For the third week in a week and fifth time this season, the Colorado Buffaloes are ranked in the top-five in the AP Top 25 Poll.
The Buffs are ranked third in the nation after beating then-#8 Stanford on Saturday. Only South Carolina and Iowa are ahead of CU. The former is the last unbeaten team and the odds-on title favorite, while the latter is 17-1 with the legendary Caitlin Clark leading the way.
Colorado moved up in the poll after #2 UCLA and #4 Baylor lost this past week. The Bruins were undefeated before getting torn apart by JuJu Watkins and the sixth ranked USC Trojans. The Buffs host UCLA and USC on Friday and Sunday, respectively.
The CU-UCLA will be the first top-5 matchup in Colorado basketball history, men’s or women’s. The Buffs will need a packed CU Events Center to help them past a Bruins squad led by Charissa Osborne, Kiki Rice and Aurora's own Lauren Betts.
It’s also worth noting that the JR Payne’s team would be a 1-seed if the NCAA Tournament started today. Colorado has been a 1-seed once in program history, back in 1994-95 when they were at the peak of the Ceal Barry era.
Even if that doesn’t hold, the Buffs look like a top-4 seed at the very worst — it would take a losing streak to drop to the 4-line — meaning they will almost certainly host two rounds of the tournament in Boulder.