February 27th

CU/Stanford Game Quotes –

Opening statement … “Andre (Roberson) was terrific tonight, and then Spencer (Dinwiddie) I thought was great. When he plays aggressive offensively he has the ability to make plays not only for himself. But he’ll get the ball to the rim, that dunk he had in the second half was a big-time dunk. When (Dinwiddie) attacks the rim and Andre shoots the way he shot tonight, those two guys are pretty special. The thing I’m proud about is that our guys have taken a little bit of a play out of the Colorado football playbook and we’re singing the fight song in the locker room after wins now, so I appreciate the tradition that you guys (Chad Brown) set and every former football player. That is the new tradition for Colorado basketball, and it was Beau Gamble that started it for us. It is special.”

On the last play of the game … “I saw the ball in his hands, and thank God he tried to dunk it because I saw the ball in his hands and I saw the light go off. So, I knew the referees had to go and check the monitor, I understand that, but I was trying to go down and shake (Stanford’s) hands to get off the floor and not let it go to OT. But again, that was a break that this team needs and deserves. That was a good play, we pre-switched it.”

On the victory … “This is a good team we beat now, these guys are talented. Chasson Randle and (Dwight) Powell, and (Aaron) Bright, the list can go on. We’re a good team, and to do this without Josh Scott, two games in a row, and now on the road is a testament to the heart that the Buffaloes showed and I couldn’t be more proud of our players, they deserved it.”

On the West Coast C-Unit … “Absolutely, the Bay Area is a big alumni base for the University of Colorado, and we want them every year we come out here to come out a little bit more and a little bit more. They were good here last year but we didn’t give them the performance we gave them tonight. But there should be a lot of Buffaloes around the country proud listening back at home on the radio and this being a national TV game it was a big night for our program.”

Buff Bits –

– Colorado swept the season series by winning its first ever game against Stanford in Palo Alto. Stanford still leads the all-time series, however, 9-5.

– In 112 years of college basketball, Colorado has won 19 or more games in a season only 11 times … but all three seasons under Tad Boyle.

– CU has won three consecutive road conference games for the first time since 2001.

– The Buffs have posted four conference road wins on the season, which hasn’t happened since 1997.

– CU had only five assists against Stanford, the lowest total in a game since 1981 (a victory over Nebraska). CU is 8-4 this season with fewer than ten assists in a game (4-3 in Pac-12 play).

Andre Roberson … His career-high 24 points marked the fourth 20-point game of his career.

– Roberson, with eight rebounds, now has 1,014 in his career. He needs 41 more to break the CU career record.

– Roberson led the team in scoring for the first time this season. Spencer Dinwiddie has led CU scorers 12 times; Askia Booker 7 times (one shared); and Josh Scott five times.

– Roberson has 316 rebounds this season, third-most for a junior. He is within 20 of the all-time record for a junior in a season (Shaun Vandiver, 336, 1989-90).

– Stanford had 4,395 on hand for the CU game. When the Cardinal was in Boulder, the home crowd was 11,212.

Tad Boyle … In less than three full seasons, Boyle is already tied for fifth for coaching victories at CU. With the win against Stanford, Boyle has 67 victories, tying Bill Blair and Joe Harrington. At CU, Boyle is 67-34 overall, with a 43-6 record at home.

February 26th – at Stanford          Colorado 65, Stanford 63

It might not quite make up for the waved off call against Arizona on January 3rd … but it helps …

From cubuffs.com … Andre Roberson woke up “sick and woozy” on Wednesday morning. By Wednesday night, he was much, much better – and Stanford must have been sick of him.

Behind Roberson’s career-high 24 points and eight rebounds, Colorado edged the Cardinal 65-63, giving the Buffaloes their first Pac-12 Conference sweep of Stanford and their first-ever win at Maples Pavilion.

“Our players deserved that win,” said CU coach Tad Boyle, whose team improved to 19-8 overall and 9-6 in the conference. “For what they’ve been through, how they battled and the heart they played with, they deserved that.”

