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2017-18 MAC Basketball Preview: Buffalo Bulls at Syracuse Orange

Upstate foes set for battle

NCAA Basketball: Buffalo at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bulls have started the season 7-3 while the Syracuse Orange are sitting at 9-1. Along with being in-state rivals, this is a big game for the Bulls with regards to RPI rankings. Currently, the Bulls are sitting at 65. The Orange are ranked 12th. A win here and that would bump them up near the NCAA bubble.

Game Details

  • When: December 19th, 7p.m.
  • Where: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, New York
  • Watch: ACC Network
  • Stream: WatchESPN App, providing cable provider participation
  • Listen: ESPN 1520-AM WWKB/TuneIn App
  • Line: Syracuse -10

Players to Watch

  • C.J. Massinburg, Buffalo: The 6’3 guard is averaging 20 points and 7.8 rebounds per game on the season.
  • Ikenna Smart, Buffalo: Made his season debut in the last game and scored 12.
  • Tyus Battle, Syracuse: Averaging 21.5 points per game on the season on the season.
  • Oshae Brissett, Syracuse: The 6’8 freshman is averaging 14.7 points and 9.7 rebounds on the season.


Buffalo is shooting 34.8% from beyond the arch and are hitting nearly 10 treys per game. Against a zone team like the Orange, hitting from outside is usually the key to the game. Plus the Bulls have the ability to get out and run. A zone isn’t effective if it can’t set up. The 10 point line is pretty fair, but a hot shooting Bulls squad could certainly pull off the upset. Of course, a cold shooting Bulls squad could get blown out of the gym.