Andy Katz put out his preseason power ranking for the upcoming basketball season. Number 1 was Kentucky, to the shock of no one. However, the Buffalo Bulls, who were knocked out of the 2018 NCAA tournament by Kentucky, came in ranked 35th. You can read the entire rankings here. This is good news for the Buffalo Bulls and also for the entire conference.
Starting this high on such a prestigious power ranking gives a loaded Bulls squad a chance to stay on the tongues of the national media. This is an important part of the NCAA selection process. The momentum gained from knocking off Arizona in the first round continues. However for the Bulls to maintain this momentum, they must win. Their pre-conference schedule is not particularly loaded with big names, with the exception of a game against Syracuse on ESPN2. Any loss, even to a good mid-major like St. Bonaventure, will make all that hype disappear quickly.
The Bulls have the squad to keep the train rolling. As the article mentions, leading scorer CJ Massinburg returns. So does defensive stopper Dontay Caruthers. So does 6’7 guard Jeremy Harris, who was third on the team in scoring. Nick Perkins, the number 2 leading Bulls scorer from a year ago, also returns. The 6’9 inside presence is interestingly enough from Ypsilanti.
Another interesting tidbit to come out of the power rankings is that Mr. Katz mentions the Eastern Michigan Eagles as a potential roadblock for the Bulls. These two teams play each other on January 4th, the first conference game of the season for each team. The Eagles have an interesting non-conference schedule with a bunch of winnable games, plus contests against Duke and Kansas. The Eagles are also loaded in talent and their name might also be on the tongues of the national media. That Friday night game in early January could be very hyped.
There are some other teams in the conference that could also make moves with regards to national prestige, and we will cover that as we get hyped for the upcoming basketball season. The preseason is when it is time to dream big, before the realities of the season settle in. However, this season it might be time to dream a little bigger and reality might be a little sweeter for the fans of the MAC.