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Buffaloes Renew Rivalries Heading Back Big 12 Basketball

© Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024-2025 College Buffaloes will renew some rivalries as they head back to the Big 12 this coming fall. The Colorado Buffaloes spent 15 seasons in the Big 12 before heading to the Pac-12 from 2012-2024 season. As the Buffaloes renew some rivalries heading back into the Big 12 basketball world, let’s take a look at some of their basketball history.

Buffaloes Renew Some Rivalries Heading Back Into Big 12 Basketball

NCAA History for the Buffaloes

The Colorado Buffaloes have never won a NCAA Title in basketball. Twice, the Buffaloes have reached the Final Four. The last time Colorado went to the Final Four was back in 1955. Colorado last made the Elite 8 in 1963 and has made the Sweet 16 five times in school history. Since the 1940 season, the Buffaloes have made the NCAA Tournament 16 times. Colorado is coming off an NCAA Tournament trip in 2024. In fact, the Buffaloes won two games. Colorado beat Boise State in the first round and then downed Florida 102-100. In the round of 32, the Buffaloes were downed by 4 to Marquette. Since the 1997 season, Colorado has gone 5-8 in the NCAA Tournament.

Some Rivalries Lost; Some Renewed

Leaving the Pac-12 will end some budding rivalries they were starting to develop in the Pac-12. Colorado will still be playing in the same conference with Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah. The Buffaloes have dropped 15 of 36 to Arizona, beat the Arizona State Sun Devils 13 out of 22 times, and are 15-19 against Utah. Colorado will be sad to see USC go, as they have gone 16-6 against the Trojans. Before their time in the Pac-12, they played a bunch of basketball against some of their new conference foes.

The Buffaloes will renew some rivalries with the Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, and Iowa State Cyclones. Colorado has played Kansas more than any other team in school history. The Jayhawks have gotten the best of them winning 116 of the 149 meetings. Colorado has fared better against Iowa State, but still are just 68-75. Finally, Colorado is 47-92 against Kansas State. Their biggest success against their new conference mates has come against Texas Tech. Colorado has won 18 of the 31 meetings against the Red Raiders.

Conference History

During their time in the Pac-12, they never were able to win a regular season title. The Buffaloes did get hot in the first season of playing in it; 2012 and won their first and only. The teams in 2021 and 2024 reached the Pac-12 title game, but both lost in the championship. Before that, Colorado. As members of the Big 12 before coming to the Pac-12, Colorado never won a regular season or conference tournament title. Despite that, in 2008 they were the first 12 seed in the Big 12 tournament to upset a 5. They beat Baylor that season. In the 15 seasons in the Big 12 tournament, the Buffaloes went 9-15.

Coaching History at Colorado

Tad Boyle is the head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes. He has held this post since getting hired back in 2010. Boyle was the 18th head coach hired in school history. Heading into the 2024-2025 season, Boyle is the winningest head coach in school history.  The longest tenure came from Sox Walseth, who coached 20 seasons and won over 260 games. Before his time, Frosty Cox coached 13 seasons and won 147 games. Before Boyle took over at the helm in Boulder, Jeff Bzdelik was the head coach and lasted three seasons with the Buffaloes. He went 36-58. Ricardo Patton had some good runs for the Colorado Buffaloes. He coached from 1996-2007 and recorded an 184-160 record.

Face of Colorado Basketball

When you think of Colorado Buffaloes basketball, you cannot forget Chauncey Billups. Billups was a star in Boulder from 1995-1997. He finished after two seasons, averaging more than 18 points per game. Billups was a leader for the Buffaloes team that finished second in the Big 12 and won 22 games. He also led Colorado to their first NCAA Tournament win in 28 seasons, as they upset Indiana. The run was short-lived, as they lost to North Carolina in the next round.

Billups was the third overall pick in the 1997 draft. The top pick in the draft in Colorado basketball history was Scott Wedman in 1974 to the ABA.  Spencer Dinwiddie and Derrick White are both recent NBA Draft picks. The most recent was in 2022 when Jabari Walker was drafted 57th overall. Other notable names to play at Colorado include Alec Burks, Burdette Haldorson, Jaquay Walls, and Jay Humphries. Cory Higgins and Richard Roby are the leading scorers in Colorado basketball history. They both finished with 2001 career points. 

2024-2025 Buffaloes Basketball

There has not been a ton of talk about who Colorado will see when the Buffaloes renew some rivalries this coming season in the Big 12. The conference has stated they will play 20 conference games. That means a matchup with each of the other 15 teams, and playing 5 teams twice. When the Buffaloes do take the court in 2024-2025, Julian Hammond III will be the leader of the offense. The senior guard is homegrown and will be one of two players who have started a game for Colorado. Hammond paid his dues behind KJ Simpson the past three seasons. Coach Boyle will have new faces at each of the other starting spots.


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