The Colorado Buffaloes enter the Pac-12 Tournament at 18-13 overall and 8-10 in the conference, good enough for the 7th seed in the tournament. In their first round matchup — which airs Wednesday on Pac-12 Networks at 7:00 pm (MST) — the Buffs will take on the Washington State Cougars, who are 13-17 overall and 6-12 in the conference.
Colorado has played Wazzu twice this season. The first meeting was an overtime loss to in Pullman in which the Buffs had just about every opportunity to come away with the victory in regulation. That loss was the last of Colorado’s 0-7 start in Pac-12 play, and in hindsight, a critical slip up in respect to CU’s would-be NCAA Tournament hopes. The second meeting between the two was much more fun as Colorado dominated them in an 81-49 blowout in Boulder.
The Buffaloes should be heavily favored in this first round matchup even on a neutral court in Las Vegas, since they’re clearly the better team. The Cougars will always be a tough out — Colorado had some trouble with them in last year’s conference tournament — but this should be a win if they play with any amount of energy.
Should Colorado win, their second round matchup will be against the second-seeded No. 7 Arizona Wildcats on Thursday at 7:00 pm. Sean Miller’s team is one of the youngest he’s ever had, but it may be his best when the season is all
one and done said and done. Arizona is 27-4 overall and 16-2 in conference, and their only four losses have come against No. 13 Butler, No. 4 Gonzaga, No. 6 Oregon and No. 3 UCLA, which are just about the most impressive four losses possible in a given season.
In short, Colorado will need a massive upset to advance into the semifinals, where they would likely play UCLA on Friday. If they somehow upset UCLA, they would have to play Oregon, Cal or Utah (assuming nothing weird happens) in a Saturday final with an automatic NCAA Tournament bid on the line. If Colorado would win the Pac-12 South in football, maybe the basketball team can pull off the miraculous run.