Roberson, a 6-7 junior, got scoring help from sophomore Spencer Dinwiddie with 19. They were the only two CU players in double figures.

In a postgame interview on KOA Radio, Roberson said after waking up feeling subpar on Wednesday morning, “I drank a lot of fluids, took some medicine. But Trae (Tashiro, trainer) had me on the right path and I had to come out here and take care of business. You have to fight through it.”

The win kept the Buffs in contention for the No. 4 seed in the Pac-12 tournament (March 13-16, Las Vegas). Said Roberson: “This means a lot for us . . . also in terms of the Pac-12 standings we’re trying to get that fourth seed. We’ll see how it goes.”

Stanford (16-13, 7-9) had three players in double digits – Andy Brown with 17, Chasson Randle with 16 and Dwight Powell with 12. Powell almost ended with 14 points, taking an in-bounds pass with 2.4 seconds to play, turning on Roberson and going to the basket for a jam that would have sent the game into overtime.

But he had too much court to cover in too little time – and Roberson knew it. “I knew they were going to play the three or attack the rim,” Roberson said. “He went past me and I said, ‘Oh, shoot’ . . . but the ball was still in his hand when the light went off.”

After a collective CU sigh that might have rattled windows in the Rockies, the Buffs had their eighth win in 10 games and their third consecutive conference road win for the first time since the 2000-01 season.

Boyle called Roberson “a beast” for his offensive effort and lauded his overall defense on the 6-10 Powell. Boyle also said when Dinwiddie “plays aggressively and attacks the rim, and Andre plays like he did, those two are special.”

But overall, it was another special night for the Buffs. They won without 6-10 freshman center Josh Scott, who received an elbow to the head on Feb. 16 against Arizona State and did not play last week against Utah. Scott made the trip to the Bay Area but was held out of Wednesday night’s game. In CU’s 75-54 win against Stanford on Jan. 24, Scott scored 12 points and grabbed five rebounds.

Scott’s status for Saturday, when CU plays at fast-improving California (2 p.m. MST, ESPNU), is to be determined. Against Cal in Boulder on Jan. 27, Scott contributed five points and three rebounds. Nonetheless, the Buffs won 81-71, but since then the Bears have won seven of eight – including five straight.

Preview – Colorado at Stanford – (Wednesday, 9:00 p.m., ESPN2)

The next ten days could either solidfy the Buffs claim to a tournament spot … or put the Buffs right on the bubble.

Colorado is 18-8, 8-6 in Pac-12 play. The Buffs own victories over quality teams – Baylor; Arizona; Oregon; Colorado State; Cal amongst them – and have a great RPI ranking (28) and strong strength of schedule (19).

What could go wrong?

Well, last season at this time, the Buffs were also 18-8, but lost three of their last four to drop to a No. 6 seed, and needed an unlikely run through the Pac-12 tournament to qualify for the NCAA tournament.

Colorado heads out on the road this weekend against Stanford and Cal. The Buffs have three conference road wins this season, but haven’t posted four since 1996-97. Stanford has been struggling of late, but still has won five of their last six against CU … and the Buffs have never won in Palo Alto. The game against the Cardinal will be followed by an even more difficult game against surging Cal, and then a home game against No. 24 Oregon.

A three game losing streak isn’t out of the question ….

Buff Bits –

– Colorado is 4-9 against Stanford all-time. The Cardinal are only one of three teams in the Pac-12 which own a winning record against the Buffs (UCLA and Washington are the others; the Buffs are tied with Arizona State).

– The Buffs defeated the Cardinal handily in Boulder on January 24th, 75-54. CU made a team Pac-12 high 30 field goals, shooting 52.6% from the field. Askia Booker scored 13 points, while Andre Roberson collected 20 rebounds. All five starters scored in double figures, the first time that happened for CU since 2009.

– We know that against Utah Andre Roberson broke the 1,000 career rebound mark (he now has 1,006). But did you know that no other junior in the country is anywhere close to 1,000 career rebounds? (Brian Voelkel of Vermont is closest, with 854).

