Best Sports Team -- College - 2004
Air Force Academy Men's Basketball
Readers' Choice: University of Colorado Buffaloes
The Falcons may not get the big ink, but this year there was no better Colorado-based team sports story -- that didn't appear in the crime blotter, at least -- than Air Force basketball. Credit coach Joe Scott. First as a player, then as an assistant coach under the masterful Pete Carril, Scott was schooled in the disciplined Princeton University version of controlled, team-centric roundball. In 2000, the first year he arrived in Colorado Springs, the Falcons went 8-21. The next year, they went 9-19, and by 2002-03, the team had improved to 12-16. Even so, this year the Falcons, who'd never finished better than sixth-best in the Mountain West Conference, were the pre-season favorite to finish dead last. Instead, Scott's men -- none of whom is taller than an average NBA guard -- went 22-5, walking away with the MWC title and a top seeding in the conference tournament. They also earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Make no mistake: The Falcons soared.