Published March 17, 2015
For the first time in school history, the UB men’s basketball team is going dancing.
The Bulls will face West Virginia on Friday in Columbus, Ohio, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Here are a few facts about UB that you might not know:
UB is the largest school in the 64-campus SUNY system and one of just two SUNY schools with membership in the prestigious American Association of Universities. Nearly 30,000 students attend UB from all over the country and the world. For 12 years running, the university has been ranked among the top 20 U.S. higher education institutions hosting international students.
CNN correspondent Wolf Blitzer is a UB alumnus, as is Wilson Greatbatch, co-inventor of the implantable pacemaker. Other notable figures who attended the university include Robin Li, CEO of Baidu, China’ largest search engine; NASA astronauts Ellen Shulman Baker and Gregory Jarvis, the latter of whom died on the Space Shuttle Challenger; Thomas Curley, a 2000 graduate who won the 2015 Oscar for sound mixing for his work on Whiplash; and NFL linebacker Khalil Mack, who was picked by the Raiders fifth overall in the 2014 draft.
Second-year men’s basketball coach Bobby Hurley was the seventh overall pick in the 1993 NBA Draft. As a player at Duke University, he won back-to-back national championships. And basketball runs in his family — his father, Bob Hurley Sr., is the longtime coach at St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, New Jersey, and his brother, Dan, is the head coach at the University of Rhode Island.
The Bulls’ first year in Division I athletics was 1991-92. Prior to that, UB participated at the D-III level. Buffalo is one of the youngest D-I teams in this year’s tournament.
UB junior forward Justin Moss was named the 2015 MAC Player of the Year, the second straight Bull to claim the title. UB is the first team since Ohio in 1992 and 1993 to take home the top honor in back-to-back seasons with different players. Moss was UB’s fourth Player of the Year.
UB, a premier public research university, is one of the most affordable institutions in the AAU for both residents and nonresidents. UB’s tuition and fees rank among the lowest in each category. Of those students who graduate with federal loan debt at UB, the average debt is $10,000 less than the national average. UB’s student loan default rate is 4.5 percent, three times lower than the national average.
UB spends about $350 million annually on research, according to the National Science Foundation. Recent projects by UB faculty members include leading the effort to sequence the coffee genome and developing cancer-fighting “nanoballoons” that could one day deliver chemotherapy straight to tumors.