– Spencer Dinwiddie (15.3 ppg.) and Askia Booker (13.4 ppg.) are on pace to become the first sophomores to lead the team in scoring in 45 years. That team, led by Cliff Meely and Ron Smith as sophomore scorers, won the Big 8 title, and finished 21-7 (the first 20-win team in school history).

– Andre Roberson remains first in the nation in rebounds, averaging 11.8 per game. Second on the list is Siena’s O.D. Anisoke, who helped his cause with 14 rebounds in the Saints most recent game.

cubuffs.com game preview … After practice the other day, Colorado coach Tad Boyle conceded he pulls up bracketology on his desktop computer about “once a week – and I shouldn’t admit that.” He also “checks our RPI daily; that’s a number I’m pretty dialed into.”

And why should Boyle forbid himself to peruse either? Although he’s a strict one-game-at-a-time guy, he’s got a little more invested in Buffs basketball than you or me. But like you and me, he’s keenly interested in various seers’ mid-March forecasting and where his team might land.

“It’s part of the world we live in,” Boyle explained. “I don’t focus on it, I can promise you that. When I come to practice I don’t think about it. I don’t think about it before I go to bed. But once a week or so I kind of see where they have us and take the temperature, so to speak.”

In NCAA Tournament terms, the Buffs’ current temperature is near normal, maybe a degree above. Boyle would like it to be feverish. On four randomly selected websites I checked on Tuesday morning, CU’s RPI was 29, 29, 27 and 28. Its four projected tournament seeds were 11, 10, 8 and 10 – and at this point all the numbers mean nothing.

The exact NCAA seeding, of course, won’t happen until Selection Sunday, and neither Boyle nor his players want to peek that far into March. I’d be surprised if the dark memory of that day two seasons ago still isn’t lurking in the back of his mind. What was to be a celebration at his home turned maudlin when the Buffs were snubbed.

THE DIFFERENCE IN THIS SEASON and last is found in the number Boyle says he checks daily – the speculative RPI. Calling scheduling “part art, part science,” Boyle hit on the right blend this season. His 2012-13 non-conference schedule was more demanding, plus the Pac-12 is better overall this season than last. “We haven’t played too many patsies,” Boyle said.

Last March, CU’s RPI hovered in the low 60s to low 70s, making an at-large NCAA bid unlikely and forcing the Buffs to win the Pac-12 tourney for the league’s automatic bid. The Buffs’ best-case scenario this March is maintaining an RPI – the upper 20s will do – that will allow them to be relatively assured of an at-large NCAA bid when they leave for Vegas.

And that means a strong finish this week in the Bay Area against Stanford (Wednesday, 9 p.m. MST, ESPN2) and California (Saturday, 2 p.m. MST, ESPNU) and next week in the Coors Events Center against Oregon and Oregon State. The Pac-12 tournament is March 13-16.

The Buffs are 7-2 in their last nine games, with the most recent win against Utah (60-50) accomplished minus freshman center Josh Scott. He remains day-to-day for the Bay Area trip after being elbowed in the head on Feb. 16 in the overtime loss against Arizona State.

Against Utah, CU compensated for Scott’s absence, getting fill-in productivity from several players. Said Boyle: “It’s the time of the year when you need all hands on deck. The bench has got to play well, the starters have to play well. Everybody has to step their game up; it’s crunch time. This is what you work for all year – to put yourself in this position.”

February 25th

Roberson Freshman of the Week … For the Fourth Time

From cubuffs.com … University of Colorado’s Arielle Roberson was named the Pac-12 Conference Women’s Basketball Freshman of the Week for the week of Feb. 18-24, the league office announced on Monday.

It is the fourth Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honor for Roberson, and her first during league play.

A 6-foot-1-inch forward from San Antonio, Roberson averaged 16.5 points and 8.0 rebounds to lead Colorado to a home sweep of the Washington schools last week. She shot 67 percent from 3-point range and 78 from the foul line as the No. 19 ranked Buffaloes extended their win streak to seven.

