournament. Meanwhile, the Redhawks are in a dogfight with several teams for conference seeding position. The game will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network with tipoff set at 8:00 p.m.
Buffalo enters the game with a two-game lead over Bowling Green (19-11, 11-4) for the best record in the division and conference. The Bulls have won six straight after pulling away from the Akron Zips late in Tuesday’s game. The Bulls outscored the Zips 15-2 over the last four-and-a-half minutes to grab a 77-64 win. C.J. Massinburg and Nick Perkins combined for 48 points, 15 rebounds, and eight assists to lead the way for the victors. Massinburg, who leads the team in scoring, tallied eight points during the run.
Both Buffalo and Bowling Green, which has lost two straight games, have three games remaining. The Bulls need to collect two wins or have the Falcons lose one of their final three games to nab their second consecutive MAC regular season title. Bowling Green defeated Buffalo 92-88 on Feb. 1. If the Bulls are able to accomplish the feat, it would mark the first time they have claimed back-to-back titles and just their fourth MAC crown in program history.
Buffalo plays at Ohio on Feb. 5 before closing the season at home versus Bowling Green on Feb.8. The Bulls have won 25 straight games at home. Meanwhile, the Falcons host Kent State on March 1 and the travels to Akron on March 5. Bowling Green garnered earlier wins against both Kent St. (88-64) and Akron (73-69).
Miami continued its recent trend of alternating wins and losses over the last eight games with their 82-69 victory over Bowling Green on Feb. 26. Nike Sibande led four Redhawks in double-figures with 20 points despite going 6-for-18 from the field. Dalonte Brown had 15 points while Mekhi Lairy contributed 15 and Jalen Adaway chipped in 13 points along with six rebounds.
The Redhawks are currently tied with Akron and Eastern Michigan for sixth place in the conference. They are also just one game up on ninth place Northern Illinois and two on 10th place Ball State. Miami hosts Kent St. and then travels to Ohio.
This will be the 45th all-time meeting between the two schools. The Redhawks hold a 25-19 lead in the series, although the Bulls have won three of the last four games. On the other hand, Miami has won two each of the previous two matchups at home.