If you’ve been following this season of UB Men’s hoops, you know the roller coaster journey it has been. Buffalo is currently on a two game losing streak against Kent State and Akron, and the journey doesn’t get any easier tonight. Buffalo heads to Athens, Ohio to take on the Bobcats. There is so much at stake during this game, and I sure hope the Bulls play like it.
For starters, the Bulls need to win out in order to lock up the three seed as far as I’m concerned. Not only that, but the MAC is so crowded, that UB is in danger of dropping out of the top 4 and automatic bye to Cleveland. With Ohio and Bowling Green remaining, it is very plausible that it will happen, but will require the Bulls to get hot on offense again. Let’s take a look at what needs to happen tonight.
What to Watch For
Can Blake Hamilton catch fire again?
The key to UB’s success appears to be senior Blake Hamilton. When he is on his game, the Bulls are unstoppable. It only makes everyone else better as space opens up on the floor when defenses collapse on Hamilton. If he can regain form and start to make contested lay ups again, I like the Bulls going forward.
Perkins has struggled recently. There is no denying that. But, he can also be one of the best players on the floor. When he stays down low and in the paint, he dominates. He’s been trying to stretch the floor recently and that has thrown him off. I think when he settles back in to his role of a dominate big man, he will prove why he has the potential to dominate the MAC.
Can the Bulls get out to a hot start?
Last time these two teams played, Buffalo came out hot. Slowly in the second half, the Bulls blew a large lead. It was all sparked by a Nick Perkins’ technical. If the Bulls come out firing on all cylinders, they can take the crowd out of it and win this game. Similar to the game at CMU, there will be a late run that the team will have to withstand. If they can do all this, I feel good about their chances.
This is a must win. Period. After losing to Kent State, you knew Buffalo had to go 1-1 against Akron and Ohio. After losing Friday, this game is essential. It can also be a good start to the Bulls getting hot going in to the MAC tournament. I’m excited for this match up because it should be a fun one. Even without Antonio Campbell, the Bobcats are talented. I hope that UB doesn’t rely on the three ball early, and instead pounds it inside. Either way buckle your seat belts Bulls fans, we’re in for another wild ride.