Roberson recorded her first career double-double with 17 points and a career-best 13 rebounds in the win over Washington State. Her eight offensive rebounds alone were also a career-best and a team season-high. She added two blocks and two steals with one assist.

She scored 16 points to lead CU in the win over Washington. Roberson made 2-of-3 from 3-point range for the second consecutive game and has made nine of her last 15 from downtown (.600). She was a perfect 6-of-6 from the line, a personal-high for free throws attempted without a miss.

Roberson earned the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week award three times during the nonconference schedule, and was the inaugural recipient of that honor on Nov. 12 after scoring 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting with six rebounds, five steals, two assists and two blocks in her collegiate debut – a 70-65 win over Idaho on Nov. 11.

CU women move up to No. 19 in AP poll

From cubuffs.com … Riding a seven-game winning streak, the University of Colorado moved up one spot to No. 19 in the Associated Press Women’s Basketball Top 25 poll, released Monday.

The ranking is CU’s highest in the AP Poll since coming in at No. 17 in the final poll of the 2003-04 season (March 15, 2004). CU’s 11-week run in the AP poll is its longest since appearing in all 19 polls of that same season, which culminated in the Buffaloes most recent NCAA Tournament appearance.

Colorado, 22-5 overall and 11-5 in the Pac-12 Conference, received 288 points, up from 253 last week. All five of Colorado’s losses have been to ranked teams, including two each to Stanford and California ranked No. 7 or better at the time. Stanford and California remained at No. 4 and No. 6 respectively, while UCLA held at No. 17.

The Buffaloes do have one top 10 win on their resume, a 70-66 win over then-No. 8 Louisville on Dec. 14. The Cardinals are currently ranked No. 16.

The Buffaloes have a long history of rankings in the AP poll, dating back to the 1980-81 season. This week’s ranking marks the 169th time Colorado has appeared in the AP poll, trailing only Stanford, USC and UCLA among Pac-12 schools.

The USA Today Sports Coaches poll is scheduled to be released on Tuesday. Colorado was No. 23 in last week’s coaches’ poll.

Colorado will close Pac-12 regular season action with a trip to the Oregon schools this weekend. The Buffaloes play at Oregon on Friday, March 1, at 8 p.m. MT and finish up at Oregon State on Sunday, March 3, at 1 p.m. MT. CU, currently in a tie for fourth in the Pac-12 with Washington, controls its own destiny for a coveted top four seed and first round bye in the 2013 Pac-12 Tournament, March 7-10, in Seattle.

February 24th – Boulder         No. 20 Colorado 68, Washington 61

Colorado built a double digit lead, then withstood three runs by Washington late, holding off the Huskies to win their seventh straight, 68-61.

On Senior Day, senior Chucky Jeffrey came up huge late, with two assists to Jen Reese to give the Buffs crucial baskets in the last two minutes, then getting rebounds and making free throws to help seal the victory. On the afternoon, Jeffrey finished with a double-double, posting 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Also starring for the Buffs were Arielle Roberson, who led the Buffs with 16 points, Brittany Wilson, who had 13 points (11 in the first half, as the Buffs built a 36-25 edge at the break), and Jen Reese, who had five of her 11 points right after the Huskies had pulled to within two points with three minutes to play.

The win moves the No. 20 Buffs to 22-5 on the season, 11-5 in Pac-12 play. The victory ties Colorado in the standings for fourth place alongside Washington. However, as the Buffs now own the tiebreaker, they only need to hold serve to earn a bye in the Pac-12 tournament …

And a bye seems likely. Colorado closes out the regular season on the road, but does so against the two worst teams in the league, Oregon (4-23, 2-13) and Oregon State (9-18, 3-12). Meanwhile, Washington finishes its regular season on the road as well, but against No. 4 Stanford and No. 6 Cal.

Colorado still has a shot at a No. 3 seed, but will need help from No. 17 UCLA. The Bruins have a one game lead on the Buffs, and hold the tie breaker. UCLA would have to lose two games (the Bruins will be on the road against the Arizona schools next weekend) while CU wins two games, for the Buffs to move into third place.

