CU Buffs: Make It or Break It Time- NIT and NCAA Berth on the Line in LA

Brittni MichaelisContributor IIMarch 7, 2012

BOULDER, CO - NOVEMBER 4:  A Colorado Buffaloes student dons body paint in support of his team against the USC Trojans at Folsom Field on November 4, 2011 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

As I sit here on the plane flying to LA for the PAC 12 tournament, I cannot help but be giddy. The Colorado Men's basketball team is in prime position to make it to the semi-finals of the PAC 12 tournament. Well, that is if they want to. The Buffs (19-11) play The University of Utah (6-24) tonight at Staples center. 

If they win?

They get a shot at redemption against Oregon whom they split the series 1-1 with.

The Buffs were in contention for the PAC 12 title just two short weeks ago but after losses to Stanford at home and at Oregon and Oregon State, they wound up with the sixth seed heading to LA.

Can the Buffs beat Utah? Absolutely. Can the Buffs beat Oregon? Absolutely. After those potential wins, the Buffs will play the winner of the Cal vs Arizona State/Stanford. 

Spencer Dinwiddie, Carlon Brown, Austin Dufault and Andre Roberson all need to have solid games against Utah if they want to face Oregon. Askia Booker needs to continue to do what he has done all season and be a force to be reckoned with off the bench. Nate Tomlinson needs to make the 3's all Colorado fans know he is capable of making. 

If the Buffs beat Oregon, I see an NIT run in the future. Possibly even hosting a few games at home. If the Buffs beat the winner of the Cal vs Arizona State game, you can't help but include them in the bubble talk for March Madness. 

After losing two key players to the NBA, everyone projected Colorado to finish 10th out of 12. The Buffs finished tied for fifth in what was considered by many a "rebuilding year." Yet, they proved all the analysts and critics wrong. They are entering the game tonight with a 19-10 record, which is respectable considering it was again suppose to be a "rebuilding" year.

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 10:  Andre Roberson #21 of the Colorado Buffaloes drives to the hoop against the Kansas State Wildcats during their quarterfinal game in the 2011 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 10, 2011 in
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Buffs have only lost one conference game at home all season to Stanford and the student section is alive and well. The CUnit, as Colorado fans know it as, is a finalist for the 2012 Naismith Student Section of the Year award.

As a reward, the CU Athletic Department flew out 50 of the most loyal students, who attended both men's and women's basketball games this year, in order to help support our teams in the tournament. The CUnit will be out in full force tonight and hopefully for the rest of the weekend. 

The Buffs also have a chance to make history by having back to back 20 wins seasons in I don't know how long. Colorado has a chance to make a late NCAA tournament run and to prove a lot of critics wrong and burst a lot of bubbles. I personally can't wait for this weekend because I know the Buffs can pull it off.

As the saying goes, Buff em' up, Buff em' up, Go CU!