Tonight at 7:00pm Eastern, Western Michigan and Buffalo will take the court at Alumni Arena in New York. The Broncos and Bulls are both coming off incredibly close 2-point losses that were decided in the final seconds. WMU had the ball with last with a chance to tie Akron, but instead lost 71-69, and the Bulls allowed an Ohio dunk with under one second left that resulted in a 63-61 final.
So know we'll get to see which team bounces back best from tough losses. Or perhaps more correctly, which team is angrier after playing so well and still losing a ball game. And add into that mix the fact that these two teams have met already this year, which resulted in a 78-68 Bronco win.
Buffalo forwards Justin Moss and Xavier Ford led the way against Ohio and will pose problems for WMU as well. Western forwards Connar Tava and Tucker Haymond as well as center Drake LaMont have been consistently better defensively as of late, but they'll have to keep that up against the scoring threat of Ford and Moss as well as the rebounding ability of forward Raheem Johnson. Buffalo guard Shannon Evans, who's scoring 15.6 points per game (good enough for second scorer on the team behind Moss) will also keep the Broncos on their toes.
Western played arguably one of its most complete games against Akron (except for getting the win, obviously), with guard David Brown and Tucker Haymond scoring 13 and 14 points respectively, but more surprisingly bench guard Taylor Perry putting up 17 points. Perry and guard Thomas Wilder will be critical to the Broncos success with senior guard Austin Richie battling an injury. It's still unclear whether or not Richie will back and ready to play tonight.
In the first match-up between the Broncos and Bulls, Justin Moss notched a double-double, but his supporting cast were pretty much shut down. This game will come down to whether or not the Bulls can rectify that and if the Broncos keep up their impressive offensive numbers.