Why would that help?

Well, the Buffs are very likely (unless CU collapses and Washington wins out, or UCLA collapses and CU wins out) to finish in 4th place. That finish would earn the Buffs a bye in the Pac-12 tournament, and a likely second round rematch against Washington, the all-but assured No. 5 seed.

The problem with facing Washington again?

The Pac-12 tournament will be held in Seattle, making the game against the Huskies a true road game in what is supposed to be a neutral site venue.

Oh well … with the win, the Buffs are a lock for the NCAA tournament, and will likely get to host the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament March 23rd-26th.

Here’s the game story from cubuffs.com … CU had four players in double figures against UW, topped by Arielle Roberson’s 16. Brittany Wilson added 13, with Chucky Jeffery and Jen Reese chipping in 11 each. Five of Reese’s points came in the final 2:55, with her critical pair of final field goals coming after the Huskies had closed to 59-57.

Jeffery, one of three seniors playing their final regular-season home game, added 13 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season and 29th of her career. Jeffery left the game with 8.5 seconds to play, while seniors Meagan and Brenna Malcolm-Peck came onto the court about three seconds earlier.

Kristi Kingma led UW with 19 points. Aminah Williams added 12, Talia Walton 11 and Mercedes Wetmore 10. Guard Jazmine Davis, the Pac-12’s No. 2 scorer with a 19.7 average, was held to nine points on two of 13 shooting from the field.

CU never trailed by more than three points in the first half, and after Kingma hit a three-pointer to send the Huskies up 16-14, the Buffs launched a 16-3 run that produced a 30-19 advantage.

An acrobatic put-back by freshman Jamee Swan enabled CU to maintain that 11-point lead (36-25) at intermission. The Buffs got 11 first-half points from Brittany Wilson, who was the only player on either team in double figures.

UW opened the game hitting six of its first 11 shots, but made only three of its final 18 attempts to close the first half. CU hit 15 of its 32 first-half field goal attempts (47 percent) and outrebounded the visitors 25-15.

The Huskies scored the first six points of the second half, pulling to 36-31. The Buffs, meanwhile, had Jeffery leave the game with what appeared to be a left ankle injury at the 19:12 mark. But she was back about four minutes later, and her return might have given CU an emotional lift.

After UW crept to within five points, CU went on an 8-1 run and shot ahead 44-32 with 12:41 to play. Roberson scored six of the Buffs’ points during that surge.

But that 12-point CU lead disappeared quickly.

UW, the Pac-12 leader with 8.5 treys a game, put together an 11-0 run that featured treys by Wetmore and Kingma and another three free throws by Kingma. That pulled the Huskies to within one twice in the final 9:58, but an 8-0 CU that included four points by Jeffery opened a nine-point Buffs lead (56-47).

UW wouldn’t roll. The Huskies outscored the Buffs 8-2 over the next three minutes, closing to 58-55 with 3:38 to play, then pulling to 59-57.

But Reese got her pair of monstrous mid-range jumpers to give CU breathing room at 63-57, and the Buffs hit five of six free throws in the final 48.5 to tuck away the win.

February 22nd – Boulder          No. 20 Colorado 59, Washington State 45

The No. 20 CU women fought their way – sometimes literally – to a 59-45 victory over Washington State Friday night. Freshman Arielle Roberson matched the results of her brother from the night before in posting a double-double, scoring 17 points and landing 13 rebounds to lead the Buffs. Chucky Jeffrey and Jen Reese were the only other Buffs in double figures, with ten apiece, in a game in which scoring was at a premium.

The Colorado defense was at its best, holding Washington State to under 20% from the field (11-of-56, .196). The Buffs, though, fared little better, hitting on only a third of their shots (22-of-65). With so many misses, rebounds were plentiful, with the Buffs collecting 46, to 37 for the Cougars.

