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Mid American Conference Play Begins Buffalo Bulls at Miami Redhawks

After a very road-heavy out of conference schedule Buffalo once again takes to the road to start MAC play. How to Watch/Stream:

Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Game 13: UB (9-3) vs Miami (5-8)
Date - January 7th Last Meeting (2014): UB 78 - Miami 55
Time - 7:00 PM
MAC Record 0-0
Venue - Millett Hall Opponent Rankings - RPI (303)

All in all it's been a pretty good offseason for the Mid American Conference. Not strong enough to make one optimistic about the odds of an at-large bid for the MAC, but good none the less. Only three teams enter conference play with a losing record and UB is fortunate enough to open their season against one such team, the Miami Redhawks.

Don't let Miami's record fool you into thinking they will be a pushover. Lately Miami is playing a hot hand, as the Redhawks have won three out of their last four games with the lone loss coming to Ohio State. In their last game Eric Washington's 23 points and 7 rebounds were part of an an 8-10 shooting effort that lifted Miami to a 66-61 win over the University of Missouri Kansas City.

Redhawks coach John Cooper is in his third season in Oxford, and is trying to turn around a team that hasn’t finished better than third in the MAC East since 2011. After finishing last in the East in 2012 and 2013 Cooper had his best season with Miami last year, going 13-18.

Numbers To Know for Miami

8.7 - Steals per game leads the Mid American Conference and is 27th among Division One basketball teams.

14.2 - Turnovers per game is the flip side of the good thievery. It's the third-worst in the MAC.

Miami will stay in this game if Eric Washington has a hot hand, as he is the most potent weapon in Oxford. The leading scorer for the RedHawks, Washington is averaging 13.1 points per game. Throw in his 5.2 assists per game and he looks to be a challenging player for Bobby Hurley's defense to contain.

The Bulls just cracked the Mid Major 25 and have played well enough out of conference to be viewed as an 11 seed by Joe Lunardi. If the MAC is going to be a multi-bid conference teams like EMU and Buffalo have to step up and dominate conference play.

This is not the time to blow a game on the road which the team should win. Last season's loss to Ball State crushed morale and ended up hurting UB's seeding in the Mid-American Conference Tournament. Good teams have to win these road games in the MAC, because beating teams like EMU and CMU on the road will be far more challenging.

UB expects Jarryn Skeete to be back for the first time since he hurt in ankle in practice a little over a week ago. He missed several games and that production loss could have hurt given the short rotation used by Bobby Hurley.

How to Watch / Listen

TV: 7:00 p.m., ESPN3

Radio: ESPN 1520