Buffalo Men's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Buffalo Bulls

Mid-American (26-8, 15-3)

Coach Nate Oats has had some success during his first two years at Buffalo, but year three proved to be his best. The Bulls failed to pick up a big non-conference win, but they dominated the MAC, winning the conference with a 15-3 record.
Big Wins: 1/2 Toledo (104-94), 1/6 at Ball State (83-63), 1/23 Eastern Michigan (83-69)
Bad Losses: 1/30 at Kent State (79-82), 2/10 at Northern Illinois (88-90), 2/20 at Miami OH (81-84)
Coach: Nate Oats
Why They Can Surprise:
This group shares the ball very well and will take smart shots. The potent offense has four scorers who average at least 14.6 points per game. CJ Massinburg leads the way with 16.9 points per game and the 6-3 guard also tops the team with 7.4 rebounds. He is a prolific outside shooter too. So is Jeremy Harris. Harris, a 6-7 junior, connects on 43.2 percent of his three-point attempts and averages 15.4 points and 5.9 rebounds. Nick Perkins is the most traditional scoring big man on the roster, although he is a threat to shoot from long range too. And then there is Wes Clark, the lone senior in Coach Oats’ regular nine man rotation. The Missouri transfer has made a big splash during his lone season with the Bulls, averaging 14.6 points and 5.3 assists. With Davonta Jordan by his side, this is a Buffalo team that will rack up quite a few assists.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Buffalo has a lot of depth, but foul trouble is still often an issue. If Perkins finds himself with a couple quick fouls, the Bulls frontcourt suddenly lacks a consistent scoring threat. Montell McRae and Ikenna Smart are both 6-10 and provide size on the defensive end, but neither will score too often. The other concern is on the defensive end where Buffalo will allow quite a few points. Much of that is due to the opposition attempting to keep up with the high octane Buffalo offense, but there will be times in the postseason where Buffalo will have to buckle down, play solid half-court defense and get a stop.
Probable Starters:
Wes Clark, Senior, Guard, 14.6 ppg, 5.3 apg, 3.5 rpg
Davonta Jordan, Sophomore, Guard, 6.9 ppg, 4.2 apg
CJ Massinburg, Junior, Guard, 16.9 ppg, 2.5 apg, 7.4 rpg
Jeremy Harris, Junior, Guard, 15.4 ppg, 2.2 apg, 5.9 rpg
Ikenna Smart, Junior, Forward, 3.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg
Key Role Players:
Nick Perkins, Junior, Forward, 16.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg
Montell McRae, Junior, Forward, 3.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg
Jayvon Graves, Freshman, Guard, 5.4 ppg
Dontay Caruthers, Junior, Guard, 7.0 ppg, 2.1 apg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 85.2 (6th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 76.7 (284, 11)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.6 (42, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.1 (128, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.7 (30, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.9 (86, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.4 (258, 10)
Rebound Margin: 2.2 (102, 1)
Assists Per Game: 17.1 (14, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.9 (171, 6)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
 2016   NCAA Round of 64 loss to Miami (FL)
2015    NCAA Round of 64 loss to West Virginia
2012    CIT      First Round win over American
2012    CIT      Second Round loss to Oakland
2011    CIT      First Round win over Quinnipiac
2011    CIT      Second Round win over Western Michigan
2011    CIT      Quarterfinal loss to Iona
2009    CBI     First Round loss to Wichita State
2005    NIT     Opening Round win over Drexel
2005    NIT     First Round loss to St. Joseph's
*all team stats through 3/4