Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament
Schedule for the Pac-12 Tournament, held at KeyArena in Seattle (all times MST). All games Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be on the Pac-12 Networks, with Sunday's championship televised on ESPN:
First round, Thursday
Game 1: No. 7 Utah vs. No. 10 California, 12:30 p.m.
Game 2: No. 6 Oregon vs. No. 11 Arizona, 3 p.m.
Game 3: No. 8 USC vs. No. 9 Washington State, 7 p.m.
Game 4: No. 5 Washington vs. No. 12 Colorado, 9:30 p.m.
Game 5: No. 2 Arizona State vs. Game 1 winner, 12:30 p.m.
Game 6: No. 3 UCLA vs. Game 2 winner, 3 p.m.
Game 7: No. 1 Oregon State vs. Game 3 winner, 7 p.m.
Game 8: No. 4 Stanford vs. Game 4 winner, 9:30 p.m.
Game 9: Winners of Games 5 and 6, 7 p.m.
Game 10: Winners of Games 7 and 8, 9:30 p.m.
Game 11: Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.
CU women's basketball preview: Washington
MATCHUP: No. 12 seed Colorado Buffaloes (7-22) vs. No. 5 seed Washington Huskies (20-9).
GAME TIME: Thursday, 9:30 p.m. MST, at KeyArena in Seattle.
BROADCAST: Radio — KKZN (760 AM). TV — Pac-12 Network.
COACHES: Colorado — Linda Lappe, sixth year (105-91; 155-127 career); Washington — Mike Neighbors, third year (63-32).
LEADERS: Colorado — Scoring: F Jamee Swan, Sr., 13.7 ppg; Rebounding: Swan, 6.9 rpg; Assists: G Kennedy Leonard, Fr., 4.7 apg. Washington — Scoring: G Kelsey Plum, Jr., 26.5 ppg; Rebounding: C/F Chantel Osahor, Jr., 10.4 rpg; Assists: Plum, 3.8 apg.
NOTABLE: This is the first round of the Pac-12 tournament. ... CU is 5-4 in this event since joining the conference, and the Buffs have won at least once in each of the previous four tournaments. ... CU was the No. 12 seed two other times for a conference tournament (2005 and 2009, both in the Big 12), and lost in the first round both times. ... In the Pac-12's four-year history, No. 12 seeds are 1-4, with Arizona providing the only win, beating No. 5 UCLA in 2012. ... Plum is third in the country in scoring, but has averaged just 18.0 points, on 12-for-39 shooting (30.8 percent), against CU this year. ... CU has lost six in a row to the Huskies.
During their last visit to Seattle's KeyArena, the Colorado women's basketball team provided one of the great moments in program history.
This week, the Buffaloes are a long shot to repeat that feat, but they hope to come away from Emerald City feeling good about themselves.
The 12th-seeded Buffs (7-22) will take on fifth-seeded Washington (20-9) on Thursday night in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament. Washington beat the Buffs 68-47 in Seattle on Saturday in the regular-season finale.
"I'm glad we get to play them again," CU head coach Linda Lappe said. "I didn't think we played very well at their place and I'm glad we have another shot."
For CU, it's really the last shot to salvage something from a disappointing season.
This is the third year in a row that CU has gone into the conference tournament after failing to meet its expectations during the regular season, and yet the Buffs always find a way to win a game in this event. Last year, the Buffs, seeded ninth, upset USC in the first round and then toppled No. 1 Oregon State in the quarterfinals.
Despite having already tied the program record for losses, the Buffs have a bit of hope in their eyes as they think back to last year.
"Really anything can happen, which is pretty awesome," junior Haley Smith said. "I think it's super fun. We know the excitement and the feel (of playing in KeyArena). It's just a really fun environment, so I think we're really looking forward to it."
To extend their season past this week, the Buffs need to go 4-0 and win the tournament. Considering how CU's season has unfolded and the fact that No. 12 seeds are 1-4 in this event, that's a long shot. But the Buffs' message this week is to bring their best and see what happens.
"We've seen the highs and lows," Lappe said. "We've played really good basketball and we haven't very played very good basketball. Now it's the time of the year when you have to start to put everything you've learned and you know and you've experienced all together and go out there as one team and really just compete your hearts out."
Smith said she will consider this a successful week if the Buffs play together, fight for each other and have fun.
Lappe agrees. CU hasn't had a good season to this point, but the Buffs know what it's like to leave KeyArena in good spirits and they'd like to do it again.
"We've had some games where we haven't felt very good leaving the locker room and I don't want that to happen in the last game of the year," Lappe said. "If we're just not good enough, then we're just not good enough, but we don't want to feel like we have anything left to give at the end of this week."
Brian Howell: firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.