It was a year ago that Team Colorado had an awkward taste in their mouth, of being so close yet so far away from the $2 million winner-take-all cash prize when they fell in the championship game of The Basketball Tournament. They return this year with the same core and the addition of some already proven players.

Among those new additions ready to step up and anxious to play was Chris Copeland, who took a unique NBA journey, former Pac-12 standout Josh Scott, who’s had a busy summer also playing in the NBA Summer League (he missed this game), and also Michael Morandais, who wore the University of Colorado’s black and gold long ago. It was over a decade that he was one of the Buffs’ all-time best and while this might be his last hurrah, it’s one he’s embracing.

“It was great to get back with the guys and it’s a good atmosphere,” said Morandais before speaking on how he feels about being back on the court. “It’s great that the University of Colorado has a team, because I feel as if it bridges the gap. I’m the oldest of the group – although I played with Marcus Hall and Copeland – but this is important for a player like me to get to play with some of the other guys that I got to watch on TV that I didn’t really know or get to play with, I think this is great.”

The first game of Team Colorado’s redemption tour is in the books and it was a breeze.

Although without Josh Scott, Marcus Relphorde, Xavier Silas and Richard Roby, Team Colorado breezed to a 100-71 win over Kimichi Express on Saturday afternoon as the No.1 seed in the West Region.

Marcus Hall led the way with 26 points. Shannon Sharpe added 17 points and Chris Copeland and Dominique Coleman both recorded a double-double with a 10-point, 10-rebound performance from Coleman and 14-point, 10-rebound game from Copeland in

The Kimichi Express squad is a unit put together by USC student Daniel Chun. They also lost last year in the first round, but that hasn’t discouraged them from working hard at fielding a team and getting support from a large cheering section ready to support the resilient bunch. Knicks big man Kyle O’Quinn was in the crowd offering his support. I’m sure we’ll see them in the tournament again next year.

The Buffs led by 18 at half and never looked back, however, the pesky Kimichi Express squad never showed signs of giving up. It was just too big a lead to overcome despite a 25-point performance from Brian Goins.

“You go against a really good team like that and it’s hard to come back after going down early,” said Goins. “We are excited to play in The Basketball Tournament and we’ll be back next year, I’m sure of it.”

The group of former University of Colorado basketball players will play again against the Broad Street Ballers on Sunday, July 16th in Las Vegas as they advance to the round of 32.