Buffalo poses new challenge for Texas Tech in Round 2 of NCAA Tournament – Viva The Matadors

Buffalo poses new challenge for Texas Tech in Round 2 of NCAA Tournament - Viva The Matadors
What channel is Buffalo-Texas Tech on? TV, live stream, tip time
Buffalo's Jayvon Graves (3) dunks as Arizona State's Luguentz Dort and Rob Edwards (right) defend during the first half of a first-round NCAA Tournament game Friday, March 22, 2019, in Tulsa, Okla.

The Buffalo basketball team will take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at 6:10 p.m. Sunday at Bank of Oklahoma Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Buffalo is 32-3 (MAC) and rolled past Arizona State 91-74 in the first round. The Red Raiders (Big 12) are 27-6 pulled away for a 72-57 win over Northern Kentucky in their opening game of the NCAA Tournament.

The winner of the Buffalo-Texas Tech game will face the winner of No. 2 Michigan and No. 10 Florida in the Sweet 16 on Thursday in Anaheim, Calif.

I am siding with Texas Tech in this contest. Texas Tech presents a much tougher challenge for Buffalo than Arizona State did. The Red Raiders are tough to contain in both ends of the court. While Buffalo is strong offensively, Texas Tech has displayed the ability to neutralize any offensive opponent. They only allowed more than 68 points four times in conference play this season, and they are limiting opponents to 37% shooting on the season.

Fridays game between Buffalo and Texas Tech will be televised on TNT. Brad Nessler, Steve Lavin, Jim Jackson and Evan Washburn will be on the call.

Buffalo vs. Texas Tech Prediction, Preview, and Odds – 3-24-2019

The game will also be available online on the March Madness Live and on the March Madness Live app. An alternative method to stream the games is through fuboTV.

This Red Raiders defense wont have to make any drastic changes in order to stop this team. We have really good defenders on all levels of the floor. I feel like Matt Mooney will get the start guarding Massinburg, his length will keep him at bay and keep him from driving too much. Jarrett Culver will match-up with Jeremy Harris, both have length and both can shoot the rock. When Perkins hits the floor, Norense Odiase and Tariq Owens will both get some reps on him.

Whats at stake?: The University at Buffalo mens basketball team meets Texas Tech for the first time in program history, and the stakes are high: only one team will continue its season after Sunday.

Transition defense will be key. This team gets up and down the floor fast and they know how to space themselves to get an open shot. Buffalo has really quick guards that can find a tiny bit of space in transition to split the defense and cause havoc. Another big key will be rebounding, the offensive rebounding is what allowed Buffalo to stun Arizona State. Especially boxing out Jeremy Harris and Nick Perkins will be crucial for a victory.

UB coach Nate Oats and his team have continuously echoed their goal of advancing to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament, and the Bulls take their shot at adding another piece of history to this season when they face the No. 3 seed Red Raiders.

Even in hindsight, the recruitment is a little odd. Massinburg averaged 22.3 points as a high school senior on a 31-8 team, earning All-State honors. Somehow, the performance occurred in a vacuum. No Big 12 teams came calling. Nor any of the schools in a tight radius of DFW, or the Southland contingent. San Francisco let him know they might have a scholarship available — if another prospect declined the offer. 

Video: Texas Techs Jarrett Culver flirts with a triple-double in first round win

There still is one more statement to be made, just, prove we belong with anybody in the country, UB guard CJ Massinburg said Friday, after a 91-74 rout of 11th seed Arizona State. Some people picked us to lose this game that we just played, so they might have thought that hey, theyre just being hyped all year.

I think we can play with anybody in the country, and were going to try to make this deeper run.

Even now, as Massinburg prepares to lead sixth-seeded Buffalo (32-3) against Texas Tech (27-6) in the second round Sunday of the NCAA West Region and sits 24 points away from 2,000 for his career, the 6-3 senior MAC player of the year remembers the anxiety. 

