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Previewing the Paradise Jam: Buffaloes look to win competition

The Buffs will play in Lynchburg, Virginia.

NCAA Basketball: Xavier at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Buffaloes will participate in the Paradise Jam, an early season tournament that tips off on Friday. Here’s a quick preview of the action.

What is this tournament?

The Paradise Jam is an early season tournament built for mid-majors to get medium-stakes competition, but really it’s an excuse for teams to enjoy a sweet vacation when it starts to get cold. Every year since its inception in 2000, the Paradise Jam is hosted in the U.S. Virgin Islands, but it will be in Lynchburg, Virginia this year because the Caribbean was ravaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Who is Colorado playing?

Colorado begins play with a game against Quinnipiac on Friday at 4 p.m. (MST). The Quinnipiac Bobcats are good at hockey but on the hardwood, they’re, uh, not great. The past two seasons, they’ve gone 19-42 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, which definitely exists. They fired their head coach from last year and they’re 1-1 on the season so far against Dartmouth and Brown. Senior forward Chase Daniels is a decent scorer, but the team from Hamden, Connecticut don’t have much else going for them.

After presumably beating Quinnipiac, the Buffs will move on and play the winner of Wake Forest and Drake. That game will be on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. At face value, you would think Wake Forest would be a good matchup for CU — especially since they’re coached by Tad Boyle’s old friend Danny Manning, the Kansas legend — but the Demon Deacons are 0-2 this season after losing to Georgia Southern and Liberty. They’re almost definitely better than their record and they’re probably the team Boyle wants to best challenge his team. Drake, meanwhile, went 7-24 last year in the Missouri Valley Conference, but they did beat the hell out of Division III Coe College last week.

If Buffs move on past Wake Forest or Drake, they will play in the championship game on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. There, they will beat Mercer, Liberty, Drexel or Houston. Houston is the best of any them and they’re probably better than Colorado, so that’s who I’m guessing the Buffs would play if they made it to the championship. If CU plays like they did against Denver, they have a strong chance at winning their first tournament since the Charleston Classic in 2012.

If the Buffs lose in the semifinal, they’ll play on Sunday at 4 p.m. in the third place game.

How do I watch the Paradise Jam?

It’s easy! You just have to go to FloHoops.com, sign up, then pay $30 for a one month membership ... or you can listen on the radio at 760 AM KDSP and follow us on Twitter and in the game threads for analysis and jokes.