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Introducing Cinderella: Buffalo is back in the field as a dangerous team

Nate Oats

Buffalo head coach Nate Oats yells instructions to his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against the Iowa State, Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 84-63. (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)


Conference: MAC

Coach: Nate Oats

Record: 26-8, 15-3 (First in the MAC)

Rankings and Ratings:

Kenpom: 78
RPI: 30
AP/USA TODAY: Not ranked

Seeding: One of the best mid-major teams in the country, Buffalo figures to fall in the 12-14 range for the 2018 NCAA tournament.

Names you need to know: With four scorers averaging over 14 points per game, Buffalo has a lot of weapons. Juniors CJ Massinburg, Nick Perkins and Jeremy Harris are all big contributors in the scoring column while senior guard Wes Clark is an effective scorer and distributor.

Stats you need to know: With the No. 41 adjusted offense and No. 16 adjusted tempo, Buffalo is going to be one of the more high-scoring teams in the 2018 NCAA tournament. Not many teams in the field count on four consistent double-figure scorers, let alone four guys over 14-plus per game.

Big wins, bad losses: Besides for dominating the always-underrated MAC, Buffalo had some respectable losses to teams like Cincinnati, Syracuse, St. Bonaventure and Texas A&M.

How’d they get here?: Buffalo has won six consecutive games entering the tournament as they beat Central Michigan, Kent State and Toledo to make the Big Dance.

Outlook: This is yet another scary double-digit seed with four really talented offensive players. Most of the roster already has NCAA tournament experience from two years ago and the Bulls tested a lot of quality teams a few months ago. Don’t be surprised if Buffalo gets a win or two.

How do I know you?: Buffalo reached the 2015 and 2016 NCAA tournament as Oats has made the NCAA tournament in two out of three seasons as head coach.