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NWAkron

MAC Tournament Game 2: Buffalo

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Zips return to the Q at Noon on Thursday to face the #18 Buffalo Bulls.  A win by the Zips would blow the tournament wide open and likely give the MAC two bids to March Madness and cause the Convo in Athens to collapse into a sink hole.

Edited by NWAkron
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You better hope Akron wins on Thursday, or this loss is on you for starting this thread instead of @clarkwgriswold. I don't care how good Buffalo is. 

 

There are a lot of factors with this game that lean in favor of the Zips. 

  • First game of the Q portion of the tourney
  • It's at noon
  • The Q tends to neutralize offense with its sight lines, even more so when it's empty like it presumably will be on Thursday

 

The negatives...

  • It's Buffalo

 

Beat the Canadians, eh?

Edited by Let'sGoZips94
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10 minutes ago, Let'sGoZips94 said:

You better hope Akron wins on Thursday, or this loss is on you for starting this thread instead of @clarkwgriswold

Didn't he start the other two Buffalo threads?  

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With Buffalo being ranked, this will be the Zips 5th game against a ranked opponent this year which is probably a record.  There are many negatives for the Zips including never beaten a ranked team, we have only 2 players that have played at the Q, we have sucked away from home.

 

But there are many positives.  Buffalo has not blown out teams when playing away from their building.  The Zips have shown that they can play with anyone and have just blown games in the last 3 minutes, they are coming off their best shooting game of the season, and their defense has been good all season.  Daniel Utomi has been driving to the basket and scoring both inside and outside the last 3 games.

 

The problem with this team all season has been making shots, especially behind the 3 point line.  If they can shoot about 40% from behind the 3 point line or if Riak goes 2 for 2 behind the 3 point line this game will be very competitive.   I have said this many times but LCJ seems to be the key.  He needs to play well and shoot the ball well.  The ball is in his hands so much, especially at the end of a close game that his play often determines the outcome of the game.  I think we could win this game.  Go Zips!

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10 minutes ago, NWAkron said:

Didn't he start the other two Buffalo threads?  

 

Touche. 

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Thanks to NWAkron.  My morning has been a little crazy and I am not possessive about starting game threads.  I take full responsibility for the two prior losses to Buffalo.

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We are such underdogs in this one that we are kind of playing with house money. I would like to see them come out and play loose, fast and together. And let the chips fall where they may.

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16 minutes ago, Illini Zip said:

We are such underdogs in this one that we are kind of playing with house money. I would like to see them come out and play loose, fast and together. And let the chips fall where they may.

 

Perfect trap game for Buffalo.

 

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It's been my experience that first tournament game is always the toughest. Buffalo probably knows its already in. Likely as a 7-9 seed. Wish the Zips woulda saved some threes for Thursday but if they defend like they have for big chunks of the season, this will come right down to the final minutes.

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3 hours ago, NWAkron said:

cause the Convo in Athens to collapse into a sink hole.

 

It may already be there. They have a guy on BA clamoring for Saul's removal in favor of Pitino or Chris Jans.

 

Yes, that Chris Jans.

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18 minutes ago, Aidan said:

It's been my experience that first tournament game is always the toughest. Buffalo probably knows its already in. Likely as a 7-9 seed. Wish the Zips woulda saved some threes for Thursday but if they defend like they have for big chunks of the season, this will come right down to the final minutes.

I'd say the last one is the toughest

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1 hour ago, zippy5 said:

I'd say the last one is the toughest

Experience speaks!

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3 hours ago, ZipsVoice said:

Experience speaks!

Yes. We are 3-13 in our last MAC tournament game.

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52 minutes ago, NWAkron said:

A few #1 seeds toppled yesterday including the #1 team in the country.  Just never know...

11 teams have won their conference tournament thus far. Only 2 of them were #1 seeds.

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32 minutes ago, kreed5120 said:

11 teams have won their conference tournament thus far. Only 2 of them were #1 seeds.

 

We only won the tourney once as a 1 seed, correct? 

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The Mac used to give the top seed a great advantage by giving them a double bye into the semi finals.  If you were not a top seed you had to play a game on Monday and then go to the Q and play on Wed and to win the MAC you had to win 4 straight games, an almost impossible task.  Not sure if any team ever won the tourney winning 4 straight.    

 

IN the 2014-2015 season our starting guard Noah Robotham got hurt in the middle of the season and we lost a bunch of games toward the end of the season and had to win 4 straight to win the title.  Antino Jackson was a frosh and had hardly played until Noah went down.  He had a great tourney and we won 3 straight, Mon, Wed and Thursday and played Buffalo in the semi final.  The game was close until the end but we lost.  Bobby Hurley was Buffalo's coach and had them pressure Antino bringing the ball up the court and it wore him out.  I always thought that KD made a mistake not having someone else bring up the ball.  If LCJ could play as well as Antino did that year in the tourney we will stand a chance of an upset.

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16 minutes ago, 1981 grad said:

If LCJ could play as well as Antino did that year in the tourney we will stand a chance of an upset.

I think if we can shoot >38% from the 3-point line, we can win. Anything less isn't enough.

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Turnovers will be the key.  If the Zips can pressure the ball and get in passing lanes like they did against Miami (2 assists/16 turnovers) they can be in the game.  In their two MAC losses, as I recall, Buffalo had 17 and 18 turnovers, well in excess of their 12 turnover average.    Get them to 18 to 20 turnovers and they can be in the game.  The counter to that is the riskiness of being aggressive on defense against a team that athletic can result in a lot of easy points for them. 

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The key to beating Buffalo is preventing Perkins from dominating the paint. If we prevent Perkins from receiving the ball low left block it turns the bulls into a much weaker team. This has to be done without any help for his defender. The Bulls will try and create mismatches that will force the Zips into a double team. If that happens look for Perkins to kick the ball back out to an open shooter. Once they have the defense scrambled they get most of their offensive rebounds which also result in open 3's. When they played us at the JAR for what ever reason, Oates thought he could use Harris to exploit what he thought was a defensive weakness in Utomi. That strategy almost cost them the game that night. I doubt we will see that again. Massenberg will get his points but the key is limiting Perkins.

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1 hour ago, Hilltopper said:

The key to beating Buffalo is preventing Perkins from dominating the paint. If we prevent Perkins from receiving the ball low left block it turns the bulls into a much weaker team. This has to be done without any help for his defender. The Bulls will try and create mismatches that will force the Zips into a double team. If that happens look for Perkins to kick the ball back out to an open shooter. Once they have the defense scrambled they get most of their offensive rebounds which also result in open 3's. When they played us at the JAR for what ever reason, Oates thought he could use Harris to exploit what he thought was a defensive weakness in Utomi. That strategy almost cost them the game that night. I doubt we will see that again. Massenberg will get his points but the key is limiting Perkins.

 

I would add limiting Harris as a main key as well. Limiting Perkins pushes everything out to the arc. Have to keep other shooters at bay aside from Massinburg (as you said, he'll get his; man I can't wait until he's gone). 

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The key to beating Buffalo is scoring more points than we allow.

 

On a serious note, I'd do my best to limit Perkins and Massinburg while forcing Jeremy Harris to be the player to beat us. Harris takes 12.5 shots per game while only shooting .402 from the field and .268 from 3. Lets try to force him to take 16-17 shots. If he goes off so be it. At least we played the averages.

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