Team: Buffalo Bulls
Conference: Mid-American Conference
Coach: Nate Oats
Record: 20-14, 10-8 in conference
KenPom Rank: 131
Good wins: Over Akron in the MAC Tournament final.
Impact Players: Blake Hamilton is a hard-rebounding 6'6" wing who shoots 51% inside the arc and 37% outside the arc; guard Lamonte Bearden is a slasher who draws fouls.
How did they get in?: Star forward Blake Hamilton hit a three-pointer with two seconds left in the game to defeat the #1 seed in the conference, Akron.
How far can this team go in the NCAA Tournament?: Under Bobby Hurley, last year's team made the NCAA Tournament. Then Hurley left, taking guard Shannon Evans with him; forward Justin Moss was kicked off the team after a theft. But behind returnee Bearden and JUCO transfer Blake Hamilton, this team has come together. They look like fodder for a better program, but they make teams have to work for points, draw fouls, and don't turn the ball over. Added intrigue - they did hold a lead at Kentucky after a half in a game in November.
Round of 32 seems to be this team's ceiling.
Last time in the NCAA Tournament: 2015.