Buffalo Bulls: 31-3, 16-2 in the Mid-American Conference

Head coach: Nate Oats (4th season)

Players to watch: CJ Massinburg (18.3 PPG, 6.6 RPG, .396 3PT%); Nick Perkins (14.4 PPG, 7.3 RPG); Jeremy Harris (14.0 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.9 APG)

Season recap: A balanced Bulls squad coming off an upset of Arizona in the NCAA tournament last season breezed through the MAC and remained a top-25 team throughout the season. Buffalo had a solid nonconference performance with road wins against West Virginia and Syracuse and dropped just one contest, to Marquette, when Markus Howard totaled 40 points in the second half alone. In conference play, the Bulls started with a six-game winning streak and closed the season winning their last 12 games en route to MAC championship and autobid.

Buffalo is led by MAC Player of the Year CJ Massinburg, a senior guard who can score at all levels. He also rebounds well for his 6-foot-3, 190-pound stature and boasts an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.1. Massinburg is backed up by Nick Perkins, who despite winning 6th Man of the Year, is the second leading scorer and highest rebounder. Junior college transfer Jeremy Harris is a 6-foot-7 guard who can take advantage of smaller defenders and provide Buffalo with a third scoring option.

Defensively, the Bulls have MAC Defensive Player of the Year in Dontay Caruthers, who averages 1.4 steals. He is supported by guard Davonta Jordan, who contributed 1.9 blocks per game and garnered defensive first-team honors. 

How they make a run: The balanced Bulls squad with multiple scoring options and lockdown defenders is no longer just a trendy upset pick, but rather a serious threat to make it deep into the second weekend.  

How they falter: The lack of strong opponents in the MAC and an average nonconference schedule leaves the Bulls unprepared against a high-major team in the second round.