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CU basketball adds home-and-home series against Kansas

Dec. 7 visit to KU likely fills road portion of 2019-20 nonconference slate

Former Colorado Askia Booker is about to be embraced by Spencer Dinwiddie after hitting a winning 3-pointer at the buzzer against Kansas on Dec. 7, 2013.
Andy Cross / The Denver Post
Former Colorado Askia Booker is about to be embraced by Spencer Dinwiddie after hitting a winning 3-pointer at the buzzer against Kansas on Dec. 7, 2013.

Another date has been filled for Colorado basketball’s 2019-20 nonconference schedule, and it’s one that will test a Buffaloes team with high expectations in the short term while also providing long-term benefits within the Pac-12 Conference’s new scheduling guidelines.

Though CU has yet to announce its full, official nonconference schedule, the University of Kansas announced its nonconference schedule on Monday with a date between the Jayhawks and CU set for Dec. 7 at Kansas’ Allen Fieldhouse.

It will be the first match of a home-and-home series against KU, with the Jayhawks visiting the CU Events Center in the 2020-21 season.

Once again Kansas is expected to be a unanimous preseason top-10 choice, despite a relatively down year that saw the Jayhawks lose in the second round of the NCAA Tournament while also watching the program’s run of 14 consecutive regular-season conference titles come to an end. KU received a couple of bits of good news in recent weeks, with point guard Devon Dotson withdrawing from the NBA draft pool to return for his sophomore season and the NCAA reinstating the eligibility of Silvio De Sousa.

De Sousa, a 6-foot-9 forward, was part of KU’s 2018 Final Four team and scored a career-high 16 points in the 2018 Big 12 Conference tournament title game.

CU head coach Tad Boyle played at KU in the mid-1980s, and his program last faced the Jayhawks in each of the first two seasons after the Buffs left the Big 12. The teams’ most recent meeting also was on Dec. 7 in 2013, when Askia Booker’s long-range heave at the buzzer gave the Buffs a 75-72 win and ended Kansas’ 19-game winning streak against CU.

The date against KU fills another slot on a 2019-20 nonconference schedule that is nearly complete, and it likely ends the away-from-home portion of the Buffs’ slate. CU will take on Pac-12 rival Arizona State in the league’s annual game in China in a contest that will be played as a nonconference date, and the Buffs have an NIT rematch against Dayton in the Chicago Legends doubleheader on Dec. 21.

CU will play four games in the MGM Resorts Main Event ahead of Thanksgiving, with two games in Las Vegas and two home games still to be announced. The Buffs also will host San Diego while visiting Colorado State.

The home-and-home series will provide an early boost for Boyle’s program in regards to the new Pac-12 scheduling standards approved two weeks ago. Going forward, Pac-12 schools will be required to compile nonconference schedules that have a five-year trailing average of 175 in the NCAA’s NET rankings. The Buffs’ nonconference slate last year, in which a road date at San Diego arguably was the toughest on the ledger, wouldn’t have made the cut with an average NET of 205.4. With the addition of Kansas, next season’s five confirmed  opponents boast an average final 2018-19 NET of 88, and that doesn’t include possible dates in Las Vegas against Clemson (45 NET) and TCU (47). The return visit by Kansas the following year also will pad CU’s five-year trailing average.