This could be the best day in the history of Buffalo basketball.
 
But win or lose against Kentucky, it is just a game _ and nobody has learned that lesson better than Bulls coach Nate Oats.
 
Not long after Oats took over the program from Bobby Hurley in 2015, his wife, Crystal, was diagnosed with what's known as ``double hit'' lymphoma.
 
``You can Google it,'' Oats said. ``You'll see it's bad.''
 
The coach's first reaction: Should he quit his job?
 
``My wife told me, `This is your dream. 100 percent, you're coaching your team,''' Oats said.
 
 
With that decision made, Oats threw himself into his coaching -- not a profession into which you can only dip a toe. He also looked after Crystal, as she went through six rounds of chemotherapy and a bone-marrow transplant. She is now in remission. She no longer works, and only misses Bulls games when being there would disrupt the school schedules of their three daughters, ages 13, 8 and 5.
 
This is Oats' second trip to the NCAA Tournament as head coach. On Thursday, the Bulls beat Arizona for the program's first win in March Madness to set up Saturday's game against Kentucky.
 
Safe to say, basketball means a lot to the Oats family. But it's not everything. It's a message Oats hammers home to his players whenever he can.
 
``The game of basketball is big and it is my job and I need to win games to keep my job,'' Oats says. ``But I tell our guys all the time, if all I do is teach you to play basketball, I've failed miserably.''