Coach: Bobby Hurley
Record: 23-9 (12-6)
Ratings and Rankings:
– Kenpom: 54
– RPI (per NCAA.com): 33
– AP/USA Today: Not ranked
Seeding: Given their RPI, the Bulls are probably looking at a No. 12 or 13 seed.
Names you need to know: Justin Moss (17.9 ppg, 9.2 rpg), Shannon Evans (15.4 ppg, 4.7 apg)
Stats you need to know: The most important stat you need to know about Buffalo is tempo. They’re 21st nationally in possessions per game, according to KenPom, which makes them one of the fastest teams in the country.
Tendencies: The Bulls are going to run, we know that, but they’re also going to attack the basket. Buffalo shoots just 33.6 percent from three and get less than a quarter of their points from beyond the arc. Whether it’s in transition, in the half court or on the offensive glass, the athletes on this roster are going at the rim.
Big wins, bad losses: Buffalo has a terrific RPI, but they don’t actually have many great wins. South Dakota State and a sweep of Akron are their only top 100 wins.
How’d they get here?: After winning a share of the MAC regular season title, the Bulls stormed through the conference tournament, beating regular season co-champ Central Michigan in the title game.
Outlook: Buffalo is dangerous. Ask Kentucky. Justin Moss is one of the best players that you’ve never seen and they have a pair of talented guards in Shannon Evans and Lamonte Bearden. They play uptempo and they can score in bunches when they get on a roll. And, remember, they gave Kentucky everything that they could handle in Rupp Arena. They’re not going to be afraid of anyone. They’re definitely a threat to win a game.
How do I know you?: You may not know the program, but you should probably recognize the name of their head coach. It’s Bobby Hurley, the former all-american point guard at Duke, the guy that helped lead the Blue Devils to back-to-back national titles and avoided being the most hated player in the country simply by playing on the same team as Christian Laettner. Ever heard of him?