West Virginia opens 2018-19 season with tough test at home against Buffalo

WHEN/WHERE

Date: Friday, November 9th

Tip-Off Time: 9:00PM ET

Where: WVU Coliseum, Morgantown, West Virginia


WATCH/LISTEN

TV: ESPNU

Streaming Video: Fans can watch the game on WatchESPN.com with an active cable subscription

Radio: Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG (Radio Affiliates)

Streaming Audio: Locate the Mountaineers Sports Network from IMG on TuneIn Radio (or the TuneIn app for smartphones)

ODDS

Spread: West Virginia -11.5
Total: 156.5 Points

THE ENEMY

Where are they from? Buffalo, New York


Series History: West Virginia leads the all-time series 2-1

Last Time: The last meeting took place in the 2015 NCAA Tournament First Round, a 68-62 West Virginia win in Columbus, Ohio

SB Nation Blog: Bull Run

Record: 1-0

Record in 2017-18: 27-9 (15-3 MAC), Lost to No. 5 Kentucky Wildcats in NCAA Second Round after defeating Arizona, 89-68, in the NCAA First Round.

Head Coach: Nate Oats (4th Season)


NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Buffalo vs Kentucky

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

KEYS TO THE GAME

  • Win The Boards. Buffalo led the MAC with 39 rebounds per game last season. The Mountaineers are going to need to limit that number by grabbing as many offensive rebounds as humanly possible.
  • Frustration Event Horizon. For those unfamiliar with what I mean by that, we have to press Buffalo until they hit that point where everything they try to do leads to a turnover. Buffalo takes care of the ball pretty well, finishing 3rd in turnovers margin in the MAC last season. We have to change that.
  • Lamont West. Beetle Bolden’s status is uncertain for this game, so the Mountaineers are going to need someone not named Sagaba Konate or Esa Ahmad to step up and score. Lamont West is just the guy for the job. If West can tap back into where he was before the wrist injury last season, we should be okay.

HOW AFRAID SHOULD WE BE (ON A SCALE OF 1-10)?

Five. I’m going with a solid five here because we could definitely lose this game if we’re not careful. Buffalo is a good mid-major team. Fortunately, if we were to lose tonight, it probably won’t matter in the grand scheme of things. An early season loss to a good mid-major won’t keep us out of the NCAA tournament, so I’ll go ahead and preemptively tell everyone to stop freaking out.

PREDICTION THAT WILL BE WRONG

This one is going be be a hard fought game that in the long run will benefit the Mountaineers. There’s going to be slumps early in this game where Buffalo goes on a run and it looks like we should probably throw in the towel, but the Mountaineers are resilient. West Virginia keeps battling, and we start to see glimpses of what this team could be come January.

West Virginia 84, Buffalo 76

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