tomorrow evening the Bulls play the one game on the schedule where the opponent is clearly better than them, and this game being at Purdue doesn't help at all either. Purdue is currently 6-0 with 2 of those wins coming against Wake Forest and Tennessee. Bottom line is this just isn't your ordinary Big 10 team, they're ranked 6th in the nation for a reason. So does UB actually have a shot at winning the game?
The answer is "sorta." Purdue isn't one of those teams that isn't in the top 10 because of superb athleticism and size where they cant just jump over everybody, or completely back their opponents down within 3 feet of the rim. They do it with hard-nosed defense, lengthy offensive possessions, and very good rebounding (exactly how the Bulls have played the past 2 years).
Buffalo surprising matches up with Purdue pretty well, the only big difference is that their guards are able to take the ball to the rack when needed, unlike ours. Luckily for the Bulls, Purdue is not that deep of a team, and with their quickest flashy player out (5'9" point guard Lewis Jackson), their really isn't someone on the Purdue team who is so much more athletically gifted than anyone on Buffalo.
I know JaJuan Johnson is an extremely good post player, but I think Watt and Boudreau give him different looks on defense, and do a good job of keeping him to his 14 point average, if not lower than that. Titus Robinson is the only guy on our team who can guard Robbie Hummel out on the perimeter, so a big key to the game will be how Titus can do against Hummel defensively.
So can Buffalo actually pull off the upset?
I mean, Purdue doesn't shoot the ball from the outside particularly well, so it gives Buffalo the option packing it in a little bit. Luckily Purdue doesn't really play zone, because if they did then Buffalo would have no shot at winning, so luckily for us Purdue is usually too stubborn to do anything but man. Buffalo rebounds the ball extremely well, so I think the biggest key is how well Purdue can shoot from the outside, because if they're cold, then Buffalo actually has a shot. I'm not gonna sit here and say that Buffalo is going to pull off the upset, because i don't think that they will. But with the styles of play that both teams bring, it should call for a low to mid scoring, fairly close encounter that can help Buffalo in preparing for the rest of the season.
I would love to see Buffalo pull off this upset, and since they actually have a shot at it (not a great one) everyone should be watching this game on the Bigten Network. BU-FF-AL-O GO!!! Lets see what our boys are made of.