The Colorado Buffaloes men's basketball team will make its 14th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. A look at the previous teams that went to the Big Dance:

1940: It was a different era and, having just won the NIT, the Buffaloes were invited to compete in the NCAA Tournament for the first time. CU was led by the program's only two-time All-American to date, Jack Harvey, but he wasn't enough for the Buffs to overcome USC. CU then lost to Rice in the Western Regional third-place game.

1942: CU's second sojourn into the tourney was more successful, as a two-point win against Kansas sent the Buffs into the national semifinals. CU's title drive ended with a 46-34 loss against Stanford. It's often touted as a Final Four appearance, and while technically true, it was only an eight-team tournament.

1946: A youthful CU team ended the program's four-year tournament drought, but the celebration was short-lived as the Buffs were eliminated by California. However, this time CU was able to rebound with a win against Baylor in the Western Regional third-place game.

1954: Led by Burdette Haldorson, the Buffs put together a surge of 11 wins in the final 13 regular-season games, highlighted by a victory over defending national champion Kansas. CU couldn't continue the momentum in the tournament, though, losing the opening game to Bradley and dropping a consolation game against Rice.


1955: The first 19-win season in program history ended with CU's best tournament run to date. The Buffs opened with a 69-59 win against Tulsa before exacting revenge for the previous season's tournament loss against Bradley. Reaching the national semifinals of a 24-team tournament, the Buffs lost to eventual national champion San Francisco before defeating Iowa in the national third-place game.

1962: The Buffs won 14 of their final 15 regular-season games and reached No. 9 in the AP poll, which remains the highest mark in team history. CU opened the tournament by defeating Texas Tech but was routed by eventual national champion Cincinnati in the Midwest Regional final.

1963: Led by All-American Ken Charlton, the Buffs put together their second straight 19-7 season and climbed to No. 10 in the polls. But the postseason followed a similar blueprint as the previous year, as an opening win was followed by a loss against Cincinnati.

1969: The arrival of Cliff Meely inspired a turnaround from a 9-16 season the previous year to a then-record 21-win season. The Buffs returned to the top 25 for the first time since 1963, and then did the same with the NCAA Tournament. Meely scored a CU tournament-record 32 points in an opening loss against Colorado State, a mark that still stands. The Buffs bounced back to beat Texas A&M in the Midwest Regional third-place game.

1997: Colorado native Chauncey Billups set the groundwork for his historic career by leading the Buffs back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 28 years. Billups poured in 24 points in a memorable first-round win against Indiana. The Buffs' season, and Billups' collegiate career, ended in a second-round loss against North Carolina.

2003: With four players averaging double-digit points, CU went 8-0 at home in Big 12 play and defeated four ranked foes in one season for the first time in team history. The Buffs' NCAA Turnament return was short-lived, with CU suffering a first-round loss against Michigan State.

2012: In Tad Boyle's second year at the helm, CU stunned its new rivals in the Pac-12 by winning the conference tournament in its first year in the league. After winning four games in four days, the Buffs continued the momentum with a first-round NCAA Tournament win against UNLV. The run finally ended in a second-round loss against Baylor.

2013: Behind Spencer Dinwiddie and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Andre Roberson, the Buffs earned a second consecutive tournament appearance for the first time in 50 years. But CU couldn't overcome a .333 shooting performance in a first-round loss against Illinois.

2014: For the first time in program history, CU received a third consecutive bid to the NCAA Tournament. But the Buffs were a .500 team after losing Spencer Dinwiddie to a torn knee ligament in mid-January, and CU was simply outmatched in a 29-point first-round loss against Pittsburgh.

Pat Rooney: or