The sixth-seed Buffalo Bulls had to patiently wait until the final play-in game to find out who they’d meet in the round of 64 at the 2019 NCAA Tournament. But the wait is over and their date is set for Friday at 4 p.m. ET on TNT, and it’s an interesting matchup which should draw plenty of attention. Two 11-seeds in the St. John’s Red Storm and Arizona State Sun Devils met to decide who’d face the Bulls, and the latter emerged.
So, Arizona State will continue on in March Madness, but draw a tough game with a team who posted a superb 31-3 record this season and won their conference championship by 14 points. Not only was Buffalo a great team this year, but their three losses were all respectable as well.
The first loss for the Bulls came against a top-25 team in the Marquette Golden Eagles while the other two were conference losses by a combined six points. Overall, Buffalo looks poised to be a tough out and they feature a strong core.
Buffalo Bulls vs. Arizona State Sun Devils Preview & Betting Line
*Note: All betting info courtesy of OddsShark and will be updated once the line is released.
- Buffalo Bulls (-5 at -110) vs. Arizona State Sun Devils
- Over/Under: 156
The Bulls are led by guard CJ Massinburg, who averaged 18.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while shooting 46.4 percent from the field and 39.6 percent from beyond the arc. Nick Perkins (14.4 points, 7.3 rebounds) and Jeremy Harris (14.0 points, 6.1 rebounds) also put together strong seasons and played vital roles in the team’s success.
On the other side, Arizona State comes in with a 22-10 record (not including Wednesday’s play-in victory). They had a few tough losses during the season, including falling to Vanderbilt, Stanford and Washington State all by double digits. With that said, the Sun Devils did grab wins against Kansas, Mississippi State, Oregon and Washington to help secure their NCAA tournament bid.
Arizona State is led by a solid group which features Luguentz Dort, who averaged 16.1 points and 4.3 rebounds, along with Remy Martin (13.4 points and 5.1 assists). Zyllan Cheatham has the potential to be a problem on the boards, as he averages 11.8 points and 10.4 rebounds this season while also shooting 53.9 percent from the field.
Buffalo Bulls vs. Arizona State Sun Devils Prediction & Pick
For those filling out brackets and being forced to wait until just hours before Thursday’s tournament action tips off, there’s a chance you may be having a tough time with this one. Although Buffalo received the better overall seed, the Sun Devils are going to be a tough matchup.
Both teams can put points on the board in a hurry, but the Bulls rank as the No. 5 offensive team in the nation, averaging 84.9 points per game. That’s going to be tough for Arizona State to keep up with, and while they average 77.8 points (No. 57 in the country), I like Buffalo’s trio to make life tough for their opponent.
Expect Massinburg, Perkins and Harris to create problems for the Sun Devils and for Buffalo to gut out a close win against a talented opponent to advance to the round of 32.
Prediction: Buffalo Bulls 78, Arizona State Sun Devils 72
Pick: Buffalo Bulls -5