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Bracketology: Colorado’s men and women couldn’t be in more different spots

The Buffs’ men are in danger of missing March Madness

NCAA Basketball: Colorado at Utah Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Bracketology: “the activity of predicting the participants in and outcomes of the games in a sports tournament, especially the NCAA college basketball tournament.” via Oxford Dictionary.

It’s finally February, which means we’re only one month away from postseason basketball. While Colorado’s women are fighting for a one seed in the NCAA tournament, the men are fighting for the right just to make it to March Madness.

After going 1-2 on their most recent road trip, Colorado’s men didn’t do their resume many favors. The Buffs beat Washington so bad they fell out of the first quadrant, while dropping two more Q1 games against Washington State and Utah.

ESPN currently has Colorado ranked as their final team to make the tournament and an 11 seed, while CBS has the Buffs firmly in as a 10 seed. It seems that the Buffs still find themselves on the bubble, with very little room for error.

In our last bracketology article, we predicted that the Buffs need to win 23 games and lose no more than 6 conference games to make it to the tournament with no strings attached. Because the Pac-12 is weaker than usual this year, it’s going to take a stronger than usual resume to go dancing. The Buffs only have one Q1 win and will need a couple more to cement their status as a tournament team.

That prediction is still mostly true, with a small caveat. In their loss to Utah, the Buffs were without Cody Williams and Luke O’Brien, two of their seven reliable rotation players. Despite being severely undermanned, Colorado kept it close and only lost by five points. The committee will likely cut the Buffs some slack for their loss in Salt Lake City, negating some of the damage on their resume.

What this all means is that Colorado can really only afford to lose a maximum of two more games to have a favorable chance to go to March Madness, which is going to be very difficult. The Buffs still have to play Arizona and Utah at home, as well as UCLA, USC and Oregon on the road. If the Buffs’ underperform and lose three games during that stretch, their chances of an at-large bid could become slim.

The Buffs will take on Arizona at home on Saturday in an absolutely pivotal game for the team. If Colorado can manage to take down the 11th ranked Wildcats, it’ll greatly bolster their resume and likely punch their ticket to the tournament (granted they don’t screw up to end the regular season).

There is also a wild-card option for the Buffs. Arizona is starting to look human after losing to Oregon State and Washington State last month, meaning they’re no longer a lock to win the conference. If the Buffs can play well in Vegas during the Pac-12 tournament and knock off teams like Arizona and Utah, there’s a good chance that they could win the whole things and snag an automatic bid. While unlikely, winning the conference is still within the realm of possibility for the Buffs.

As for Colorado’s women, things couldn’t look any better. The Buffs have certainly already punched their ticket to the tournament and are playing for seedings. ESPN and CBS both predict that the Buffs will be a two seed in March.

If the Buffs play well and can manage to take down USC, UCLA and Utah on the road to close their season, they’ll nearly certainly be a one seed. Barring a collapse of seismic proportions, Colorado’s women will be hosting tournament games at the CU Event Center next month.

Colorado’s women are sitting pretty, while the men are sitting on the edge of their seat. Both teams have less than 10 games to play before the postseason begins and could greatly benefit from a resume boost. We’re officially on the home stretch of the regular season and the Buffs need to make it count.