Prior to the season, the difficulty of the non-conference schedule for the Colorado men's basketball team.

The schedule included a lot of teams predicted to challenge for conference titles.

With just a few weeks left in the season, let's take a look back at the non-conference slate and see just how good those teams are today.

Nov. 8 - vs. Baylor: CU lost 72-60 Baylor (12-8, RPI: 57) vaulted into the Top 10 this season, but the Bears fell into a massive slump at the start of Big-12 play, starting 1-6. Right now, the Bears are not likely to even make it to the NCAA Tournament.

Nov. 10 - UT-Martin: CU won 91-65 UTM (7-17, RPI: 319) was not expected to be very good, and it's not. The Skyhawks sit last in the Ohio Valley West division.

Nov. 13 - Wyoming: CU won 63-58 The Cowboys (14-8, RPI: 95) are playing probably better than expected. They finished near the bottom of the MWC last year and were projected to finish there this year. But, at 5-4 in conference play, they could make a run into the top 3. That would help CU.

Nov. 16 - Jackson State: CU won 94-70 Coming into the year, the Tigers (7-14, RPI: 275) were thought to be a contender in the SWAC. They've been anything but that, as they sit 9th in the 10-team league.

Nov. 18 - Arkansas State: CU won 93-70 So far, a decent year for the Red Wolves (12-8, RPI: 193), who are fourth in the Sun Belt Conference.

Nov. 21 - UC-Santa Barbara: CU won 76-68 The Gauchos (14-6, RPI: 100) are sitting in a tie atop the Big West Conference.


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Buffs certainly wouldn't be upset if UCSB went on an run to win the title.

Nov. 24 - Harvard: CU won 70-62 The Crimson (17-3, RPI: 35) figured to be one of the best teams in the CU schedule and that is holding true. Although they got tripped up by UConn and Florida Atlanta, the Crimson should won the Ivy League and get into the NCAA Tourney.

Nov. 30 - at Air Force: CU won 81-57 Few expected the Falcons (9-12, RPI: 263) to be much of a factor in the MWC, and they haven't been. But, with a strong finish, they could land in the middle of the pack.

Dec. 3 - at Colorado State: CU won 67-62 Coming off an NCAA Tourney appearance last year, it's been a so-so year for the Rams (13-10, RPI: 139). Just a game better than Air Force in the MWC standings, CSU is going to need to win the MWC tourney to get into the dance.

Dec. 7 - Kansas: CU won 75-72 The Jayhawks (17-5, RPI: 1) have gotten a lot better since their trip to Boulder. They are the favorite to win the Big 12, and have a great shot at a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tourney.

Dec. 13 - Elon: CU won 80-63 The Phoenix (12-11, RPI: 165) came into the year considered by some to be the favorite in the Southern Conference. Right now, at 5-3 in conference play, they aren't looking like a team that could make its way to the NCAA Tourney.

Dec. 21 - vs. Oklahoma State: CU lost 78-73 Up until recently, the Cowboys (16-6, RPI: 29) were in the Top 10 nationally and sitting pretty. But, they've gone 1-4 in the last five games. They aren't in danger of missing the tournament, but need to pick things up down the stretch.

Dec. 28 - Georgia: CU won 84-70 When the Bulldogs (10-10, RPI: 147) came to Boulder, their RPI was well over 300. They've made a dramatic jump since and find themselves in the middle of a mediocre SEC. They were 4-1 in the SEC until their current three-game skid.

So, overall, it's not a bad schedule at all. In fact, Realtimerpi.com still lists CU as having the 22nd-toughest schedule in the country. It would certainly help the Buffs, though, if Baylor and Oklahoma State can turn things around, and if Harvard and Kansas can continue to win.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.