Last season the Central Michigan Chippewas and Buffalo Bulls each made it to the sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament. Prior to that, the two teams met in the MAC Championship. Both teams looked to be loaded the following season. While we are getting the rematch a game earlier than expected, we still expect a great game.
- When: 11 A.M., Friday, March 15th, 2019
- Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
- Watch and Stream: ESPN+
Scouting the Chippewas
A veteran team with swagger for days, the Chippewas can sometimes get behind in a contest, only to come roaring back with ice in their veins shooting. There are many stars on this team, including MAC Player of the Year Reyna Frost, who is ranked near the top 10 in the country in scoring, and in the top in rebounding. Presley Hudson finished second in PotY voting last season and continues to rack up points from the point guard position. They are also a tenacious defending team that does not like to give up easy buckets.
Scouting the Bulls
The Bulls have a scoring machine of their own in Cierra Dillard. She is second in the nation in scoring at over 25 per game. They also have junior Summer Hemphill, who reminds me a lot of a young Reyna Frost. A 6 foot forward that does a solid job scoring and is a monster on the glass. Hemphill is currently averaging over 13 points and 10 rebounds per game. The Bulls are also aggressive on both sides of the ball.
Basically you have two similarly structured teams with amazing amounts of talent. Overall, the Chippewas do have an edge with a few more good players, including Micaela Kelly, who is one of the most athletic guards in the league. I expect a game similar to last year’s final, where both teams scored in the 90s. However, the X factor in this game may be the NCAA tournament. I think Central Michigan is pretty confident in their getting an at-large bid, while Buffalo might be playing with their backs against the wall. Cierra Dillard, and more importantly her teammates, might think the nation’s second leading scorer was snubbed for PotY, and might have a little extra to prove, too. For these reasons, but mostly because I want as many bids as possible to the NCAA tournament, I am predicting Buffalo in a slight upset, 95-94.