Contact CU Independent General Assignment Editor Andrew Haubner at firstname.lastname@example.org and on twitter @a_g_haubner
Surrounded by media, family and friends, the University of Colorado men’s basketball team anxiously waited to see if they would be dancing in March. Luckily, the team didn’t need to wait too long, as their name was called in the opening bracket as an eight-seed. The Buffaloes, who bowed out of the Pac-12 tournament to the University of Arizona, will face UConn, the American Athletic Conference champion, in Des Moines, Iowa. The team, along with other guests, sat in the living room of head coach Tad Boyle’s home, taking in the spectacle that was Selection Sunday.
After a long season that featured stunning wins and tough losses, Colorado was dancing for the fourth time in Tad Boyle’s tenure. It was a particularly good moment for Josh Scott, the senior center who battled through injuries for most of 2015 to become one of the most dominant players in the conference this past season.
“Really happy. That was one of our big goals coming into the season,” said Scott. “It was really nice to see our name up there.”
The Buffaloes side of the bracket is one of the more, if not the most, stacked groups in the tournament this season. If CU is able to defeat UConn, they will go up against tournament no. 1 Kansas in Des Moines, Iowa. Other teams in their bracket include Arizona, Cal, Hawaii, Maryland and Miami, to name a few. But Boyle believes that this is Colorado’s chance to make a big splash on the national stage, and make people take notice.
“Now we want to advance in the tournament,” explained Boyle. “We want to make some noise. …. That’s what I want the message to be to our team.”
And it was. Although some were surprised and confused when Oregon State, a 19-12 team that finished below the Buffaloes in the Pac-12 standings, was announced at a seven-seed. Boyle dismissed the numbering. Instead, he says that the biggest thing is about winning basketball games, regardless of seeding number.
Their opponents, the Huskies, are 24-10 and American Athletic Conference champions, having defeated Memphis in their conference tournament title game. While they don’t have the flash of a player like Shabazz Napier, with whom they won an NCAA title, they have a balanced attack led by guards Sterling Gibbs and Daniel Hamilton.
The game will tip off at 11:30 am and will be broadcast on TNT.