Outside of Colorado, and perhaps the Pac 12 conference, the national perception of Colorado basketball is one of mostly disinterest. The Buffs have been off the college basketball national radar, besides a few upsets here and there, but by clinching their second straight NCAA Tournament appearance that may soon change.
For the first time in 50 years Colorado is making consecutive appearances on March’s biggest stage and it’s something that they certainly can build on.
“It’s one thing to talk about getting our program on a national scale it’s another thing to do it” Colorado head coach Tad Boyle said after practice on Monday. “We’ve done it but we’re not done doing it. We got to continue to grow and improve our program. We’re in the process of doing that but we’re on our way.”
Last season Colorado got into the field of 68 by way of an automatic bid after they won four games in four days to win the Pac 12 tournament. This year the Buffs received an at-large bid, something that Boyle and company don’t take lightly because it’s ultimately a sign of respect.
“I think it’s a great step forward for our program to get an at-large bid” Boyle remarked to the media after seeing Colorado’s name pop up on Selection Sunday. “Obviously we’d rather win the Pac-12 Tournament, but the fact we didn’t and we got in shows some respect (by the Selection Committee).”
Obviously, making the NCAA Tournament is an earmark for every program each year but doing it on a consistent basis is what earns that program some national recognition and respect.
“We want to build the program to a place where we are in the top 25 every year” sophomore guard Spencer Dinwiddie stated after practice Monday. “If you’re in the top 25 it’s pretty much 100% you make the tournament.”
Colorado’s national perception only improves with back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances but if they really want to gain some notoriety they will have to try and duplicate their tournament run from last season.
“I know people didn’t think we were going to be able to compete last year then we beat UNLV, a very highly-respected team” Dinwiddie said. “Coming back basically shows it was no fluke.”
Like Boyle said, the Buffs are not quite there yet but they are on their way.
David LaRose is a College Basketball writer for Rant Sports covering the Pac 12 and the University of Colorado. He’s also a member of the USBWA. You can follow him on Twitter or check out his Facebook page.