NCAA Tournament or bust?

Tad Boyle is obviously focused on a strong finish and getting Colorado into the Big Dance for the second consecutive year.

But if the Buffs do have their bubble burst on Selection Sunday, athletic director Mike Bohn said it will be possible for CU to play home NIT games, even though the Coors Events Center will be hosting first- and second-round women's NCAA Tournament games.

"We haven't really seen any real challenges with that," Bohn said. "With our new facility and the ability to move different times around and practices it could be worked out."

CU will be the official host for women's NCAA Tournament games that will be played either March 23 and 25 or March 24 and 26. NIT games are usually scheduled for broadcast windows on the ESPN family of networks.

Entering Thursday's game against Utah, Boyle's Buffs were projected by ESPN "bracketologist" Joe Lunardi as a No. 9 seed in the NCAA Tournament taking on No. 8 Minnesota in Lexington, Ky.

On the women's side, Linda Lappe's No. 20 CU squad was penciled in as a No. 5 seed playing No. 12 San Diego State in a rematch at the Coors Events Center with No. 4 Florida State facing No. 13 Middle Tennessee in the other first-round game in Boulder.

"That has been a carrot for them since it was announced that we were hosting," Bohn said. "Our student-athletes and our head coach and their staff have used that to their advantage. It's playing out very nicely.


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We recognize we have four big conference games left, and I know Linda would like to win them all."

Scott 'satisfied' with

Colorado, Utah

Larry Scott participated in a live chat with fans this week. The Pac-12 commissioner was asked if he was satisfied with the additions of CU and Utah since both new league members have "struggled heavily during their first two years."

The Buffs have obviously had a rough go in football with a 4-21 record as members of the Pac-12. The Utes have not lived up to preseason expectations on the gridiron and have resided at or near the bottom of the men's basketball standings since leaving the Mountain West.

However, Boyle's program was the conference's shining star at the NCAA Tournament last March.

"I am very satisfied with the additions of Colorado and Utah. Both schools have been terrific fits on every level. The addition of schools is something that we took very seriously and thought about in a very long-term way," Scott replied. "Performance in any given sport in year one or year two was not something that success or failure was going to be measured by, nor should it be measured by when you think about the long-term compatibility and merits of a school joining a league.

"I am confident Colorado and Utah will be very competitive across the board year-in and year-out in our conference, and let's not forget Colorado's winning the Pac-12 men's basketball tournament and going the conference proud in the NCAA Tournament last year!"

Notable

Freshman guard Eli Stalzer, who has been accepted into the CU College of Music, was a member of the choir that performed the national anthem before Thursday's game. ... Former CU standout and current New England Patriots left tackle Nate Solder was in attendance at the Coors Events Center.

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