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West Virginia vs. Buffalo - NCAA Tournament - 3/20/15 Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Buffalo Bulls (23-9) at West Virginia Mountaineers (23-9)

College Basketball: Friday, March 20, 2015 at 2:00 pm (Nationwide Arena)

The Line: West Virginia Mountaineers -4 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: TNT HD

The Buffalo Bulls and West Virginia Mountaineers will face off at Nationwide Arena this Friday afternoon in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Buffalo Bulls finished the regular season with a 23-9 (12-6 MAC) record and earned their NCAA bid by winning the MAC Championship game 89-84 against the Central Michigan Chippewas. Buffalo is one of the better mid-conference teams that most people don’t know about and have the size and offensive to cause some teams trouble in the NCAA Tournament. On the season, Buffalo has been led by Justin Moss (17.7 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.0 spg) and Shannon Evans (15.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.7 apg). The Bulls are ranked 30th in the RPI Standings and 55th in the BPI Standings. Buffalo averages 75.0 ppg (ranked 28th) on 43.5% shooting (ranked 175th). The Bulls average just 11.3 turnovers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.17. Defensively, Buffalo is allowing their opponents to average 68.3 ppg (ranked 237th) on 42.2% shooting (ranked 129th).

West Virginia vs. Buffalo - NCAA Tournament - 3/20/15 Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The 18th-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers finished the regular season with a 23-9 (11-7 Big 12) record. The Mountaineers fell to the Baylor Bears in the quarterfinals of the Big-12 Championship however, were without one of their better players, Juwan Staten. On the season, West Virginia has been led by Juwan Staten (14.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.6 apg) and Devin Williams (11.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.3 apg). The Mountaineers are ranked 24th in the RPI Standings and 22nd in the BPI Standings. West Virginia is averaging 73.9 ppg (ranked 36th) on 41.2% shooting (ranked 278th). The Mountaineers average 13.1 turnovers per game and has a 1.11 assist/turnover ratio. Defensively, West Virginia is allowing opponents to average 66.8 ppg (ranked 172nd)on 46.8% shooting (ranked 327th). The Mountaineers average 10.9 spg and commit 23.4 personal fouls per game.

The Bulls are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games. The Mountaineers are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 non-conference games and 13-5-1 ATS in their last 19 NCAA Tournament games.

Buffalo has had a great year and although they don’t have much tournament experience, they did have the opportunity to play both Kentucky and Wisconsin this year which will give them great experience going into this tournament. West Virginia has been banged up as of late and has lost 3 of their last 4 games however, they should have Juwan Staten back in the line-up for this one. West Virginia has the best pressure defense in the country as they lead the NCAA in steals per game and turnover margin, however, if they don’t generate enough points off turnovers they can struggle in their half-court offensive. Buffalo has the MAC player of the year in Justin Moss and although Buffalo might not have much experience in the NCAA Tournament, their head coach has plenty of personal experience as Buffalo is led by former Duke standout Bobby Hurley.  West Virginia is a great team however, as Buffalo does a good job protecting the basketball, I think that they are primed for the upset in this one. I’m going to take Buffalo Bulls and the points in this one. 

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Buffalo Bulls +4

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