The 2016 season was a historic one for UB basketball. The women won their first MAC championship, resulting in their first appearance in the NCAA tournament. The men, who had their firsts in those categories last year, did it again, becoming the first team in 14 years to repeat as MAC champions.
The women’s back story makes their success even sweeter. Predicted to finish last in their division at the beginning of the year, they were the first No. 8 seed ever to win the MAC championship, and managed the feat with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from sophomore Stephanie Reid (resulting in the celebratory scrum pictured above).
As last year’s MAC champions, the men had greater expectations on them to be successful, but still had to modify their game plan. Some significant roster turnover forced first-year coach Nate Oats to rely on defense and spread the minutes around. It was a good strategy; led by sophomore guard Lamonte Bearden, the players helped Oats to become the first UB coach to win 20 games in his first season.
In the end, both teams showed the fans—and the world—what it really means to be a Bull.