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Texas and Colorado tangle in NIT quarterfinals with a trip to Madison Square Garden on the line

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The game tips in Austin at 8 PM CDT, and airs on ESPN2.

NBA: New York Knicks at Atlanta Hawks Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

It is getting close enough that we can start to think about it.

OK. This is the NIT. Sure. Just that. But the prize is more than just the NIT. The prize is playing basketball in the world’s most famous arena.

Sorry about that. I couldn’t help it. John has had some good Penn Station tweets over the years, which for the geographically inclined is virtually co-located with the site of the final two rounds of the NIT.

Anyway, win this game and you play in the same house as Bill Bradley, Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe, Patrick Ewing, and Eddy Curry. (Cheap shot, but it has been a rough decade.)

So what is that going to take? Colorado went 23-12, winning 10 games in the Pac-12. The Buffaloes are a strong defensive squad that has been offensively challenged this year. You can read more about them in our first look at the team.

No matter what happens, tonight will be the final Texas home games for Kerwin Roach II and Dylan Osetkowski. These are two players who have had their ups and downs at Texas. They are also two players that have been important players for the Longhorn program over a somewhat turbulent time. You see them through the lens of a fan — and a distorting lens that can be — but they are really in the end just two young people with a talent for basketball who have tried very hard to be as good as they can be at this strange and challenging game. And they have achieved far more playing than just about anyone reading this has even come close to achieving. (Except you, TJ. That sentence wasn’t for you.)

Win our lose, tonight is Texas’ last home game of the season. Lose and the season ends. Win, and it is on to New York.

The game tips in Austin at 8 p.m. Central and airs on ESPN2.