NCAA: Calipari, Cats seek to end Buffalo's historic run in tourney


The Kentucky basketball team will take on the Buffalo Bulls in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

United Kingdom has confidence from the talent, long bodies and athleticism it possesses.

Buffalo's win over Arizona was the largest ever by a No. 13 seed.

Buffalo coach Nate Oats might've just poked the bear.

Kentucky coach John Calipari said UB reminds him of the UMass teams he coached in the early '90s.

Though Oats went out of his way to praise Calipari's coaching ability Friday, he didn't back away from his point.

"Let me clarify, when I said Calipari whining about freshmen I was maybe - it was a misuse of the word", Oats said. A big reason behind the team's success has been the addition of former Missouri standout Wes Clark, a fifth-year senior.

Calipari starts five freshmen, which makes his team extraordinary, even for the coach who essentially invented "one and done". MS schools weren't supposed to play integrated teams, but the Bulldogs went to East Lansing, Michigan, anyway, losing to Loyola 61-51.

"The talent level is absolutely there".

After the first timeout, Oats told the Bulls "we are the better team".

"I don't know if it's whining or telling the truth", Calipari said. "I'm not whining about it". I've got a pretty good team.

Buffalo's players like their experience.

"Everybody thinks we should be here", guard Jeremy Harris said. Clark is averaging 15 points per game since he became eligible to play at the end of the first semester.

Buffalo is sixth in the nation in scoring, averaging 84.9 points per game and has won 20 of its past 23 games.

"President Barack Obama, he picked Arizona to beat us", junior guard C.J. Massinburg said.

The matchup with United Kingdom might switch things up a bit. It marked the second time the Mid-American Conference program made more than 15 shots from long range in a game this season.

"I didn't really want to play in it", said Stewart, who added that his right leg was also sore after the Pac-12 Tournament, where USC played three games in three days.

United Kingdom guard Quade Green thinks the Wildcats have to be just as fast as Buffalo with the basketball, and they have to play harder than they did in their first round win over Davidson. They fully expected to arrive here and go toe-to-toe with Arizona and Kentucky - as blue blood as it gets in college basketball - and come out on top.

"We've got a mature group of kids", he said.

"I want to say everybody in this room has had some sort of a slump at some point this season, and you can always count on Coach Oats to be there for us".

Buffalo players believe keeping their focus is the biggest key against Kentucky, which has won eight of its last nine games.

Buffalo's defense will be one of the challenges for Kentucky. Arizona was not used to ball pressure and struggled to shoot three-pointers. "They've got a lot of big guys, they play a little bit too much, and I think that will play to our favor". The Wildcats were twice entangled in a federal investigation into nefarious recruiting practices and lost one of their best players twice to injury. "And if you don't stop the ball, Harris is taking it to the rim". It's not just height. If you're in the post, you better fight for the position, because they're not going to give it to you.