University of Northern Colorado Bears, Devon Beitzel punch Big Dance ticket via Montana win

Categories: News, Sports

devon beitzel northern colorado v montana.JPG
Devon Beitzel.
They did it. The University of Northern Colorado Bears received their Big Dance invite before the CU Buffs thanks to a solid 65-60 win over Montana in last night's Big Sky championship.

And UNC may be a tougher first-round out than most experts believe for one big reason: Devon Beitzel.

The man who makes the Bears go, Beitzel has a lot of the qualities that's made Jimmer Fredette the darling of the NCAA basketball world: poise, a deadly shooting touch and impeccable timing. During the last five minutes of the game, he poured in thirteen points, ending the contest with 27 -- damn near half his team's total -- and a well-deserved MVP award. He also wound up on the all-tournament team alongside two of his teammates, forwards Chris Kaba and Mike Proctor.

Unlike Fredette, Beitzel is a barely known quantity beyond Colorado's borders, and that's a tremendous advantage in the tournament.

Will CU be enjoying March Madness along with UNC. If the Buffs beat Kansas State this afternoon, the answer is "yes" -- and even if they don't, there's still a possibility. But there's no waiting for the Bears. As an ESPN anchor said last night while reporting about the victory: Alert the bookstore in Greeley to get those T-shirts on display.

Look below to see a video showing the end of the game, as well as a fan-shot clip capturing the mayhem as boosters rushed the court.

More from our Sports archive: "CU Buffs cheerleaders photo gallery: Can they make the Big 12 tournament feel like home?"

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