The Washington Times - March 11, 2011, 08:56AM

Colorado possesses an abysmal nonconference strength of schedule, one that reaches depths (No. 318) the NCAA tournament selection committee often finds worthy of exclusion.

The Buffaloes also have three – count ‘em, three – victories over Kansas State, plus a home-floor defeat of Texas. Oh, and the committee has three extra spots to fill into its field, slots that in the past might have gone to teams with semi-decent profiles but horrible nonconference schedules (see 2010 Virginia Tech).

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Colorado might just be the wild card come Sunday; if the Buffaloes beat Kansas in the Big 12 semifinals, the question might be moot. But for now, the D1scourse projection has them in.

That, of course, is subject to extensive further evaluation.

Then there’s yesterday’s other mover: UAB. The Blazers benefit from Conference USA’s overall trend of most of the league shifting toward decided middle-class status. Memphis no longer dominates, but there are fewer doormats. The league’s eastern teams – which play each other twice and of which UAB is one – are all solid if not redoubtable.

The Blazers ended their season with a 22-8 record. They were 10-7 against the top 100 and 9-5 on the road. But they also managed only a 1-4 mark against the top 50.

How UAB is evaluated will be dependent upon how C-USA is evaluated. Here’s guessing that means the Blazers lead a strong contingent to the NIT after losing to East Carolina on Thursday.

The full bracket rundown:

EAST REGION

Cleveland

(1) BIG TEN/Ohio State vs. (16) SUN BELT/Arkansas-Little Rock-SWAC/Texas Southern
(8) Villanova vs. (9) Washington

Tucson, Ariz.

(4) Connecticut vs. (13) CONFERENCE USA/Tulsa
(5) Kansas State vs. (12) Clemson

Charlotte, N.C.

(3) ACC/North Carolina vs. (14) NORTHEAST/Long Island
(6) West Virginia vs. (11) Georgia

Tucson, Ariz.

(2) San Diego State vs. (15) METRO ATLANTIC/Saint Peter’s
(7) Texas A&M vs. (10) Illinois

SOUTHWEST REGION

Tulsa, Okla.

(1) BIG 12/Kansas vs. (16) BIG SOUTH/UNC Asheville
(8) UCLA vs. (9) Marquette

Washington

(4) Louisville vs. (13) ATLANTIC SUN/Belmont
(5) Vanderbilt vs. (12) Michigan State/Virginia Commonwealth

Washington

(3) Syracuse vs. (14) MID-AMERICAN/Kent State
(6) Temple vs. (11) Boston College

Chicago

(2) Purdue vs. (15) BIG WEST/Long Beach
(7) UNLV vs. (10) Missouri

SOUTHEAST REGION

Chicago

(1) BIG EAST/Notre Dame vs. (16) SOUTHLAND/McNeese State-MEAC/Bethune-Cookman
(8) COLONIAL/Old Dominion vs. (9) Florida State

Denver

(4) Wisconsin vs. (13) IVY/Harvard
(5) ATLANTIC 10/Xavier vs. (12) SUMMIT/Oakland

Tampa, Fla.

(3) SOUTHEASTERN/Florida vs. (14) MISSOURI VALLEY/Indiana State
(6) St. John’s vs. (11) Michigan

Denver

(2) MOUNTAIN WEST/Brigham Young vs. (15) BIG SKY/Northern Colorado
(7) Georgetown vs. Richmond

WEST REGION

Cleveland

(1) Pittsburgh vs. (16) AMERICA EAST/Boston University
(8) George Mason vs. (9) HORIZON/Butler

Tampa, Fla.

(4) Kentucky vs. (13) OHIO VALLEY/Morehead State
(5) PAC-10/Arizona vs. (12) Colorado/Virginia Tech

Tulsa, Okla.

(3) Texas vs. (14) PATRIOT/Bucknell
(6) Cincinnati vs. (11) WEST COAST/Gonzaga

Charlotte, N.C.

(2) Duke vs. (15) SOUTHERN/Wofford
(7) Tennessee vs. (10) WESTERN ATHLETIC/Utah State

Last four in: Michigan State, Virginia Commonwealth, Colorado, Virginia Tech
Last four out: Saint Mary’s, Penn State, Cleveland State, New Mexico
Next four out: Memphis, UAB, Missouri State, Alabama

Moving in: Colorado, Tulsa
Moving out: Saint Mary’s, UAB

Conference call: Big East (11), ACC (6), Big Ten (6), Big 12 (6), Southeastern (5), Atlantic 10 (3), Colonial (3), Mountain West (3), Pac-10 (3)

Patrick Stevens