Location: Buffalo, N.Y.
Conference: Mid-American Conference
Coach: Bobby Hurley
Record: 23-9 (12-6)
Kenpom ranking: 54
Good wins (Kenpom ranking): Central Michigan (84), Bowling Green x2 (92)
Bad losses (Kenpom ranking): Ohio (226), Western Michigan (140,) St. Bonaventure (107)
Tournament appearances: 1! This one!
Best result: N/a, idiot
NBA alumni: Sam Pellom (three years in 70s/80s)
Best name: Jarryn Skeete
Famous alumni: Wolf Blitzer, Harvey Weinstein
A good Buffalo sports thing! The Buffalo Bulls are in their first NCAA Tournament! A D-I member since the mid-1990s, the has team quickly achieved success under Bobby Hurley: in year one, they won their division. In year two, they're dancing. The Bulls won their last eight games of the season to clinch the MAC regular season and tournament titles, but their most memorable game may be one they lost -- when they led Kentucky for a half.
Style of play: Bullying Bulls
The Bulls have a top 50 offense and top 100 defense while playing with the 20th-fastest tempo in the game. The stud is Justin Moss, a 6'7, 240-pound hunk of human being that leads the MAC with 17.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. You will try to stop him, then you will fear for your life midway through it, and then you will get called for a foul.
Key player: Heart of a champion
Justin Moss was told basketball could kill him. He was set to enroll at Toledo when he was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomypoathy, a heart disease that has caused numerous young athletes to suddenly drop dead. (RIP, Hank Gathers and Reggie Lewis.) But Moss got a technologically advanced defibrillator installed in his chest and was cleared to play. That Moss is playing is incredible. That he's a conference's best player is absolutely preposterous.
The family business
The Hurleys coach hoops. Father Bob is a legend on the New Jersey high school scene, and is in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Younger brother Dan coaches too, and is at Rhode Island now. Bobby, though, was a hoops star: He won two national titles at Duke and spent a few years in the NBA. When he got into coaching, he had to take a spot on his younger brother's staff at Wagner. Embarrassing, right? But somehow, Bobby jumped Dan on the coaching success ladder.