There is plenty of evidence that the University of Colorado has developed into a top-notch basketball program.
The arrival of ESPN's College Gameday crew to Boulder is another testament to CU's emergence under the direction of head coach Tad Boyle.
On Saturday, the Gameday crew will be in Boulder as it features CU's game that night against No. 4 Arizona.
"It's huge," said Boyle, who is in his fourth season at CU. "I think it's another milestone in our basketball program at the University of Colorado, what we're trying to build. We're trying to build a national brand, a nationally-recognized basketball program year-in and year-out.
"It means a lot to have College Gameday pick Boulder. They could be in a lot of different places this weekend, but they picked Boulder."
On Wednesday, the Buffs (20-7, 9-5 Pac-12) reached the 20-win mark for the fourth time in four seasons by defeating Arizona State 61-52. CU reached that mark just four times in its history before Boyle arrived.
The matchup with Arizona (24-2, 11-2) has developed into one of the better rivalries in the Pac-12. That matchup, along with the electric atmosphere at the Coors Events Center for big games, led to CU being selected as the host for Gameday.
ESPN's popular show will broadcast from the Coors Events Center throughout the day, leading up to the 7 p.m. tipoff between the Buffs and Wildcats.
Doors will open at 6 a.m. on Saturday and CU has encouraged fans to begin lining up at 5 a.m.
The 7 a.m. episode of SportsCenter will feature live look-ins with the Gameday crew of Rece Davis, Jay Williams, Digger Phelps and Jalen Rose. The two-hour pre-game show from Boulder will begin at 8 a.m. The first hour will be on ESPNU, and the second hour on ESPN.
Chick-Fil-A and McDonalds will provide free breakfast food for CU fans. There will also be free coffee, Mountain Dew Kickstart and other giveaways while supplies last. The first 250 students will get cards from Illegal Pete's for free burritos.
In addition, some fans will have a chance to win tickets to the game. One student will win $1,000 and the opportunity to make a half-court shot worth $18,000.
That night, fans are encouraged to wear all black CU gear to the game.
"It's a really cool thing," CU sophomore forward Josh Scott said of Gameday coming to Boulder. "It's big for CU. Probably seven, eight years ago this would never have happened. It's huge and it's going to be exciting."
The 20-win milestone
Although there is no banner or trophy that comes with winning 20 games, CU certainly knows the significance of that accomplishment.
CU has now had just eight 20-win seasons, and this marks just the fourth time in school history that the Buffs have had a 20-win regular season (also in 1968-69, 1996-97 and 2012-13).
"It means a lot," junior guard Askia Booker said. "Since I've been here we've won 20 games or more (every year). That's a statement to coach Boyle and you have to give him his credit. He recruits the right guys, he preaches the right things. I think it proves that it wins games."
So far, CU has been invited to the NCAA Tournament every time it has posted 20 wins in the regular season.
With four games left in the regular season — plus the Pac-12 Tournament and possible postseason play — CU has a chance to match or break the school record for wins. The 2010-11 and 2011-12 teams both won 24 games.
"When you start putting 20 win seasons back-to-back and hopefully postseason play, that helps you in recruiting, it helps raise the bar expectation-wise, internally and externally," Boyle said. "We're in that process."
During Wednesday's postgame press conference, Xavier Talton was asked a question about Arizona State point guard Jahii Carson. The reporter mentioned that Boyle has called Carson the fastest point guard in the country.
Sitting next to Talton, Booker furled his eyebrows when he heard that. Booker has often said he believes he's the fastest point guard in the country.
"(Carson) is very good, he's very crafty with the ball, but going straight down hill, I'm the fastest guard," Booker said with a smile.