Since so much of the narrative here and elsewhere around the Colorado Buffaloes making the NCAA Tournament has included the phrase "for the first time since 2003 and only the third time since 1970", I thought it would be a good time to help refresh everyone on some of the history behind Colorado's recent (relatively, I guess) Tournament teams. You can learn more about the eight teams that were in the NCAA's prior to 1970 over at CUBuffs.com.
2002-03 NCAA Tournament - Lost in round one, 79-64, to Michigan State
The 2002-03 Buffaloes finished the season at 20-12, at the time only the third 20-win season in the program's history. The team finished the year with a 14-1 home record and took down the sixth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks for the first time since 1991. Sophomore David Harrison led the team, setting many records in the process. Harrison ended up being taken with the 29th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers.
1996-97 NCAA Tournament - Beat Indiana 80-62 in round one, lost to North Carolina 73-56 in round two
Ah, yes Chauncey Billups. This return to success saw the Buffaloes receive an AP top 25 ranking and a return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the late sixties. The Buffs finished the season with a 22-10 record and a 11-5 mark in the first year of Big 12 play. Colorado took down No. 20 ranked Texas Tech and No. 8 ranked Iowa State within a span of a week. Chauncey ended up leaving after his sophomore season to become the third overall pick to the Boston Celtics in the 1997 NBA Draft and has since had a storied NBA career. In only two seasons, his legacy with the Buffs will never be forgotten.
While Colorado has certainly been in the tournament before, it has been very rare of late. Hopefully this week's return is the beginning of consistent trips to March Madness and a place among the Pac-12 elite.
What do you remember about these two great Buffs squads?
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