2016 NCAA tournament preview: Buffalo Bulls

Buffalo Bulls

Record: (20-14, 10-8 MAC)

Head Coach: Nate Oats (1st season)

Season Recap: The Bulls have luck and a bit of underdog spirit on their side going into the tournament. After upsetting Akron in the MAC final, Buffalo earned its second straight tournament birth and the first for first-year head coach Nate Oats. The Bulls are lead by do-it-all guard Lamonte Bearden, who averages 13.6 points per game on 42 percent shooting and also leads the team with 4.2 assists per contest. Blake Hamilton has a knack for the clutch, as he scored the game-winner to send Buffalo to the tournament. The sophomore transfer from San Antonio has scored in double figures in eight straight games and was just behind Bearden with an average of 13.1 points per contest this year. Oats will also look to sharpshooter CJ Massinburg and his team-high 40 percent from beyond the arc to complement the Bulls' inside game.

How they make a run: Bearden and Massinburg get hot and Buffalo rides its wave of luck to an upset against third-seeded Miami and deeper into the tournament that anyone imagined.

How they falter: Oats cannot handle his team during the pressures of March and the Bulls falter behind an inexperienced lineup against the veteran Hurricanes.


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