Buffalo Hosts Chippewas in First Round of MAC Tournament
BUFFALO, NY - The Buffalo Bulls men's basketball team will welcome in the Central Michigan Chippewas Tuesday night for the first round of The FirstEnergy MAC Basketball Tournament. This will be the second meeting this season with its West division foe.
Central Michigan's offense has struggled this season - only averaging 59.7 points per game due to a field goal percentage of 38.6 - but the team's defense is one of the best in the conference, allowing 64.7 points. One reason for the offensive struggles it due to the conference-low 8.73 assists per game. The team is led by freshman guard Trey Ziegler, who averages 16.5 points per game, third-best in the MAC. Not far behind is senior teammate Jalin Thomas, who averages 16.2 points per game.
Conversely, Buffalo has one of the top offenses in the conference and it must be on point to counter the Chips' dynamic scoring duo. The Bulls average 71.9 points per game and allow 64.8, a conference-best margin of 7.1 points per game. This is thanks in part to the team's triple threat on offense, with guards Byron Mulkey (13.7) and Zach Filzen (15.8), and forward Javon McCrea (11.4) all averaging in double figures for points.
In the last time out, Buffalo fell behind early and a second-half comeback fell short in the regular season finale at Bowling Green, 73-63. McCrea led the team in points (19) and rebounds (7) for the game.
The winner of tonight's game will take on No. 1 Kent State on Thursday in the Quarterfinals. This is the second meeting between Buffalo and Central Michgan in the MAC Tournament. The Chippewas defeated the Bulls in the first round in 2006. Central Michigan leads the all-time series, 12-9, with Buffalo winning the last meeting, 72-43, at Alumni Arena back on Feb. 8. Byron Mulkey led the Bulls with a career-high 29 points.
The game will be broadcasted locally on Time Warner Sports, but fans can also tune in to 1230 WECK for Josh Whetzel and Pete Lonergan calling the game. Tip off is set for 7 pm.