Buffs to face Oregon in NIT

Just hours after getting snubbed by the NCAA Selection Committee, the Colorado men's basketball team accepted an invitation to play in the NIT. The Buffs will play at Oregon Wednesday in the NIT first round in a 10 p.m. (MT) tip-off that will be carried on ESPN2.

Colorado (18-10 overall, 10-6 Big 12) finished the regular season by winning five out of their final six games. But, the Buffs, who finished fourth in the conference, lost in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament to Texas Tech, the Big 12's fifth-place team. Tech will play in the NCAA tourney this weekend.

Oregon (15-12, 9-9), was knocked out of the Pac-10 tournament by Stanford, a No. 1 seed in the NCAAs.

Published reports Saturday stated that CU players had voted not to play in the NIT if they didn't get into the NCAA tourney. However, head coach Ricardo Patton said later that his team would play in the NIT.

"We have a lot of returning guys who would benefit from getting more games under their belt, and to have a chance to play in the postseason," he said Sunday.

This will be the third Pac-10 team CU will have faced this season after beating both California and Oregon State.

"We would of loved to have played at home, but we're fortunate to be one of the teams still playing," Patton said. "We're looking forward to playing our third Pac-10 team this season."

This marks the third NIT appearance for a Patton coached team in the past eight seasons. Adding CU's two NCAA appearances under Patton, his teams have played in five postseason tournaments.


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