The little details that often widen windows of opportunity might be falling into place for the Colorado men’s basketball team.
Expected to compete for a Pac-12 Conference championship and a spot in the NCAA Tournament, the Buffaloes learned the layout of their 2019-20 league schedule on Monday. And for the first time in several seasons, the odds are stacked in CU’s favor.
The first Pac-12 contest of head coach Tad Boyle’s 10th year at the helm will occur the weekend of Jan. 1-5 at home against the Oregon schools. It will be the fourth time in nine seasons in the Pac-12 the Buffs have opened league play at home, yet the first time since the 2014-15 season. The opening run also jump-starts a favorable stretch of five home games among the first seven Pac-12 games.
CU has played five of its first seven Pac-12 games at home just one other year — their first season in the Pac-12 in 2011-12. The Buffs went 5-2 in the opening stretch, winning every home game, and that memorable season ended with the Pac-12 tournament championship and the program’s first NCAA Tournament berth in nine years. The Buffs have begun league play with five road dates among the first seven games in two of the previous three seasons. CU went 0-7 in the first seven Pac-12 games during a backbreaking stretch of the 2016-17 season and went 2-5 last season.
After hosting the Oregon schools, CU will host Utah in a single-game week before a two-game trip through Arizona. The Buffs return home to face the Washington schools ahead of a trip to Los Angeles. At the other end of the schedule the Buffs play their final three Pac-12 games on the road, with the regular season ending at Utah the week of March 4-7.
The opponents for CU’s 2019-20 schedule essentially are set, with the exception of a home matchup in the MGM Grand Resorts Main Event still to be determined alongside what will be another nonconference home date. The specific Pac-12 game dates and tipoff times will be released later this summer. CU is awaiting the finalizing of a final entrant for the Vegas event before releasing its full nonconference schedule.
The Buffs open Boyle’s 10th season in the Pac-12’s annual game in China on Nov. 9 in a contest that will be played as a nonconference game. CU will host UC-Irvine as part of the MGM Main Event and also are set to play Wyoming on Nov. 24 and the winner between TCU and Clemson Nov. 26 in Las Vegas.
CU will host San Diego and Northern Iowa in addition to road dates against Colorado State and Kansas (Dec. 7). The Buffs will conclude their nonconference schedule with an NIT first-round rematch against Dayton in the annual Chicago Legends doubleheader on Dec. 21.
2019-20 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Weekly Pairings
Week of Jan. 1-5
Oregon/Oregon State at Colorado/Utah
Arizona State at Arizona
California at Stanford
UCLA/USC at Washington/Washington State
Week of Jan. 8-12
Utah at Colorado
Arizona/Arizona State at Oregon/Oregon State
USC at UCLA
Washington/Washington State at California/Stanford
Week of Jan. 15-19
Colorado/Utah at Arizona/Arizona State
California/Stanford at UCLA/USC
Oregon/Oregon State at Washington/Washington State
Week of Jan. 22-26
Washington/Washington State at Colorado/Utah
Arizona at Arizona State
Stanford at California
UCLA/USC at Oregon/Oregon State
Week of Jan. 29-Feb. 2
Colorado/Utah at UCLA/USC
Arizona/Arizona State at Washington/Washington State
Oregon/Oregon State at California/Stanford
Week of Feb. 5-9
California/Stanford at Colorado/Utah
Oregon at Oregon State
UCLA/USC at Arizona/Arizona State
Washington at Washington State
Week of Feb. 12-16
Colorado/Utah at Oregon/Oregon State
Arizona/Arizona State at California/Stanford
Washington/Washington State at UCLA/USC
Week of Feb. 19-23
UCLA/USC at Colorado/Utah
California/Stanford at Washington/Washington State
Oregon/Oregon State at Arizona/Arizona State
Week of Feb. 26-March 1
Colorado/Utah at California/Stanford
Arizona/Arizona State at UCLA/USC
Oregon State at Oregon
Washington State at Washington
Week of March 4-7
(Regular season ends Saturday, March 7)
Colorado at Utah
California/Stanford at Oregon/Oregon State
UCLA at USCbWashington/Washington State at Arizona/Arizona State