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NIT 2012 Bracketology: Colorado, Colorado State In Picture If Denied NCAA Tournament

The NIT will certainly be a landing spot for the Colorado Buffaloes and the Colorado St. Rams if they fail to make the NCAA Tournament.

For a second year in a row, the Colorado Buffaloes will be on the NCAA Tournament bubble, as they are currently 1.5 games out of first place in the Pac-12 and would likely need to win the tournament to get what could be the conference's only bid to the tournament. If they miss out again, the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) will gladly take the Buffs -- at least according to the Bracket Project's initial NIT projection.

Colorado, however, gets only a No. 4 seed in this projection; in-state rival Colorado St. Rams receive a No. 2 seed. In 2011, Colorado was a No. 1 seed and lost to runner-up Alabama in the semifinals. Colorado State was a No. 3 seed and fell in the first round to No. 6 Fairfield.

However, as things look right now, the Rams are in a strong position to give the Mountain West a fourth team in the NCAA Tournament. After upsetting the New Mexico Lobos on Tuesday night, the Rams will need at least one win over San Diego State or UNLV, their next two opponents and both ranked teams, to have a more secure grip on an at-large bid.

The full projection can be found here (PDF).

For more on the Buffaloes, visit Colorado blog Ralphie Report. Check out Mountain West Connection for more on the Rams and the rest of the Mountain West. Head over to SB Nation NCAA Basketball for more news and notes as we approach the postseason.