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Murray State to join CU Buffs in field of 2022 Myrtle Beach Invitational

Three-game tourney should provide stern early test

SALT LAKE CITY, UT -  MARCH 5:  Tad Boyle head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes calls in a play against the Utah Utes  during the second half of their game March 5, 2022 at the Jon M Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.  (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – MARCH 5: Tad Boyle head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes calls in a play against the Utah Utes during the second half of their game March 5, 2022 at the Jon M Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

The roster for the 2022-23 Colorado men’s basketball team still is going to experience some spring tweaking.

Regardless of who ultimately fills those voids, it is shaping up to be a November that will test the Buffaloes quickly.

On Tuesday, the Myrtle Beach Invitational, set to include the Buffs, announced the final slot in the eight-team tournament will be filled by Ohio Valley Conference champion Murray State. Set for Nov. 17-20, the addition of the Racers solidifies a solid tournament field also scheduled to also include Boise State, Loyola Chicago, Texas A&M, Tulsa, UMass and Charlotte.

Specific matchups are not expected to be announced until later this summer. Teams will play three games over four days at Coastal Carolina’s HTC Center.

The Myrtle Beach Invitational already was on track to feature a far more demanding field than the multi-team event CU competed at last season, the Paradise Jam. The addition of Murray State only bolsters that field. The Racers finished 31-3 this past season, sweeping the Ohio Valley regular season and tournament titles to earn a No.7 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Racers topped San Francisco in the first round before losing to upstart St. Peter’s in the second round.

While the Paradise Jam field last November included Colorado State (35 final NET) and Creighton (51), it also included three teams that ended the year with NET marks above 210 (Brown 212, Northeastern 251, Duquesne 278). CU’s three opponents — Southern Illinois, Duquesne, Brown — finished with an average NET of 209. The seven total teams that were potential foes of the Buffs at the Paradise Jam finished with an average NET of 152.3. Including CU’s final mark at No. 74, the entire Paradise Jam field finished with an average NET of 142.5.

Certainly the final numbers from 2021-22 won’t necessarily translate to 2022-23, yet the Buffs are likely to find a much bigger challenge on the beaches of South Carolina than they did at the beaches of the US Virgin Islands. The final NET average for the eight teams set for the Myrtle Beach Invitational is 93.4 (96.1 among the Buffs’ seven potential foes). Four teams finished in the top 40 — Loyola Chicago (28), Murray State (29), Boise State (34) and Texas A&M (36). None of the eight teams finished in the 200s, with Charlotte owning the lowest NET of the field at No. 188.

It will be a busy opening month for the Buffs. They play at Grambling between Nov. 10-13 in the first year of the Pac-12’s home-and-home scheduling agreement with the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The final game of CU’s three-game agreement with Tennessee is expected to be held in November in Nashville, giving the Buffs at least four quality neutral-floor dates before opening Pac-12 Conference play at home on Dec. 1 against Arizona State.

Boyle told BuffZone last week the Buffs were one game short of completing the nonconference schedule, explaining he intended to keep the slot open until the roster picture cleared. That non-conference schedule will include a Dec. 8 home date against Colorado State.

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