The basketball season feels like it’s still eons away, but we’re creeping closer to it, ever so slowly. We’ve crawled past a milestone today as CUBuffs.com announced the official Colorado Buffaloes basketball non-conference schedule.
The Buffs have some regional rivalries in store, as they play Northern Colorado (Nov. 10), Denver (Nov. 14), Air Force (Nov. 26), Colorado State (Dec. 2) and New Mexico (Dec. 6). All but CSU are home games. All but CSU are games the Buffs should be considered heavy favorites. The game against Denver is my personal favorite, mostly because we will see Tad Boyle coaching against former assistant Rodney Billups, now the head coach of DU. Former Buffaloes point guard Dwight Thorne is on Billups’ staff, so that will be another fun wrinkle.
CU also has some significant non-conference games against established programs from major conferences. On Dec. 9, they will complete their home-and-home series with Xavier as they head out to Cincinnati to potential pick up an away victory against a Big East team. Then on Dec. 22, the Buffs head out to Sioux Falls to play a neutral site game against the Iowa Hawkeyes of the Big Ten. You shouldn’t expect either of these games to be wins — Xavier and Iowa are always very good — but they aren’t impossible. These games should show how vigorous the Buffs are, and it could be a fair barometer to see how CU will fare in Pac-12 play.
Additionally, the Buffs will compete in the Paradise Jam (Nov. 17-20) in the U.S. Virgin Islands. There, CU will play Quinnipiac, then Wake Forest or Drake. If the Buffs can get past Wake Forest (if they end up playing each other), they stand a strong chance to win the relatively low-key early-season tournament. Winning that won’t be easy, but it would be a significant stepping stone for what will be the youngest (and possibly most talented) team in the Tad Boyle era.
Here’s the full non-conference schedule for the Buffs, all games are home except otherwise noted:
Nov. 10 — Northern Colorado
Nov. 14 — Denver
Nov. 17 — Quinnipiac (U.S. Virgin Islands)
Nov. 18-19 — Wake Forest or Drake (U.S. Virgin Islands)
Nov. 20 — TBA (U.S. Virgin Islands)
Nov. 26 — Air Force
Dec. 2 — Colorado State (Ft. Collins)
Dec. 6 — New Mexico
Dec. 9 — Xavier (Cincinnati, OH)
Dec. 12 — San Diego
Dec. 15 — South Dakota State
Dec. 22 — Iowa (Sioux Falls, neutral site)
The next sign that basketball is getting closer will be when the Pac-12 schedule is released in due time.