Bobby Hurley's Bulls did what few expected of them this season. Despite being picked to finish 5th in the East a young UB team got hot in February and carried that momentum into Cleveland. By beating the Central Michigan Chippewas yesterday they punched the school's first-ever dance ticket.
The Bulls wrapped up a 21-9 regular season with a come-from-behind home win against Bowling Green. The win gave UB the East Division and the conference's #2 seed. The Bulls took a bye to the semis, where they and Central Michigan waited for the other 10 teams in the conference to sort themselves out.
In the semifinals the Bulls survived a scrappy Akron team and then yesterday did away with the Chippewas.
The Bulls are headed to the Midwest Region where they'll be a 12-seed. The UB will open NCAA Tournament play on Friday against fifth-seeded West Virginia of the Big 12. Joining the two in the region are the #1 seeded Kentucky, the winner of the play-in game between Manhattan and Hampton as the 16, eighth-seeded Cincinnati, ninth-seeded Purdue, fourth-seeded Maryland, 13th-seeded Valparaiso, seventh-seeded Wichita State, 10th-seeded Indiana, second-seeded Kansas, and 15th-seeded New Mexico State. The winner of UB-WVU will face the winner of Maryland and Valparaiso.
The next first for the Bulls would be winning a game in the Tournament. UB will be a clear underdog but trendy upset pick as they take on West Virginia, but as we've seen with this team, when they are on their game they can play with anybody.