Buffalo Bulls (27-8) at Kentucky Wildcats (25-10)
College Basketball: Saturday, March 17, 2018 at 5:15 pm (Taco Bell Arena)
The Line: Kentucky Wildcats -6 -- Over/Under: 158.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Buffalo Bulls and Kentucky Wildcats will square off at Taco Ball Arena this Saturday night in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 13-seed Buffalo Bulls improved to 27-8 on the season after easily upsetting the 4-seed Arizona Wildcats, 89-68, this past Thursday night. Buffalo, and their high-powered offense jumped all over the Wildcats in this one and easily pulled away for the victory after a 15-3 Bulls run gave Buffalo a 75-58 lead with just 6:08 left in regulation. Buffalo shot an impressive 54.8% from the field and 50.0% (15-30) from beyond the arc while holding Arizona to just 11.1% (2-18) shooting from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Bulls was Wes Clark who had 25 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 blocks, and a steal. On the season, Buffalo is averaging 84.8 ppg on 47.4% shooting from the field. The Bulls are averaging 9.7 three-pointers per game on 37.1% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensviely, Buffalo has been led by CJ Massinburg (16.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.1 spg), Nick Perkins (16.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg), Jeremy Harris (15.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.0 spg), and Wes Clark (15.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 5.4 apg, 1.3 spg). Defensively, Buffalo is holding their opponents to an average of 75.9 ppg on 42.5% shooting from the field. The Bulls have a rebound margin of 2.5 and a turnover margin of 1.4.
The 5-seed Kentucky Wildcats had a tough fight with the Davidson Wildcats who would just not go away, however, Kentucky was able to survive and advance, after defeating Davidson by a 78-73 margin on Thursday night. Davidson fought back from a double-digit halftime deficit to tie the game at 54-all with just under 8 minutes left, however, Kentucky was finally able to pull away after a 9-0 Kentucky run gave Kentucky a 70-59 lead with just :55 seconds left in regulation. Kentucky didn’t make a single three-pointer in the victory, however, shot 51.0% from the field while holding Davidson to just 39.3% shooting from the field and 33.3% (11-33) shooting from beyond the arc. Leading the way for Kentucky was Kevin Knox who had 25 points, 6 rebounds, and an assist. On the season, Kentucky is averaging 76.7 ppg on 47.0% shooting from the field. The Wildcats are averaging 5.4 three-pointers per game on 36.1% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensviely, Kentucky has been led by Kevin Knox (15.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.4 apg), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (14.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 5.1 apg, 1.7 spg), PJ Washington (10.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.6 apg), and Hamidou Diallo (9.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.3 apg). Defensively, Kentucky is allowing their opponents to average 70.3 ppg on 40.6% shooting from the field. The Wildcats have a rebound margin of 4.7 and a turnover margin of -1.1.
The Bulls are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win and 19-6-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Wildcats are 2-0-2 ATS in their last 4 NCAA Tournament games and 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS win.
Buffalo has an outstanding backcourt which was on full display in their victory against Arizona and has one of the more explosive offenses in the country as the Bulls come into this matchup ranked 7th in scoring offense, 43rd in FG%, and 29th in three-pointers made per game. Kentucky has been playing some if it’s best basketball of the season as of late as the Wildcats have won 8 of their last 9 games and been solid on both sides of the ball as Kentucky currently ranks 88th in scoring offense, 124th in scoring defense, and 23rd in defensive FG%. This will be a tough game for the Bulls, however, between the fact that the Bulls have multiple scoring options and have looked good defensively as of late, I think the Buffalo will be able to do enough to at worst, cover with the points.