The University of Buffalo Bulls were ranked for 18 consecutive weeks this season. Experts projected UB, a No. 6 seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament, for a potential deep run.
Sweet 16, Elite Eight and even the Final Four in some cases.
A year after scoring an upset over fourth-seeded Arizona to open the NCAA Tourney, Buffalo blasted Arizona State, 91-74, in its first-round West region game.
Here are three reasons why the UB Bulls are a legit threat to get past Texas Tech, who will be Sunday’s opponent, in the second round and advance to the Sweet 16, and possibly beyond:
Buffalo is loaded with tournament experience and upperclassmen, so the stage isn’t a new one for these Bulls. Four of their five starters against ASU are upperclassmen, and two of their bench players that contributed significantly against the Sun Devils are seniors. And remember, they won a tournament game last season, before getting blasted by Kentucky in the second round.
Unlike lots of the mid-major teams in the Big Dance, UB isn’t reliant on one or two players to score. So opposing teams can’t try taking those prolific scorers out of the game and force someone else to beat them.
The Bulls showcased their diverse scoring when four players, including reserve Nick Perkins, scored in double-figures against Arizona State. They nearly had a fifth, but reserve Dontay Caruthers finished with nine points.
Buffalo is a good rebounding team.
The Bulls ranked third in the NCAA this season in total rebounds per game. Who were the teams ahead of them? Duke and North Carolina.
Not bad company to be in, and Friday’s victory over ASU featured Buffalo crashing the boards with 42 rebounds. The Bulls had 16 more than the Sun Devils.