Kent State Golden Flashes (17-16) at Buffalo Bulls (24-8)
College Basketball: Friday, March 9, 2018 at 6:30 pm (Quicken Loans Arena)
The Line: Buffalo Bulls -11 -- Over/Under:159.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
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The Kent State Golden Flashes and Buffalo Bulls will square off at Quicken Loans Arena this Friday night in the semifinals in the MAC Men’s Tournament.
The 5-seed Kent State Golden Flashes improved to 17-16 (9-9 MAC) on the season after upsetting the 4-seed Ball State Cardinals, 76-73, last night in the quarterfinals of the MAC Men’s Tournament. Kent State led by a 63-53 margin midway through the 2nd half and pulled away after a Jalen Avery lay-up gave the Golden Flashes a 74-71 lead with just :24 seconds left in regulation. Kent State held Ball State to just 37.7% shooting from the field and 25.0% (6-24) from beyond the arc in the win. Leading the way for the Golden Flashes was Adonis De La Rosa who had a double-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 steals, and an assist. On the season, Kent State is averaging 73.3 ppg on 42.9% shooting from the field. The Golden Flashes are averaging 7.5 three-pointers per game on 32.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Kent State has been led by Jaylin Walker (16.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.1 spg), Kevin Zabo (12.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.1 spg), Adonis De La Rosa (11.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.0 apg), and Jalen Avery (10.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 3.7 apg). Defensively, Kent State is allowing their opponents to average 73.5 ppg on 44.9% shooting from the field. The Golden Flashes have a rebound margin of 0.9 and a turnover margin of 0.1.
The top-seeded Buffalo Bulls improved to 24-8 on the season after defeating the 8-seed Central Michigan Chippewas, 89-74, yesterday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the MAC Men’s Tournament. Buffalo led by just a 77-74 margin with 2:35 left in regulation however, stepped up defensively down the stretch and closed out the game on an impressive 12-0 run. Buffalo held Central Michigan to 36.1% shooting from the field and 21.4% (6-28) from beyond the arc in the win. Leading the way for the Bulls was Jeremy Harris who had a double-double with 27 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, and a block. On the season, Buffalo is averaging 85.2 ppg on 47.6% shooting from the field. The Bulls are averaging 9.7 three-pointers per game on 36.9% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Buffalo has been led by CJ Massinburg (17.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.1 spg), Nick Perkins (16.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg), Jeremy Harris (15.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.1 spg), and Wes Clark (14.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 5.4 apg, 1.2 spg). Defensively, Buffalo is allowing their opponents to average 76.7 ppg on 43.1% shooting from the field. The Bulls have a rebound margin of 2.2 and a turnover margin of 1.2.
The Golden Flashes are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 neutral site games. The Bulls are 5-1-2 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS win and 10-31 ATS in their last 14 neutral site games.
Kent State and Buffalo split their regular season series as the Golden Flashes won by a 82-79 margin at home in late January while the Bulls won by a 84-72 margin at home in mid-February.
Kent State has won 4 of their last 5 games and has been playing much better on the defensive end as of late as over their last three games, the Golden Flashes have held their opponents to an average of just 66.4 ppg. Buffalo continued to pile up points in their opening matchup of the MAC Tournament and come into this game ranked 4th in scoring offense, 40th in FG%, and 29th in three-pointers made per game. Buffalo’s offense is outstanding and can put up 90+ on any given night, however, Kent State has played well as of late and as they’ve given Buffalo trouble in both games this season, I’m taking the Golden Flashes and the points.