Nate Oats can appreciate the skepticism he attracted two years ago, when coaching Buffalo to an NCAA Tournament berth in his first season.
Perhaps, some suggested, he somehow lucked out. Maybe, the success was the result of Bobby Hurley's lingering influence after Oats' renown predecessor left the Mid-American Conference Bulls for Arizona State a year earlier.
And who the heck was Nate Oats, others wondered, given he was coaching high school basketball in suburban Detroit just three years earlier.
"It's true. It's true," Oats said, this week. "I was unproven. And you know, in some people's eyes maybe it was a fluke."
Don't look now, but...