The Colorado Buffaloes released their 2023-24 non-conference basketball schedule and folks, let me tell you that 20 wins are back on the menu.
The Buffs will play cupcake after cupcake, including the Sunshine Slam that I only recently found out exists. That event will take place in Dayton, Florida where the Buffs will take on the Richmond Spiders and then either the Florida State Seminoles or the UNLV Rebels. Those programs sound like quality opponents, but the Spiders were under-.500 in the A-10 last year, the Noles somehow went 9-23 (!) and the Rebels are still rebuilding under Kevin Kruger.
The only real challenge will be a neutral site game against the Miami Hurricanes, where the Buffs will be underdogs at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Canes are fresh off a Final Four run and should be contenders once again, even after losing veterans Isaiah Wong and Jordan Miller. The Buffs should be a solid team — and we will have extensive season preview material in the coming months — but they’re more likely to peak later in the season.
It might be a good thing that the Buffs will play almost exclusively teams that had losing records last season. The only one besides Miami who finished inside the top-100 on KenPom was Iona but that was before Rick Pitino left for St. John’s. I’m sure some of these teams have made improvements, but I’m going to pretend to follow Utah Tech’s roster construction. The Buffs should be expected to win 10 of these 11 games. The only game that’s iffy will be the road trip to Ft. Collins, where the Rams are always frustrated no matter how much or how little talent they have.
The Buffs will also have two Pac-12 games in December, but they have not yet been announced.