Buffaloes Highlights

NCAA Division: Division I

Conference: Pac-12

Past Conferences:  Pac-12, Big 12, Big 8, Big 7, MSAC, Ind

City: Boulder, Colorado

Stadium: CU Events Center

NCAA Tournaments: 1940, 1942, 1946, 1954, 1955, 1962, 1963, 1969, 1997, 2003, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2021


         National Championships: 0

       Conference Titles: 1


Team History


The Colorado Buffaloes men’s basketball team started as the Silver and Gold. The program didn’t take the traditional route compared to the other teams in the Pac-12, as the school joined the Rocky Mountain Conference in 1909.


 A few decades later, the Silver and Gold would undergo a name change because students at the university rented a buffalo calf to cheer the football team on the last game of the year. Since then, the school stuck with the name.


As a member of the MSAC, the program would find its success relatively towards the end of its stay; it was at the time of the height of the Frosty Cox era, since the school would reach three Elite 8 Finishes and one Final Four appearance. The conference would end up disbanding years later.


Despite the best odds, the Buffs were defeated by the Stanford Cardinal in the NCAA Tournament Championship game, which is the school’s best finish ever. Cox and the team would leave the conference and join the Big Seven Conference.


Final Four One Last Time

After Cox left the program, Horace “Bebe” Lee took control of the wheel. During his tenure, the Buffaloes would punch two tickets to the dance. The 1954 run ended as soon as it started, while the team in 1955 would reach the Final Four one last time in its history. After losing to the San Francisco Dons, the squad would win its  National 3rd Place Game against the Iowa Hawkeyes.


The team would go through some strong ups and some difficult lows in the Big 7. Former Colorado player  Russell “Sox” Walseth would eventually take over and lead the team, not only to two Elite 8 appearances but also to a Regional 3rd Place Game in 1969. As of his retirement after twenty years, “Sox” was Colorado’s all-time winningest coach with a 261–245 record, despite having a lackluster record towards the end of his time as coach. The years of building the foundation hit an insurmountable wall as the school would continue to face setbacks for the next two decades from 1978 to 1996, since the team would only showcase four winning seasons.


The teams may have struggled as a unit, but individual players set new records which kept the interest high. However, the men’s basketball team would have a future NBA star on their roster, as Chauncey Billups put the team on his back in the 1997 season and placed the school in the Top 25.


As a ninth-seeded team, the team would win its opening-round matchup against the Indiana Hoosiers before getting torched by the North Carolina Tar Heels. Joining the Big 12 was a challenge, with the conference introducing a difficult slate of games. They found some level of success with coach Ricardo Patton.


The team would lose in the opening round to the Michigan State Spartans in 2003 in the opening round. In general, the program would find more success in the NIT, since they would make numerous appearances.


First Pac-12 Championship

In 2012, the Colorado Buffaloes men’s basketball team would take home their first Pac-12 championship. It would be their first year in the new conference in the Tad Boyle era, since the Colorado team stats showed that they wanted to make the opportunity count. They would defeat the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels before suffering a major loss against the Baylor Bears in the second round. Success would continue to stick around, but the next three NCAA Tournament appearances would lead to first-round exits.


Their most recent entry into the dance would be in 2021, and their first NIT appearance would follow in 2022. Their 2022 run would end in the second round, due to losing from the jump to the Florida State Seminoles.


Tad Boyle will be entering his 12th season as head coach for the program. The team will face some long NCAAB odds, as the Pac-12 is a very competitive conference.


All-Time Records

  • Points Scored

    • Cory Higgins 2,001

    • Richard Roby 2,001

    • Donnie Boyce 1,995

    • Cliff Meely 1,940


  • Rebounds

    • Stephane Pelle 1,054

    • Andre Roberson 1,045

    • Josh Scott 974


  • Assists

    • McKinley Wright IV 683

    • Jay Humphries 562

    • Mike Reid 446


  • Steals

    • Jay Humphries 309

    • Donnie Boyce 245

    • Cory Higgins 192



  1. What Is the Highest Win Total in Program History?


The 24-win total is the number to beat for the program. The program has achieved this total twice in its history in both the 2011 and 2012 seasons.


  1. Who Is the Winnest Coach in Program History?


Sox Walseth has the highest win total so far, but Tad Boyle will be the winningest coach in the next few games for the program. Regardless of the win total, Boyle has a better win-to-loss percentage when compared to Walseth.

  1. Who Is the Greatest Player in Program History?

Chauncey Billups is the greatest player in the program’s history as he was selected with the third overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics. During his career, he would be selected to five All-Star teams, and win an NBA championship with the Detroit Pistons. In addition, he was named the MVP of the 2003-04 Finals.

Latest NCAAB News

Back to top button

Bet like a PRO!

Subscribe now and get Weekly Expert Free Picks