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Men's Basketball Month-By-Month Preview: February

The fourth in a five-part series breaking down the Colorado men's basketball schedule

William Mancebo

Colorado returns to Coors Event Center for a three-game homestand to begin the month of February. The Oregon schools play host to the Buffs for what may be the easiest road swing of the conference season. CU returns home to end the month to play Arizona, in what should be the highlight of the 2014-15 home schedule.

Saturday, Feb. 7               Utah

Colorado's second meeting of the season against the Utes comes after a bye in the Pac-12 schedule following CU's trip to Los Angeles. Utah is 0-3 against Colorado in Pac-12 play at the Coors Event Center, where they haven't won since 2003. The Utes nearly tallied a win in Boulder last year, taking the Buffs to overtime before falling 79-75. Expect another close game in Boulder between the Pac-12 mountain schools.

Thursday, Feb. 12            California

After long-time Bay Area basketball bastion Mike Montgomery called it quits, then-Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour turned the keys over to Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin. The Bears bring back double-digit scorers David Kravish and Tyrone Wallace, as well as talented sophomores Jordan Mathews and Jabari Bird.

Sunday, Feb. 15               Stanford

The three-game homestand concludes with a visit from Stanford, who surprised everyone by upsetting Kansas in the third round of the NCAA Tournament last season. Dynamic scorer and all-Pac-12 First Team honoree Chasson Randle returns for his senior season, and joining him is a top-20 recruiting class. If things go well for the Cardinal, they should finish in the top third of the conference.

Wednesday, Feb. 18       at Oregon

A lot of people in collegiate athletics talk about building programs "the right way". Often times, I find the use of that phrase to be pretty trite. But it would be hard to argue that Oregon hasn't built its program the wrong way. The offseason experienced by Oregon was nightmarish, and would be pretty solid evidence for the existence of karma. It began with the (overdue) dismissal of Dominic Artis, Brandon Austin, and Damyean Dotson following allegations of rape. Add transfers and the failure of top recruit JaQuan Lyle to matriculate, and it made for a long summer for Dana Altman. What's left is a team that should be very beatable, even with the return of Joseph Young.

Saturday, Feb. 21             at Oregon State

Tad Boyle and Wayne Tinkle find themselves as opponents in the Pac-12 after eight meetings as sideline adversaries in the Big Sky, where Tinkle held a 7-1 advantage over Boyle as the head coach at Montana. Given that Oregon State returns a grand total of 16.4 points per game, an eighth win over Boyle would appear to be incredibly unlikely. Two wins in Oregon would be achievable, and would go a long way to a top-two or three finish in the Pac-12.

Thursday, Feb. 26            Arizona

Certainly, last season's 88-61 thrashing at Coors Event Center at the hands of Arizona won't be far from anyone's mind come late February in Boulder. Brandon Ashley and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will be two of the most dynamic forwards CU fans will see all season. If CU can turn the game into a defensive struggle, they could emerge with their first victory over the Wildcats since 2013.

Predicted Record: 5-1