Video: Texas Tech Basketball: NCAA Press Conference 3.21.2019

The Bulls have to beat the Red Raiders and Jarrett Culver, a likely NBA Draft pick this year, to head west for the Sweet 16. The winner will face Michigan Thursday at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

Northern Kentucky defeated Wright State by a count of 77-66 10 days ago in the Horizon League Tournament championship game to advance to the NCAA Tournament. The Norse (26-8) led 44-34 at halftime en route to the win. Northern Kentucky shot 29-of-57 from the floor, 12-of-21 from 3-point distance plus 7-of-13 at the free throw line. Jalen Tate paced the Norse with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting including 2-of-3 from 3-point range plus 1-of-2 at the free throw line. He also accounted for five rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots. Dantez Walton contributed 15 points, 14 boards and three assists. Zaynah Robinson had 15 points and two dimes off the bench. Drew McDonald tallied 13 points, eight boards and five assists. Tyler Sharpe added 11 points, two assists and two steals.

Numbers on Texas Tech Support Taking Buffalo

The Red Raiders: Texas Tech has won 10 of its last 11 games, including a 72-57 rout Friday of 14th-seeded Northern Kentucky. The Red Raiders have limited opponents to 59.2 points per game; Northern Kentucky shot 37.1 percent and had 17 turnovers in its first-round loss to Texas Tech. Texas Tech also leads the Big 12 with 165 blocked shots. The Red Raiders offense, however, averages 73.1 points per game – for a basis of comparison, theyd be eighth in the MAC in scoring. But when they score, they can go both in the paint and at the perimeter. Culver, a 6-foot-6 guard, leads Texas Tech with 18.8 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game. Davide Moretti, a 6-foot-3 guard, leads the Red Raiders in 3-point field goal percentage (46.4 percent, 64 for 138). Texas Techs inside size could also be troublesome for the Bulls. Forwards Norense Odiase and Tariq Owens are 6-foot-9 and 6-foot-10, respectively, and average at least 5.1 rebounds per game.

Texas Tech lost in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals as it fell 79-74 to West Virginia to drop to 26-6 on the season. The Red Raiders trailed 38-29 at halftime and could not recover. Texas Tech shot 26-of-57 from the floor, 6-of-18 from 3-point range plus 16-of-18 at the free throw line. Jarrett Culver paced the Red Raiders with 26 points on 11-of-24 shooting plus 4-of-5 at the charity stripe. He added 10 rebounds, five steals and four assists. Tariq Owens contributed 14 points, five boards and three blocked shots. Matt Mooney tallied 13 points, five assists and two rebounds. Davide Moretti added 10 points, three rebounds and three steals.

The Bulls: UB enters the second-round game on a 13-game winning streak, the second-longest winning streak in the nation behind Cal-Irvines 17.  Kentucky ended Woffords 21-game winning streak in a second-round game Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla. The Bulls average 85.1 points per game and 41.1 rebounds per game, and CJ Massinburg leads UB in scoring (18.3 points), ahead of Nick Perkins (14.6) and Jeremy Harris (14.2). Perkins is also UBs force in the paint, leading the Bulls with 7.3 rebounds per game, including 10 against Arizona State on Friday. While UB continues to be a guard-dominant team, Jeremy Harris has elevated his play in the last three weeks. The senior enters the Round of 32 averaging 20.2 points in his last six games, and has scored in double-digits in the Bulls last six wins. But if the Bulls want to fight defense with defense, theyll turn to Davonta Jordan and Dontay Caruthers, the two-time MAC defensive player of the year.

The Red Raiders defense has perhaps taken a step back in a few games over the last several of weeks, but with their body of work for the season it is the most efficient defense in the nation. With the extra time to prepare for this contest and a Northern Kentucky squad that hasnt seen anything resembling the Texas Tech defense this season, Im betting on this total staying under. The Norse scored 53 points against Central Florida and 65 versus Cincinnati, with those two teams likely presenting the biggest challenges to their offense.

Outlook: As UB coach Nate Oats said after the win Friday against Arizona State, there isnt a lot that needs to be changed about the Bulls at this point in the season. But UBs defense needs consistency against Texas Tech, a team that can be as erratic on offense as it can be stout on defense. UBs defense kept Arizona States perimeter game in check, as the Sun Devils finished 3-for-22 on 3-point attempts in the first-round loss Friday. But the Bulls need to be balanced, offensively and defensively, against the inside size of Owens and Odiase and the outside shooting prowess of Culver and Moretti.

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