West Virginia vs. Buffalo: Upset city?


West Virginia returns to the the NCAA tournament for the first time in two season starting tomorrow. The Mountaineers first hurdle — No. 12 seed Buffalo.

It’s the dreaded No. 5 seed versus No. 12 seed and as soon as Selection Sunday was over, West Virginia was already put on upset alert.

Feb 11, 2015; Morgantown, WV, USA; Kansas State Wildcats guard/forward Wesley Iwundu (25) shoots as West Virginia Mountaineers forward Jonathan Holton (1) defends during the first half at WVU Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo (23-9) ended its regular season on an eight-game winning streak. The Bulls are coached by Bobby Hurley, who as a player was a two-time National champion with Duke.

The Bulls play a similar type of game when compared to West Virginia. They like to run and it will surely be an up-and-down game between two up tempo teams.

Buffalo, on the season, is shooting 43 percent from the floor, 34 percent from 3-range and 72 percent from the foul line.

Justin Moss is paving the way — on average he’s scoring 17. 7 points per game. Behind him is Shannon Evans who is averaging 15.4 points per contest.

“They do a great job in transition,” said head coach Bob Huggins. “They’re terrific transition team, they really run down hill at you. Moss is very effective in the post. They do a great job in rebounding the ball.”

Moss also leads the team in rebounding — averaging 9.3 per game.

The Mountaineers are led on the glass by Devin Williams who is averaging 8.2 boards per game. Behind him is Jonathan Holton who is averaging six per contest.

“They (Buffalo) run make or miss,” said Huggins. “They do a real good job. They’re basically playing three point guards or former point guards. They really come flying at you.”

Perhaps it will be a game where the team who forces the most turnovers moves on to the next round of the big dance. West Virginia has lived off turnovers for the entire season and the pressure will be in full force come tomorrow afternoon.

“We just go out there play,” said Williams. If we go out there and do what we do, we’ll be all right. They really stretch out, they’re one of the better offensive rebounding in their conference and country.”

West Virginia hasn’t been a great shooting team on the year. From the floor, the Mountaineer are shooting just 41 percent. Beyond the arc West Virginia’s shooting 31 percent and 66 percent from the free throw line.

It will be a fast game between two teams that love to play at a quick. The Mountaineers and Bulls will do battle at 2:1o p.m. and the game will broadcast live on TNT.