The Buffalo Bulls are going dancing once again.
For the fourth time in five years, Buffalo will be the lone representative of the Mid-American Conference in the NCAA Tournament. Buffalo drew a 6-seed in the field of 68, as revealed on CBS’s annual Selection Sunday show. The team, situated in the West regional (bottom left portion of bracket), will travel down south to Tulsa, OK, for the first weekend of action. The regional’s Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight matchups are in Anaheim, CA.
The Bulls’ first round opponent will be one of two 11-seeds. The winner of Wednesday night’s play-in game between Arizona State and St. John’s will receive the honor of battling the MAC champions in the Round of 64. Arizona State’s head coach is Bobby Hurley, who coached Buffalo from 2013-15. In his two seasons on campus, Hurley finished first in the MAC East twice and landed a spot in the 2015 NCAA Tournament — Buffalo’s inaugural appearance.
If Buffalo advances, it’ll finish out its time in Tulsa by facing the winner of 3-seed Texas Tech vs. 14-seed Northern Kentucky. The Bulls have never reached the Sweet Sixteen in four tries, but they’ll attempt to become the first MAC team to hurdle into the second weekend since 2012 Ohio.
A 6-seed marks the highest seed a MAC team has received since expanded to 64 teams in 1985. However, the 1979 Toledo Rockets drew a 5-seed in a 40-team bracket. Last season, head coach Nate Oats’ team entered Boise, ID as a 13-seed. The Bulls went on to garner national recognition after their high-powered offense drained Arizona, 89-68, in 2018’s Round of 64. Buffalo lost its following matchup to Kentucky in the Round of 32, 95-75.
Buffalo won the MAC regular season and conference tournament, besting Bowling Green, 87-73, on Saturday night. At 31-3, Buffalo is tied with Houston (3-seed) for the best overall record in the country. Buffalo has the opportunity to prove itself on NCAA’s grandest stage Friday, as the Bulls embark on another March Madness journey.