One factor that would seem to be in Denver’s favor heading into Saturday’s quarterfinal matchup against No. 1 seed Loyola is a familiarity with reaching this stage of the NCAA tournament as underdogs. The Pioneers entered the 2011 quarterfinals as the No. 6 seed and as an underdog, but stunned No. 3 seed Johns Hopkins,14-9, to advance to the Final Four.
But much as he did with the question of defeating a team three times in a single season, Tierney shrugged off any suggestion that his team’s experience is an edge against a Greyhounds team making its first appearance in the quarterfinal round since 2001.
“I’m a real believer that last year means nothing when it comes to this year,” he said. “We feel very blessed to be in the tournament, and we feel really good about our win over North Carolina, and we look at this as an opportunity to play the best team in the country. I don’t think last year has anything to do with this whatsoever.”Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times