After an exciting 89-74 win in the MAC Quarterfinals, the #1 seed Buffalo Bulls are taking on the #5 Kent State Golden Flashes for a chance to play in the MAC Championship. This is the third match up of these teams this season, and every game has been just as emotional as the last. The Flashes and Bulls have a rivalry that is often dominated by on the court drama, and close finishes.
The Bulls had a strong game in the quarterfinals, despite some questioning calls going against their way. As Nate Oats said post game, the Bulls were not great on offense, but they found other ways to win by sharing the ball and rebounding on both ends. The fact that the Bulls found a way to win by 15 despite playing poorly on offense, shows that the potential of this team is as high as ever.
As for the Flashes, they played a back and forth game with Ball State before finally winning by 3. It was a game of runs as the Flashes would get out to notable leads and then allow the Cardinals to fight their way back. Jaylin Walker often got caught playing “hero ball” which allowed for the Ball State pushes. The Kent State fans traveled well due to their proximity to Cleveland, so expect a lot of the same today. Here are some more things to watch for today.
What to Watch For
Nick Perkins and Adonis De La Rosa
These two players have a history of bad feelings, and on a stage as important as the MAC semifinals, tempers are bound to flare. De La Rosa has a habit of embellishing to get calls, and Perkins lets that effect him. If Perk is able to keep his head on straight, he will have a big impact for the Bulls. If he can’t, he will have a big impact for the Golden Flashes.
The lone senior on the Bulls had a tough game against CMU, but I doubt that he plays poorly twice in a row. Whether it was nerves or just a bad game, it happens and now he has a MAC tournament game under his belt. Look for him to have a rebound game and lead the Bulls.
Nate Oats said yesterday that he’s still a little banged up from the Bowling Green game. Jordan didn’t attempt a shot yesterday, and he seemed off still. Luckily because the Bulls are so deep, Dontay Caruthers stepped up to fill in a point guard role. It will be interesting to see how much action Jordan sees today.
The Bulls can win this game. Talent wise, they are way head and shoulders above the Flashes, but if they let them get in their head, they will open up the chance to lose. The name of the game should be focus. It should be a fun environment today at the Q, and make sure you’re loud Bulls fans. I’ll be tweeting out live updates, so make sure to follow along on twitter, and enjoy the moment Bulls fans!