The University at Buffalo women's basketball team will face Rutgers at 4:30 p.m. Friday in Storrs, Conn., in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Here are five things to know about the Scarlet Knights, who enter the game at 22-9:
1. Legendary coach sidelined. C. Vivian Stringer, one of the icons in women's basketball coaching, is on a health-related leave of absence and will not coach again this season. She plans to resume coaching later this year, according to a news release last week. She announced her leave Feb. 24. Stringer has more than 1,000 coaching wins overall and 499 at Rutgers. Tim Eatman will remain the acting head coach. He has a 4-2 record in his six games.
2. Back in the dance: Rutgers is in the tournament for the first time since 2015, when the Scarlet Knights lost in the second round. This will be their 25th NCAA Tournament appearance. They made the national final in 2007.
3. Rallying. Rutgers has nine losses on the season, but four came during a stretch of five games in late February. The Scarlet Knights then won four in a row before losing to No. 10 Iowa in the Big Ten tournament semifinals, Rutgers' first-ever appearance in the conference semifinals. The final score was 72-67 after Rutgers rallied from a 20-point deficit with 4:51 left in the third quarter. The Scarlet Knights cut the margin to three on three occasions in the fourth quarter.
4. Rising sophomores. Arella Guirantes and Tekia "T-Baby" Mack have played well down the stretch. Guirantes, a redshirt sophomore, has averaged 17 points per game in the last six games and had a career-high 25 against Minnesota on Feb. 28. Mack, who was averaging 1.8 points per game at the end of the calendar year, scored in double figures three times late in the season.
5. On the defensive. Rutgers is among the better defensive teams in the nation, allowing an average of 57.4 points per game, which is 35th. UB, however, is among the top 25 teams in scoring offense at 76.1 points per game.