Buffs Get No. 5 Seed, Face Georgetown In NCAA Opener
Update: The NCAA announced the Colorado vs Georgetown game will be the first game on Saturday at 10:15 a.m. on CBS and the game will be played at Hinkle Fieldhouse on the campus of Butler University.
BOULDER — Tad Boyle's Colorado Buffaloes were named a No. 5 seed Sunday in the NCAA Men's Basketball Championships and will play No. 12 seed Georgetown in an East Region first-round game Saturday, March 20, at 10:15 a.m. (MT) at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The game will be the first-ever meeting between the Buffs and Hoyas and will be televised on CBS. The winner will face either No. 4 Florida State or No. 13 UNC-Greensboro on Monday, March 22, in the second round.
The tournament tips off Thursday with the First Four, and all rounds will be played in the greater Indianapolis metropolitan area. All games will be broadcast on either CBS, TNT, TBS or TruTV, as well as the Colorado Basketball Network.
"We're excited to be part of the tournament," said Boyle, whose team flew from Las Vegas to Indianapolis on Sunday evening. "These guys have worked extremely hard all season long to put themselves in this position to have this opportunity."
Colorado's seed is its highest since the NCAA began seeding the entire field in 1979. The Buffaloes' previous best was a No. 8 seed, achieved in their last two appearances (2014 and '16).
The 22-8 Buffs, who finished third in the Pac-12 regular season with a 14-6 conference mark, are coming off a 70-68 loss to Oregon State in Saturday's Pac-12 tournament championship game. Colorado won six of its last seven and nine of 12 overall and Colorado's 22 wins are tied for the fifth best in program history. Boyle-coached teams now own six of the top seven win totals in program history.
Georgetown (13-12) is coached by Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing. The Hoyas finished in eighth place in the Big East regular season with a 7-9 record, but won four straight games in the Big East tournament, including wins over Villanova and Creighton, to capture the tourney title and the league's automatic bid.
The tournament berth is a sweet reward for the Buffs, as no player on CU's roster has played in an NCAA tourney game. Colorado was expected to be included in the field last year, but the entire postseason was canceled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The chance to participate in March Madness was one reason CU point guard McKinley Wright IV chose to return to Colorado for his senior season. While it was by no means a "normal" year, the Buffs remained healthy throughout the season and managed to play all 27 games.
"This year we sacrificed so much," Wright said. "We sacrificed all our free time, all the time that we have with our friends at CU, just so we could play ball this season. (The NCAA Tournament) is all we've talked about since I got here. To be able to play in March Madness, it's every kid's dream. It's a dream come true for a lot of us."
This year's tournament will be the fifth NCAA appearance for the Buffs in Boyle's 11 years in Boulder and 15th overall in program history. It is also the ninth postseason appearance under Boyle in 10 years of postseason opportunities (the 2020 postseason was canceled by the Covid-19 pandemic).
Prior to 2012, Colorado had advanced to just two NCAA Tournaments in 42 years (1997 and 2003).
Colorado has an all-time 10-16 record in the NCAA Tournament, and has won just two NCAA openers in the last 58 years — 1997 vs. Indiana and 2012 vs. UNLV.
"The thing about this tournament is there's no tomorrows," Boyle said. "Even with (the Pac-12 title game) at the forefront of our minds, I think our players knew there still was a tomorrow. Now there's absolutely no tomorrow. Next time we lose a game we're done. The season's over with. We have to relish that opportunity and enjoy the experience. This experience is what being a college basketball player is all about and I'm so glad they're going to have a chance to experience that."
Michigan is the top seed in Colorado's region followed by No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Texas and No. 4 Florida State. The Sweet 16 and Elite 8 are scheduled for Mar. 27-30 with the Final Four set for April 3 & 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Colorado was one of five Pac-12 teams to earn an NCAA berth. USC is a No. 6 seed, Oregon is a No. 7, UCLA is a No. 11 (and will play in the First Four) and conference tourney champ Oregon State earned a No. 12 seed.
TICKETS NOTE: Season ticket holders and select donors are able to log into their ticket account to request NCAA tournament tickets. Simply login to your account, select "My Account" and "Renewals and Applications."