ESPN’s Joe Lunardi gives insight on Colorado’s NCAA Tournament chances


About midway through the second half of Colorado’s dominant 84-71 win over Utah on Saturday, ESPN Bracketology expert Joe Lunardi came on the air to offer his take on the Buffaloes’ NCAA Tournament chances.

What he said wasn’t exactly encouraging, but it was good to hear the 20-win Buffs could still possibly make the Big Dance without winning the Pac-12 Tournament.

Here’s what Lunardi said:

Colorado’s path to the NCAA Tournament almost certainly includes a Pac-12 tourney title and the automatic bid. Why? The Pac-12’s coattails just aren’t deep enough to tag along many at-large’s after Arizona, USC and UCLA. Can Colorado get there without a Pac-12 Tournament title? Sure, but they would need enormous wins in the quarters and the semis and a little bit of luck in the rest of the power conferences. Maybe the best path is to follow Oregon State’s model from a year ago: an unexpected Pac-12 Tournament title and then a deep trip in the NCAA’s.

As the Pac-12 bracket stands now, the Buffs may want No. 5 seed Oregon to beat No. 12 seed Oregon State in the first round. A Colorado-Oregon matchup in the quarterfinals would then provide the Buffs with a better win compared to OSU. Next, if No. 1 seed Arizona wins its quarterfinals game, the Buffs would face the Wildcats with a chance to secure that “enormous” victory. The path is certainly there.

RELATED: After Stanford loss, CU Buffs have tough projected matchup in latest ESPN Women’s Bracketology

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