Buffs basketball could make Boulder party like it’s 2012 all over again

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Fire up the hot tub time machine.

Colorado basketball is looking for a trip back to 2012. They need to transport some of that magic to present day.

CU hoops stunned the Pac-12 and won the conference tournament five years ago, earning them a No. 11 seed in the NCAA tournament and a shot (in theory) to win a National Championship.

Not exactly breaking news: They’ll have to win the Pac-12 tourney again this season to get into the big dance.

At 18-13 overall with an 8-10 record in conference play, the Buffs don’t exactly have a résumé that is on the committee’s radar – that would all be moot if they go on a run in Vegas and earn the automatic bracket bid. But it’s not going to be easy.

Far from it.

CU desperately needs a four-game win streak – and it’s going to get harder to earn with each win as the week goes on.

Let’s hope it’s a long visit to Las Vegas for the Buffs, a place no one should want to stay for more than 48 hours.

The action gets going Wednesday night as No. 7 CU takes on No. 10 Washington State, a team Colorado actually lost to earlier this season.

Like a lot of their losses, though, the game easily could have gone the other way. The contest even went to OT before CU ultimately fell, 91-89.

Fear not; the Buffs got their revenge in Boulder a little less than a month later, crushing the Cougars by a final score of 81-49 and more accurately portraying the expected result when these two get together.

It won’t be that ugly in Sin City, but Colorado should likely win by double digits – putting them just three wins away from the dance.

After Wazzu, it’d be the gauntlet for Tad Boyle’s bunch, but that’s what should be expected this time of year.

First up would be a date with No. 2-seeded Arizona, a team CU lost to in their only meeting this season by a score of 82-73. The senior Xavier Johnson had 26 points that day, and he’d likely need another huge day to pull off the upset against the heavily-favored Wildcats. But you know what? Sometimes miracles happen. Colorado pulls off the stunning upset and is just two wins away.

In the semifinals, the opponent would likely be the No. 3 team in the country, UCLA, a team that hung a cool 104 on the Buffs back in January. Colorado tried to get into a shootout that night with the Bruins, and failed miserably. Lesson learned, CU locks down on the defensive end and shocks the strip. Wins away: One.

Saturday night and we in the spot. Don’t believe me just watch.

If Oregon emerges on the other side of the bracket as largely expected, it’d take wins over the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 seeds to play in the NCAA tournament, but the Buffs have done this before and could do it again.

CU’s worst loss of the season came at the hand of the Ducks, but that was in Eugene, a place where hardly anyone has success. It was a boat race in the second half as Oregon rolled 101-73. Fear not; when the two teams met up the hill earlier this year, Colorado held serve at home with a 74-65 win. Derrick White poured in 23 that day, and the senior will need to have another big night.

Down two with four seconds left, Boyle gambles – because, Vegas – and White drills a 3 at the buzzer to steal the game and the tournament.

When you fill out your bracket Sunday night, Colorado will stunningly be on it, primed to pull off the classic 12-5 upset next Thursday or Friday.

Let’s hope CU figured out how to activate the hot tub time machine.

Boulder is ready to party like it’s 2012 all over again.

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