Boyle, Buffs shocked, will host NIT game

Colorado coach Tad Boyle and his team were stunned Sunday evening after learning they had been left out of the NCAA Tournament field. Plenty of reputable college basketball voice around the nation seemed to agree. Now the Buffs are turning their focus to thier first-round opponent in the NIT Wednesday night at the Coors Events Center.

"Obviously, very disappointed. Disappointing and shocking are the two feelings that come to mind," CU coach Tad Boyle said in an interview with KCNC television in Denver after learning his team would not be in the NCAA field.

When did he start to get a feeling that CU might not get picked?

"Well, it was probably the second region when they started showing UAB," Boyle said. "When I saw Clemson in the play-in game, I was like, 'Boy, that's not a good sign.' Clemson's a good team and they're playing in the play-in game. There's a lot of information I know the committee has to look at, but when I saw UAB, I saw Clemson, I saw Michigan, some of those teams pop up ahead of us, as it went on the feeling of uneasiness got more and more and that's just the way it goes. We've got to deal with it and move on."

Several television analysts criticized the tournament selection committee, including Dick Vitale on ESPN.

"My wife knows diddly about basketball, but if you put her here and said, 'Look at Colorado's resume, look at UAB and look at VCU.' It would be an M&Mer, a mismatch man," Vitale said. "It would be like a beauty contest. Roseanne Barr walking in versus Scarlett Johansson. No shot."

When it comes to moving on, CU now knows it will host Texas Southern on Wednesday night in Boulder.

The Tigers lost in the semifinals of the Southwestern Athletic Conference and are 19-12 overall this season and 16-2 in conference play.

Senior forward Travele Jones leads the Tigers in scoring with 16 points a game.

Boyle already is trying to focus on the future and hopes to perform well in the NIT to prove the Buffs were worthy of more.

"There's good days ahead for Colorado basketball," Boyle told KCNC. "I kn ow this is a shot in the gut to a lot of people, us included and a lot of fans around our state, but we're gonna be all right, we're gonna bounce back. Hopefully we'll do it in the NIT, but this program is on the way up."


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