Oats named as MAC Coach of the Year

The Bulls' men's basketball coach led his team to a 15-3 record in conference play this season

Brayton Wilson
March 07, 2018 - 10:32 am

Photo: Charles LeClaire - USA TODAY Sports

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It was quite the 2017-18 season for the University of Buffalo's men's basketball program. The team went 23-8 overall this season, which included a 15-3 conference record to finish as the Mid-American Conference regular season champion for the first time in school history.

The Bulls will begin their run for another MAC Tournament title on Thursday when they take on Central Michigan in the quarterfinal round at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

Bulls head coach Nate Oats has been rewarded for his team's performance this season as he was named as the 2017-18 MAC Men's Basketball Coach of the Year on Wednesday. It is the first time that Oats has been honored as Coach of the Year, and he is just the second U.B. head coach to win the award. Reggie Witherspoon is the only other head coach to win Coach of the Year honors in 2004.

Oats' group of players is currently fifth in the nation in terms of average points per-game (85.2), and they led the entire nation with 24 80-point games this season. The Bulls also put up 100-plus points four times this season, which is the most  by a U.B. team since 1964-65. Buffalo's 23 overall wins set a program record, as did their 15 wins in the MAC.

The third-year head coach has posted a 60-38 career record in his time with the Bulls, which is good for the seventh-most wins in school history. He is also the fastest coach in program history to achieve the 60-win mark, doing it in just three seasons.

The Bulls will tip off with Central Michigan on Thursday at 12 p.m. You can catch all of the action on our sister station, ESPN 1520.

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