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Introducing Cinderella: Meet the Buffalo Bulls

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: 20-14, 10-8

Ratings and Rankings

Kenpom: 131
RPI: 97
AP/USA Today: N/A

Seeding: Buffalo will likely find itself as a No. 13 or No. 14 seed.

Names you need to know: Sophomore guard Lamonte Bearden (13.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg) is a playmaking guard who got a ton of minutes on last year’s team. Juniors Blake Hamilton (13.1 ppg, 6.9 rpg) and Willie Conner (12.2 ppg) are two more scorers to be aware of while freshman guard CJ Massinburg (11.1 ppg) has been solid as well.

Stats you need to know: Buffalo made it back to the NCAA tournament despite losing head coach Bobby Hurley to Arizona State and the top three scorers from last season’s team.

Big wins, bad losses: Buffalo only defeated Akron and Ohio for top-100 wins and lost to NCAA tournament teams like Duke, Iowa State and Saint Joseph’s.

How’d they get here?: Buffalo beat No. 11 seed Miami (Ohio) in the quarterfinals and No. 2 seed Ohio in the semifinals before taking down top-seeded Akron in the championship.

Outlook: Buffalo has a new head coach, a roster that’s different than last year’s group and not a lot of quality wins on the season. They still have a quality lead guard in Bearden and enough of a supporting cast to potentially make a first-round game interesting.

How do I know you?: Buffalo was in the NCAA tournament last season and gave West Virginia a decent game in the 5-12 matchup when Bobby Hurley was still head coach.