Colorado football fans who also want to catch the action in the Buffaloes' men's basketball opener Friday afternoon will have an opportunity to enjoy a unique experience.

The university announced on Tuesday that fans holding tickets for Friday night's home football contest against USC can arrive early in order to watch the basketball team take on No. 7 Iowa State inside the Balch Fieldhouse beer garden.

The southwest gates at Folsom Field (the Buffalo Plaza), will open at 2:45 p.m. prior to the Buffs' 3 p.m. tipoff in Sioux Falls, S.D. All other gates will remain closed until 5 p.m., and only ticket-holders for the football game will be allowed early entry for the basketball broadcast.

Both the basketball and football games will air on ESPN2.

Pat Rooney: or