Colorado men's basketball 2018-19 schedule
Nov. 3: COLORADO MINES, 4 p.m. (exhibition)
Nov. 13: DRAKE, 6 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
Nov. 16: OMAHA, 7 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
Nov. 20: at San Diego, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
Nov. 24: at Air Force, 4 p.m. (AT&T Sports Network)
Nov. 28: PORTLAND, 7 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
Dec. 1: COLORADO STATE, 1 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
Dec. 4: SOUTH DAKOTA, 7 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
Dec. 8: ILLINOIS-CHICAGO, 4 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
Dec. 11: at New Mexico, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Dec. 22: vs. Indiana State at Diamond Head Classic, 1 p.m. (ESPNU)
Dec. 23: vs. UNLV/Hawaii at Diamond Head Classic, 2:30 p.m. or 5 p.m. (ESPN2/U)
Dec. 25: vs. TBD at Diamond Head Classic
Jan. 3: at Arizona*, 7 p.m. (FS1)
Jan. 5: at Arizona State*, 4 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
Jan. 10: WASHINGTON STATE*, 7 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
Jan. 12: WASHINGTON*, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
Jan. 20: at Utah*, 4 p.m. (ESPNU)
Jan. 24: at Cal*, 9 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
Jan. 26: at Stanford*, 6 p.m. (FS1)
Jan. 31: OREGON STATE*, 7 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
Feb. 2: OREGON*, 7:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
Feb. 6: at UCLA*, 7 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
Feb. 9: at USC*, 8 p.m. (ESPN TBD)
Feb. 13: ARIZONA STATE*, 8:30 p.m. (FS1)
Feb. 17: ARIZONA*, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
Feb. 20: at Washington State*, 8 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
Feb. 23: at Washington*, 8:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
March 2: UTAH*, 4 p.m. (ESPNU)
March 7: UCLA*, 7 p.m. (ESPN2/U)
March 9: USC*, 3 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
March 13-16: Pac-12 tournament, Las Vegas
Notes: All times mountain; Home games in CAPS; *denotes Pac-12 Conference game
Tad Boyle already has expressed his frustration at putting together the 2018-19 Colorado men's basketball schedule. It turns out the ultimately unsuccessful quest to bring a big-name opponent to the CU Events Center was thorough and exhaustive.
On Thursday, at long last, CU released the schedule for a squad expected to compete for a berth in the NCAA Tournament. There were no surprises compared to what already has been reported, with the Buffs opening the season at home against Drake on Nov. 13 and beginning Pac-12 Conference play Jan. 3 at mighty Arizona.
What is perhaps a bit surprising is the Buffs were unable to get a so-called power conference team to visit the CU Events Center during nonconference play in November and December. This is despite, according to Boyle, his staff reaching out to each and every program in the power basketball conferences — the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, and American — with overtures to begin a home-and-home series.
The Buffs additionally reached out to several national powers within the region, but still couldn't find another team willing to take the bait. Granted, the nuances of this year's schedule required the Buffs to ask all those potential foes to travel to Boulder first, yet going 0-for-75 on those overtures was not a result Boyle expected.
"We were very close with some and thought we had some home-and-homes set up. But people backed out," Boyle said. "There was not one of those teams in those conferences that were willing to set up a home-and-home series with Colorado in Colorado. Not one. We had agreements with assistant coaches. We had dates with assistant coaches. And then the head coaches (vetoed) it."
The lack of a big-name nonconference opponent leaves the Buffs with an early home ledger that includes Drake, Omaha, Portland, Colorado State, South Dakota, and Illinois-Chicago. All of those dates were booked as stand-alone visits to CU, so the Buffs will not make a return trip to play any of those schools in 2019-20 except for CSU. The games at Air Force and New Mexico end home-and-home contracts with both schools. Additionally, the Nov. 28 home date against Portland completes a two-for-one agreement that began during the 2015-16 season.
The Buffs also will host San Diego once again in 2019-20 in the completion of another two-for-one deal.
Among the highlights of the Pac-12 slate at home, the Buffs will host Oregon Feb. 2, Arizona Feb. 17 and USC in the regular-season finale on March 9. The Buffs will play at least 10 games on ESPN networks and possibly an 11th, depending on how CU fares at the Diamond Head Classic in late December. CU also will make three national TV appearances on Fox Sports 1 at Arizona, at Stanford (Jan. 26), and at home against Arizona State (Feb. 13).
"Three true road games, contractually, put us in a little bit of a bind," Boyle said. "We had no flexibility to start series on the road. But, we tried to get teams that are going to finish in the top three in their league, have good players coming back and have good players coming in. We didn't just throw darts on the board buying teams.
"Illinois-Chicago I think is going to be improved this year. They have a lot of production coming back. South Dakota has four starters back from a team that had a top-100 RPI. You just have to win the games on your schedule now."