Being two games out of first place with four teams in front of you and two games remaining makes winning the Pac-12 regular season championship unlikely, but the Colorado Buffaloes can still position themselves for a strong postseason performance by beating the Oregon Ducks on Thursday night.
Colorado, currently 11-5 in conference and 19-9 overall this season, has played well against an unusually weak batch of Pac-12 teams this year, but a bid to the NCAA Tournament still isn't particularly likely. The Buffaloes won't play a single ranked team all season and haven't dominated a schedule that isn't exactly loaded with high-quality teams.
A nice win against Oregon on Thursday would help, though, especially while Colorado attempts to improve its standing going into the Pac-12 Conference Tournament. Given the weakness of the conference this year, there aren't obvious favorites like you'd typically see in other years, and it's possible that winning the tournament is Colorado's only way into the NCAA's.
The Buffaloes are coming off an impressive 70-57 victory over California, one of the teams ahead of them in the standings, and they can knock down another one of their key opponents by beating the Ducks.