Last night, the University of Northern Colorado Bears had a chance at accomplishing something no Colorado men’s college basketball team has in four years: qualify for the NCAA tournament.

The Bears didn’t go down without some high points and even led the crucial game against Montana in the final minutes, notes the Greeley Tribune. Coach Tad Boyle is upset about at least one foul called against UNC in the waning minutes and the lack of a call against Montana down the stretch, which he says put Montana over the top.

“I’m really disappointed that a great college basketball game ended the way that it did,” Boyle (left) says. “The guys worked too hard to have it end like this. But, that’s how basketball goes.”

The Bears are now 24-7 and will have to watch Montana take on Weber State in the Big Sky Tournament final tonight, but Boyle is hoping the Bears get a bid to the postseason in either the National Invitational Tournament or the College Basketball Invitational. UNC came close to reversing an ugly trend in Colorado men’s college basketball and earning some much-needed respect.

The Denver Post looks at the last time Colorado was represented in the men’s national tournament, when the Air Force Academy made it in 2006. Before then, both the University of Colorado and Colorado State University landed in the tournament in 2003. CU also made it in 1997, 28 years after their previous trip.