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2018 MAC Basketball Preview: Western Michigan Broncos at Buffalo Bulls

The Bulls will try to bounce back against the Broncos after their first conference loss

NCAA Basketball: Buffalo at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Western Michigan Broncos (13-9) take on the Buffalo Bulls (16-6) after their first loss in 2018. The Bulls fell to Kent State earlier in the week 82-79 at the MAC Center. Western Michigan won their last game defeating Eastern Michigan in a commanding fashion 71-57. The Broncos are going to need another strong performance if they want to take down the top team in the MAC.

Game Details

When: Friday, Feb. 2nd, 2018 at 7:00 PM ET

Where: Alumni Arena - Buffalo, New York

Watch: CBSSN

Players To Watch

CJ Massinburg, G, Buffalo - Massinburg went off for 20 the last time Buffalo faced Western Michigan. If Western Michigan is going to have any chance against the Bulls they are going to have keep Massinburg in check. The 6’3” guard had just eight points in Buffalo’s last outing against Kent State. However, Massinburg has been held under 10 points just one other time this season.

Nick Perkins, F, Buffalo - Other than averaging 16.3 points per game and scoring 18 points against the Broncos in their last meeting, Perkins is an outstanding rebounder. Western Michigan got out rebounded 43-35 in their last outing against Buffalo and Perkins had nine of those 43 rebounds. The 6’8”, 250 pound big man will be all over the glass in this showdown.

Thomas Wilder, G, Western Michigan - The Broncos success runs through the senior guard. Wilder had a whopping 40 points against Toledo earlier in the week and they still lost 85-81. The key in this game for the Broncos will be having players to compliment Wilder’s scoring. The Illinois native is a very streaky scorer, but when he gets hot, watch out.

Josh Davis, G, Western Michigan - Davis will be the battling on the glass with Buffalo’s Nick Perkins. Forward Brandon Johnson will have the duty of defending Perkins, meanwhile Davis will try to grab every board to give the edge to Western Michigan in the rebounding battle. Davis is a long guard that can have a very subtle, but large, impact in this game.

Prediction

Buffalo won their first matchup against Western Michigan 84-74, and I can see them grabbing their second victory against the Broncos on Friday night. The Bulls had a tough loss to Kent State and will be raring to bounce back. Watch for Massinburg to have a big game against the Broncos.

Western Michigan Broncos - 78

Buffalo Bulls - 85