CU Buffs men’s basketball draws Southern Illinois in 2021 Paradise Jam opener

Eight-team field also includes Colorado State

BOULDER, CO - Jan. 2, 2020: ...
Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer
Coach Tad Boyle’s Colorado Buffaloes will face Southern Illinois in the first round of the Paradise Jam on Nov. 19.(Photo by Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer)

Colorado and state rival Colorado State will be on opposite sides of the bracket at the 2021 Paradise Jam in November, but several scenarios exist that would create a Centennial State matchup in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Whether that matchup actually occurs within the Centennial State during the 2021-22 season remains in limbo.

On Monday, organizers released the bracket for the Paradise Jam, with the Buffaloes set to tip off in the opening round on Nov. 19 against Southern Illinois. CU will face either Duquesne or Northeastern on Nov. 20 or 21 before completing the tournament on Nov. 22.

Colorado State opens the tournament against Bradley, followed by a second-day matchup against either Brown or Creighton.

The Buffs and Rams still are under contract for one more game in Boulder, and last month CU head coach Tad Boyle told BuffZone he planned to speak with CSU coach Niko Medved about possibly moving that date to the 2022-23 season, given the potential matchup in the Virgin Islands. On Monday, Boyle said the fate of that home date still has not yet been decided, but did say he hopes to release his team’s full nonconference schedule in the near future — possibly by the end of the week.

CU and CSU could collide on the third day of the Paradise Jam in the title game, the third-place game, or in the consolation bracket.

“We just got our last game, and I’ve got to get that contract back first,” Boyle said.

The Buffs and Southern Illinois have met just once in a wildly entertaining though disappointing one for CU in the first round of the 2000 NIT, as SIU pulled out a 94-92 victory. The Salukis finished 12-14 this past season. CU won the Paradise Jam in 2017, netting wins against Quinnipiac, Drake, and Mercer in Lynchburg, Va., after the tournament was relocated following extensive hurricane damage in the Virgin Islands.

In addition to CU’s three games at the Paradise Jam, the Buffs are set to host Kansas and Tennessee during nonconference play.