LAS VEGAS -- Viva the C-Unit tradition.
Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn said the 50 most loyal basketball supporters from the student body are being rewarded again with a trip to Las Vegas to support the Buffs at the Pac-12 Tournament.
Twenty-three members of the "OG" (Original Gang) 50 that celebrated the Buffs' conference tournament title in Los Angeles last March will be on hand at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, along with 27 "rookies."
The 50 students were selected through a loyalty program that tracked their attendance at CU men's games and select women's games throughout the season.
"The competition was fierce," Bohn said. "It's a real source of pride within our student body."
The C-Unit will travel to Las Vegas on a chartered flight with the CU pep band, cheerleaders, dance team and Chip the mascot.
"We're maintaining many of the traditions we started last year," Bohn said. "And that includes stopping at In-N-Out Burger."
All Pac-12 schools were allotted 400 tickets. CU had sold 981 tickets before the team left on Tuesday, borrowing from unused tickets some of their rivals couldn't sell.
"I know we've got more fans coming this year from Boulder and the surrounding areas in Colorado than we had in L.A. last year," CU head coach tad Boyle said. "We should hopefully have a good contingent and our fans are very boisterous wherever they are. ...
"(Traveling the C-Unit) showed a commitment by our university and our athletic department about how important basketball is. We're very appreciative of that."
CU, the fifth seed, opens the Pac-12 Tournament on Wednesday against No. 12 Oregon State.
"It means a lot, especially when other teams don't have any crowd or their 50 people are parents," Spencer Dinwiddie said. "It just doesn't compete with the type of energy the students can bring. It really kind of gives us a little home-court advantage."
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott has encouraged the other schools to follow CU's lead and pay for students to attend the tournament.
Oregon State coach Craig Robinson said his athletic department sold more tickets this year than the previous three Pac-12 Tournaments combined.
Which team is going to be this year's CU?
The head coaches of the teams seeded 5-to-12 are all hoping to win four games in four nights here at the MGM Grand Garden Arena to win the Pac-12 Tournament and the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
"If you can't believe right now, you're in the wrong sport," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "Colorado did it last year. ... Anything is possible with these kids. It's a matter of getting on a good roll."
The Buffs didn't show up on a roll at the Staples Center in Los Angeles a year ago, losing at Oregon and Oregon State to end the regular season before winning the conference tournament as a No. 6 seed.
Boyle believes the 2012-13 Buffs are among nine teams that can cut down the nets on Saturday night. He said the three teams at the bottom (Oregon State, Utah and Washington State) of the standings are capable of bursting some bubbles.
"I think it can go to nine, I really do. I think our top nine teams in our league are all talented," Boyle said. "That doesn't mean the three other guys can't win a game or two."
More CU honors
Andre Roberson and Dinwiddie -- who were voted All-Pac-12, first team by the conference coaches on Monday -- were both named to the U.S. Basketball Writers Association District VIII team on Tuesday.
Roberson, the Pac-12 defensive player of the year, is also the player of the year from his district, which includes the programs from the states of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
This is the second time in three seasons CU has had two players selected to the first-team for the district. Alec Burks and Cory Higgins received the honor in 2010-11.
New Mexico's Steve Alford is the district coach of the year. Colorado State's Colton Iverson and Air Force's Michael Lyons are also on the 10-man team.
Roberson was also on the District VIII selection last season.
CU will be playing Oregon State four days after losing to the Beavers in the regular-season finale. In 2009-10, the Buffs defeated Texas Tech 101-90 in the regular-season finale in Boulder but lost 82-67 to the Red Raiders five days later at the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City. ... CU has held 10 consecutive conference opponents under 70 points; that is the most since 16 were held under 70 over the course of the entire 1962 Big Eight season and the first two games of the 1963 season.
"It was a big accomplishment for them I'm sure. It's our job to show them it's not going to happen again," CU's Josh Scott when asked if the last-place Beavers gained some confidence by beating CU in Boulder.
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