With the victory, the Buffs move to 21-5, 10-5 in Pac-12 play. With Utah’s upset of Washington, 60-46, Friday night, the Buffs now control their own destiny for a first round bye in the Pac-12 conference tournament. The Buffs host Washington, now 11-4 in the conference, on Sunday (2:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 digital). With a win over the Huskies on Sunday, Colorado will move into a tie with Washington, but will own the tiebreaker should the teams finish in a tie (the teams only meet once in the regular season). A loss to Washington would give the Huskies a two-game advantage with only two games to play (along with the tie-breaker), making it impossible for the Buffs to pass the Huskies in the standings.

So, while the Buffs are all but certain to make the NCAA tourament – and host the first two rounds – a first round bye in the Pac-12 tournament is pretty much an all-or-nothing proposition for the CU women on Sunday.

Notes … The 21 victories is the most in the regular season for CU since the 2003-04 team won 22 regular season games … Colorado already has four more Pac-12 victories than last season, with three games still to play … CU now has a six game winning streak, the longest since winning six in a row in 2003-04 … Colorado’s five losses were all to ranked teams, which now have a combined record of 67-10 (even more remarkable, six of those ten losses have come to each other, with UCLA being swept by Cal and Stanford, with the Bears and Cardinal splitting their two games. Otherwise, the three teams which have defeated the Buffs are a combined 61-4).

Post-Utah Buff Bits

– Colorado now leads the series against Utah 24-16, with a 15-4 advantage in Boulder;

– The Buffs’ 18-8 overall record is tied for the fifth-best mark in school history after 26 games (the 2011-12 team was also 18-8 at this point of the season);

– Spencer Dinwiddie’s streak of consecutive made free throws came to an end at 33, the third-longest streak in school history;

– Andre Roberson posted his 36th career double-double (10 points, 13 rebounds). With 1,006 career rebounds, Roberson is closing in on the all-time leader at Colorado, Stephane Pelle (1,054, 1999-2003).

– The announced crowd was 9,823, the third smallest of the season. The Buffs are still averaging over 10,000 (10,367) per home game, with two home games remaining. Last season the Buffs set a school record for attendance … with an average of 7,804.

– Colorado is 8-6 in Pac-12 play, occupying the 6th position in the standings (and where the Buffs were predicted to finish in the preseason). CU is just behind Arizona State and Cal, both at 9-5, and just ahead of USC (7-6) and Stanford (7-7). If the Pac-12 tournament were to be held today, the 6th-seeded Buffs would play the No. 11 seed, Utah, before taking on the No. 3 seed, UCLA.

February 21st – Boulder        Colorado 60, Utah 50

Colorado used an 11-0 run early in the second half to break open a close game, then held off Utah for the remainder of the second half, taking out the Utes, 60-50, in Boulder.

The Buffs struggled offensively for most of the night. Freshman center Josh Scott was held out of action, and the Buffs’ two main scoring threats at the guard position had off nights. Spencer Dinwiddie, who had scored over 20 points in each of the Buffs’ last three games, was held to 13 points, while Askia Booker was held to eight.

With Scott out, and Dinwiddie and Booker struggling, other players had to step up. Freshman Jeremy Adams had a career-best nine points, while senior Sabatino Chen contributed 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field.

Andre Roberson, while not an obviously dominating force, was still his usual amazing self. Roberson posted career double-double No. 36 in posting 10 points and 11 rebounds. Roberson also made it five-for-five in double-doubles against Utah. With his 11 rebounds, Roberson became just the second Buff in CU history to record over 1,000 rebounds in their career. Up next for Roberson is Stephane Pelle, who had 1,054 rebounds (1999-2003).

The 18-8 Buffs move to 8-6 in Pac-12 play, and are off until next Wednesday night, when Colorado will take on Stanford on the road (9:00 p.m. MT, ESPN2).

With the loss, the Utes fall to 11-15, 3-11 in Pac-12 play.

