Mid-Major Radar Finds Buffalo Bulls Basketball, Current Team To Beat in the MAC

Ari KramerSenior Analyst IIFebruary 12, 2009

Remember that team that nearly handed UConn its first loss of the season back in early December?

If you don't remember, check the Mid-American conference standings. The team that is in first place at 16-5 (8-1 MAC) is the team I'm talking about.

That team is: the Buffalo Bulls.

This team flourishes due to the production of its juniors and seniors—the seven highest scoring Bulls are upperclassmen. Juniors Rodney Pierce and Calvin Betts lead the charge.

The seniors are the only Bulls who experienced a winning team, but they didn't even make it past the the second round of the MAC tourney. You guessed it. This team is hungry for a postseason berth.

For a team that is 16-5, the Bulls don't shoot so well from the floor (41.9 percent) or from the charity stripe (64.8 percent). However, their three-point percentage of 36.8 percent is sufficient for second-best in the MAC. All-in-all, their offense produces 67 points per game. 

So, how does this team win games?

It's all about defense. They don't pressure too much, and they only average 6.3 steals per game, but they out-rebound their opponent by 5.6 rebounds per game and hold their opponents to a field goal percentage of 41.5 percent.

Their most impressive wins are by 10 against Temple and at the second best MAC teams, Akron and Miami (Ohio). Yeah, those are pretty nice.

Even their losses aren't bad. They lost at Evansville, who is exceeding expectations in the MVC. They gave UConn its closest win to date. They lost to the MAAC's two best teams, Siena and Niagara.

And, their only conference loss was by four at 14-9 Bowling Green. Before you judge, note that there's no conference road game that's a gimme, and, hey, Bowling Green is 7-3 in the MAC. 

I'm not making the case that they should get an at-large bid, but you have to think that the committee would consider it if the Bulls had won two of its OOC losses.

Buffalo is currently the favorite to be the last MAC team standing, and they might find themselves with a very nice seeding in the Tournament if they finish anything better than 13-3 in the MAC.