SI: Buffalo Bulls are likely to pull off upset against Arizona Wildcats

Mar 14, 2018, 4:02 PM
Buffalo's Jeremy Harris, right, hugs CJ Massinburg after Buffalo defeated Toledo 76-66 during an NC...
Buffalo's Jeremy Harris, right, hugs CJ Massinburg after Buffalo defeated Toledo 76-66 during an NCAA college basketball championship game of the Mid-American Conference tournament, Saturday, March 10, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Getting to the NCAA Tournament isn’t new for the Buffalo Bulls and head coach Nate Oats, but pulling off an upset would be, since Buffalo has never won a game in the tournament.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Johnson, the Bulls are the seventh most likely team to pull off a first-round upset in their matchup against the Arizona Wildcats.

Johnson did concur that Buffalo will have trouble guarding Arizona’s 7-foot-1 center, Deandre Ayton. The Bulls don’t have a single seven-foot player, and they only have three players at 6-foot-10 or taller.

However, Johnson believes that Buffalo’s wing players should worry the Wildcats.

What the Bulls do have is two members of the all-Mid-American Conference first team (junior guard C.J. Massinburg, junior forward Nick Perkins) averaging at least 16 points per game, plus an all-MAC second-teamer in 6-foot-7 junior wing (Jeremy Harris) who led all MAC players during conference play by draining 46.3 percent of his 108 three-point attempts.

The Bulls make 9.6 threes a game, the 31st most in the NCAA, on 37.1 percent of their shots. Buffalo is led by Harris who has the 23rd best three-point percentage in the NCAA.

Arizona also has a lack of legitimate perimeter defenders. While Rawle Alkins has a strong pedigree as a defender, Allonzo Trier is the only experienced wing with size outside of Alkins, leaving the Bulls with some specific matchups they can attack throughout the game.

This season, Arizona has had one of its worst defensive teams in the Sean Miller era. Miller expressed that a big reason for the team’s defensive struggles is because the Wildcats often give up open three-point shots. Arizona gives up 21.7 points a game from threes alone.

Penguin Air

Arizona Basketball

Pac-12 Conference commissioner George Kliavkoff speaks at Pac-12 NCAA college football media day Fr...
Arizona Sports

Pac-12, Larry Fitzgerald-backed startup to monetize highlights for NIL

The Pac-12 is entering the NIL space by partnering with a startup that will help athletes earn money from their personalized game highlights.
7 days ago
Basketballs are rolled off the court during the NCAAB game at McKale Center on January 03, 2022 in ...
Nikash Nath

CBS Sports: Wildcats among top 30 best 2021-22 sports programs

CBS Sports released rankings Monday with over 130 colleges ordered on the success of their athletic programs. 
11 days ago
Pac-12 logo on the court after a college basketball game between the Arizona State Sun Devils and t...
Arizona Sports

Report: Talks between Pac-12, Big 12 end without future partnership

The Big 12 and Pac-12 conferences have concluded talks without a future partnership, reports ESPN's Pete Thamel.
24 days ago
Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd shouts to the team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball ga...
Arizona Sports

Arizona, Duke men’s basketball set for home-and-home series in 2023-24

The Arizona and Duke men's basketball programs announced Monday their plans to hold a home-and-home series beginning in 2023.
24 days ago
Incoming Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yorkman smiles during a news conference opening the NCAA college...
Arizona Sports

Big 12 ‘exploring all options’ when asked about potential Pac-12 additions

Big 12 commissioner Brett Yorkmack said Wednesday that the conference is open to expansion when asked about the Pac-12.
29 days ago
Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff speaks at a press conference before the PAC-12 Football Champi...
Arizona Sports

Pac-12 breakup amid conference realignment ‘overstated’ at the moment

Nobody is denying that ASU and Arizona, among other teams, could be considering leaving the Pac-12. But it's a holding pattern for now.
1 month ago
SI: Buffalo Bulls are likely to pull off upset against Arizona Wildcats