Here is the game story from cubuffs.com … Boyle opened with a small starting lineup, using 6-4 senior Sabatino Chen. But Scott’s absence left 6-11 junior Shane Harris-Tunks as the Buffs’ biggest inside presence. Along with Roberson, Harris-Tunks was counted on to contend with Utah’s Jason Washburn, a 6-10 senior who entered the game averaging 11.8 points and 6.7 rebounds a game.

But Roberson proved most effective against Washburn, who had scored in double figures in 14 of the past 16 games and had four double-doubles in Pac-12 play. One of his double-doubles (13 points, 11 rebounds) was against the Buffs on Feb. 2. Washburn finished with 10 points and five boards.

Dinwiddie, who had averaged 23 points in his last three games, entered Thursday night having made 32 consecutive free throws. He went two-for-four in the first half but was the catalyst in the Buffs closing with a 9-2 run to take a 30-28 lead at intermission.

But there was no way they could be comfortable with it. They allowed the Utes to shoot 50 percent (10-for-20) from the field in the first 20 minutes and gave up a two-rebound advantage (15-13). But minus Scott, CU’s bench made a contribution, outscoring Utah’s 8-2.

The Buffs’ second-half challenges: tighter defense and better ball movement that hopefully would produce a higher field goal percentage (42.3). And that’s the way the half started.

After Utah freshman Jordan Loveridge – a former CU recruit – canned a three-pointer to put the Utes up 31-30, the Buffs answered with an 8-0 run to go to up 38-31. CU got its points in that surge on a tip-in by Xavier Johnson and back-to-back treys by Askia Booker and Chen.

Sensing the night might be slipping away, Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak called a timeout. But the Utes whiffed on that possession and Booker hit one of two free throws (39-31) and Roberson hit a layup to push the Buffs’ lead to double digits (41-31).

Utah crept to within five points but CU responded with six consecutive points, completing a 17-5 run for a 47-36 advantage with 12:22 remaining. But it didn’t last.

The Utes pulled to within five points three times in the final 6:25, but got no closer. The Buffs made five of six free throws – four of them by Dinwiddie – to account for the final margin.

Game Quotes –

– Opening statement … “We didn’t shoot the ball extremely well tonight, but in the second half I thought our pressure defense really got us going and we created some offense with our defense,” said Tad Boyle. “We talked at half time about how we have taken 29 shots and 17 of them were three’s. I made it a point not to talk to our players about that stat because, I didn’t want them to get tentative shooting the three ball because it is a big part of our offense and we really need it, but we did talk about getting the ball on the inside and to the rim more. We will start eventually making those shots; we have some good shooters on this team. We won this game in the second half holding them to 31 percent (shooting) and out rebounding them by eight in the second half. At half time they shot 50 percent and out rebounded us by two. Defensive rebounding comes into play when you don’t shoot the ball like we are capable of.”

On Roberson and Harris-Tunks … “Andre Roberson is one of the best defenders in America. He is without a doubt the best defender in the Pac-12, and he does not get enough credit for what he does on the defensive end. We all know he is leading the country in rebounding, but blocking shots, deflecting the ball, getting steals, I cannot say enough about him. Our aggressiveness on the ball screens was the reason Shane [Harris-Tunks] only played five minutes, it had nothing to do with Shane. Shane is still a part of this team.”

On national recognition for Roberson … “I don’t know, probably because he plays for Colorado and the Mountain Time zone, and nobody on the East coast saw him play tonight. We don’t get the national recognition that I think our programs deserve. But I will put Andre Roberson up against anybody defensively in this country. He can guard all five positions, he rebounds, steals, blocks shots, he is the best.”

Preview – Utah at Colorado (8:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

Buff Bits –

– Even with the loss on February 2nd in Salt Lake City, the Buffs still lead the all-time series with Utah, 23-16, including a 14-4 record in Boulder;

– Utah is 11-14 overall, 3-10 in Pac-12 play, coming off of a 3-15 Pac-12 record in 2011-12;

– A victory would be the 18th for the season for Colorado, a feat only accomplished 13 other times in 112 seasons of basketball in Boulder;

– Utah has three players averaging double figures in scoring … senior guard Jarred Dubois (12.1 ppg.); senior center Jason Washburn (11.8 ppg.) and freshman forward Jordan Loveridge (11.7 ppg);

– CU’s loss to Arizona State was the 100th loss in Tad Boyle’s career. Overall, Boyle is 121-100, with a 65-34 overall record at Colorado.

