Let the Madness Begin

Bulls to play winner of Arizona State vs. St. John's

March 17, 2019 - 10:24 pm
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BUFFALO (WBEN - Brendan Keany) - The University at Buffalo men's basketball team heads into the NCAA Tournament as the sixth seed in the West Region.

This was the reaction from inside Santora's Sunday night the moment the Bulls found out they'll be traveling to Tulsa to face the winner of St. John's and Arizona St. - as those two play against each other in a play-in game on Wednesday. 

"We're going to prep for both equally...," said Head Coach Nate Oats. "Those are two really good 11-seeds. Good night."

Oats acknowledged the obvious storyline of a potential matchup against former UB coach Bobby Hurley, who left the program to take the head coaching position at Arizona State.

"You think it was a coincidence?" Hurley asked a reporter. "Yeah me neither. Look, Coach Hurley gave me my shot, and pull for him. I watch a lot of games, we talk a lot. Emotionally, it's not going to be fun, but for his sake, I hope they get the win."

Of course, UB is one of the only teams in the tournament that doesn't know who they're playing yet, and MAC Tournament MVP Jeremy Harris noted that may make for an interesting week of practice.

"We just have to have a scouting report on both of them, I guess," said the senior guard. "We're just going to wait patiently, work on our own, work on our base, work on UB, and get ready for the game."

Dontay Caruthers, a senior guard and Rochester native, said it may be an advantage to not know who they're playing.

"It's fine, we just have to lock in more," he said. "Now it gives us some time to take care of us, to actually focus on ourselves, so I think that right there is a big piece."

Oats really wants the Bulls to at least get to the second weekend, but it certainly won't be easy, especially with 3-seeded Texas Tech possibly looming if UB gets through its first game.

"We're going to have to beat two really good teams if we want to get to that second weekend, so we've got our hands full, but that's what the NCAA Tournament is all about," said Oats.

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UB's game is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Friday.

Hear full audio from Oats below:

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