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NCAA Basketball - Buffalo Bulls vs Drexel Dragons

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Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Game 8: UB (5-2) vs Drexel (2-4)
Date - December 16th Last Meeting (2013) -  UB 55  @ Drexel 52
Time - 7:00 PM
Opponent League League: CAA
Venue - Alumni Arena (Buffalo) Opponent RPI - 154

By the time UB and Drexel square off for their midweek game it will have been more than a month since the Bulls teed up for a game in Alumni Arena. Their last home game was the season opener against South Dakota State University. Since then UB has played five road and one neutral site game.

All of these games on the road, and playing the #1 team in the nation, have had a very positive effect on UB's RPI. The Bulls are ranked 16th in the nation according to RealTimeRPI. It's early in the year and things will shake themselves out as conference play begins but it's entirely possible that UB can hit MAC play with a 9-3 record and a top 50 RPI.

All of this of course depends on the Bulls beating teams like Drexel. The Dragons might be only 2-4 but aside from their loss to "University of the Sciences" (Discussed Below) the Dragons have been playing a respectable slate of teams, getting better week by week. Their last of four losses to open the season was a 72-70 decision against USC.

Outside of Kentucky Buffalo's strongest opponent has been Canisius (RPI 103). The Bulls high RPI is owed to road wins over teams mainly in the bottom half of the NCAA and the strength of schedule boosts from Kentucky. This home game against Drexel seems to fit in that categogy.

In their last game the Bulls dominated Robert Morris 74-59 and in truth it was probably not even that close. Really the only negatives for UB in this one were Rodel Wigginton's 3-12 shooting, Justin Moss' 8 turnovers, and the fact Xavier Ford was still out injured.

UB flashed a balanced offense which saw all five starters at or near double digit points. The team was led by Moss' twenty. RMU's late run actually pushed their shooting percentage above UB's, but the visitors enjoyed 10 offensive rebounds and 8 fast break points.

Drexel just suffered maybe the most ignominious defeat of the NCAA season, a loss even more embarrassing than Michigan dropping a home game to NJIT. The Dragons lost to "University of the Sciences" on a buzzer beater at home.

A young man named Garrett Kerr was the star for the Devils, posting 27 points and 10 rebounds, including the game-winning three. Believe it or not, that's pretty much average -- the 2014 All-American averages 24.3 points per game and 13.3 rebounds per game, 10th and 2nd in Division II, respectively.

Before you put too much stock in this game few people mention that Drexal was without a star player, Tavon Allen, or that the Dragons only had eight available. UB saw first hand against Saint Bonaventure what a short bench can do.

The Dragons hope to right this ship against Lasalle this afternoon.

Players to Watch
Rodell Wigginton

Wigginton was a JUCO commit to Ohio but the coaching staff change in Athens gave Bobby Hurley an opportunity to recruit the College of Central Florida star.

In his second year with the Patriots he started all 30 games and averaged 16.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

This year WIgginton is averaging six points and four rebounds a game.

Tavon Allen

As a sophomore Allen averaged 11.7 points and three rebounds in 28 games and 10 starts for the Dragons.

As a depth player he finished third for Drexel with 53 assists.

This season he is averaging 9 points and almost three assist per game. Allen is questionable for today with a knee injury but he should be ready by the time UB and Drexel play on Wednesday