Tad Boyle and the Buffs aren’t going mark the next three games with ‘Ws’ before they’re played, but I’m going to go ahead and pencil in non-conference wins over Maryland Eastern Shore, Cal State Bakersfield and Western New Mexico.
That would make Colorado 11-4 entering Big 12 play. A good start, but not good enough for NCAA Tournament consideration.
The Buffs’ loss at San Francisco in November could come back to haunt them in March. The Dons are 4-9 overall, including a home loss to Colorado State on Tuesday night, with a Ratings Percentage Index of 193 entering Wednesday’s action.
Speaking of RPI, CU checks in at 156 with the computers. That’s 10th among Big 12 teams, ahead of Oklahoma (178) and Texas Tech (195).
The good news is wins, or even losses, in conference play will improve CU’s RPI. The Big 12 is second overall in RPI (Kansas has the nation’s No. 1 RPI ranking).
Here is the breakdown of the Centennial State’s RPI as non-conference play winds down:
84. CSU (lost in overtime in Boulder)
160. Air Force
263. Northern Colorado (Boyle’s former team)
And some other programs with CU ties:
236. Northern Illinois (Ricardo Patton on hot seat in DeKalb)
278. Wake Forest (Jeff Bzdelik isn’t very popular in Winston-Salem)
If the Buffs do win their next three games, including a true road game at Cal State Bakersfield, they should finally line up against Missouri expecting to compete and perhaps beat the Tigers in the Big 12 opener.