"We're going to go in there feeling like we have nothing to lose", Massinburg said. Harris and Clark used their quickness to combine for 27 first-half points, and the Wildcats went 1 for 8 from 3-point range to trail Buffalo 40-38. The Bulls average nearly 85 points per game, and shoot an adequate 37.5% from downtown. The junior guard, who struggled in the Mid-American Conference Tournament, would finish with 19 points, which included a 5-for-8 showing from beyond the arc. "We just wanted to stay aggressive on offensive rebounds, and we just went at them".
Buffalo coach Nate Oats isn't anxious about his team's mentality after pulling off the unexpected upset to open the tournament. Miller said Buffalo does have similarities to the Sun Devils, a team Arizona beat twice this season. The Bulls had five matchups against other tournament teams and they all resulted in losses.
"I've seen Buffalo play a little bit", Gabriel said.
Meanwhile, the featured game on the night will tip-off at 9:10 p.m. ET between the 11th seeds Arizona State and Syracuse. Arizona finished the season just above.500 against these teams with a 4-3 record. I expect it to be a fairly high-scoring affair with the Bulls averaging the third-most points per game in the nation at 84.7. At the end of the day, we're all basketball players, we're going to try to come out and compete and show the world what kind of basketball team we are.
SU wants this game against Arizona State to be played in the 60s. The Wildcats finished 27-8 overall after an up-and-down season highlighted by a Pac-12 title and marred by an ongoing Federal Bureau of Investigation scandal. Clark previously played for Buffalo Head Coach Nate Oats when both were at Romulus HS in MI. It's not even the worst year ever for the Pac-12. That relegated Ayton to practically a half-court role, and Arizona couldn't slow the game down. They made 15-of-30 triples in the win and shot better than 54 percent from the floor all together.
The Sun Devils are averaging better than 83 points per game. That was a much more disappointing performance by the conference because the three teams the league sent to the tournament were No. 1 seed Oregon State, No. 2 Arizona State and No. 3 UCLA.
The Bulls feel it will be their guard play that will be the difference, off-setting Arizona's Ayton and Ristic. The potential first overall pick had 14 points on 6-of-13 shooting, but getting him the ball was an arduous task.