Andre Roberson – With 11.8 rebounds per game, Roberson is back on top as the nation’s leading rebounder. Siena’s O.D. Anoskie is second at 11.5 rebounds per game, and only has three games left in his regular season, with no games until Sunday;

–  Roberson needs only seven rebounds against Utah to reach 1,000 rebounds for his career, becoming only the second Buff to accomplish that feat (Stephane Pelle, 1,054, 1999-2003). With five rebounds, Roberson will have 300 rebounds for the 2012-13, a feat he accomplished last season, but something only ten other Buffs have done in their careers;

– In four career games against Utah, Roberson has put up a double-double in each game, averaging 14.8 ppg and 14.0 rpg;

Spencer Dinwiddie – With 24 points against Arizona State, Dinwiddie has scored 20 or more points in three straight games (for the second time this season). Dinwiddie enters the Utah game having made 32 consecutive free throws, closing in on the school record of 45 (Cory Higgins, 2010-11);

– Dinwiddie is fourth in the conference in free throw percentage in conference games, hitting 85% of his free throws.

Josh Scott – While Tad Boyle has stated that the freshman center is “going to be fine”, Scott remains “day-to-day” after suffering concussion symptoms following his fall to the floor against Arizona State Saturday. As the Buffs only have one game this week, it would not be a surprise if Scott is held out of the Utah game for “precautionary” reasons, in order to make sure Scott is ready for the Bay area road trip against Stanford and Cal next week.

February 19th


With only three weeks left in the regular season, the race to make the NCAA basketball tournaments is in high gear. While both CU men’s and women’s teams are currently predicted to make the Dance, nothing can be taken for granted.

CU men … A last second victory over Arizona State instead of a last second loss to Arizona State certainly would have solidified the Buffs’ chances, the perception is that the NCAA bid is up to the Buffs to lose. Both ESPN.com and CBSSportsline.com currently have Colorado as a No. 9 seed. That puts the Buffs “comfortably” into the tournament, only in that the 9-12 seeds are predominantly made up of the “bubble” teams, meaning that CU is amongst those teams at the top of the heap … of those teams which should be nervous about how they play out the rest of the regular season.

Colorado has a “must-win” game against Utah on Thursday night. It’s a “no-win” situation for the Buffs, as a victory over 11-14 Utah will not help the Buffs’ cause appreciably, but a second in-season loss to the Utes would definitely hurt Colorado’s chances.

After the lone game this week, the Buffs take to the road to face the Bay area teams, then return home the final weekend to face the Oregon schools. The Buffs have already beaten all four schools – with the victories against the Oregon schools coming on the road. Cal is playing really well right now, and Oregon remains ranked. Two victories out of these four games would leave Colorado with a 10-8 Pac-12 record (assuming a win over Utah), and all but assure CU (which would have 20 victories overall) an NCAA bid. If the Buffs don’t go 3-2 or better down the stretch, CU might have to win a pair of Pac-12 tournament games to wrap up a bid.

CU women … The Colorado women are in much better shape than the men when it comes to securing a bid. Though currently 5th in the Pac-12 standings, the 20-5 Buffs are ranked 20th in the nation by the AP, and 23rd by the coaches. All five losses were to ranked teams, including four to top ten Stanford and Cal.

The CU women’s team is currently slotted as a No. 5 seed by ESPN.com. More importantly, though, is that the Buffs are all but assured of hosting the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament. Not as much as a draw as the men, the first two rounds are, for the most part, held on campus sites, with the current bracket showing 13 of the 16 opening weekends being hosted by tournament teams. So keen is the NCAA in bringing in bodies to the tournament that two No. 12 seeds – LSU and Gonzaga – would still get to play at home the first two rounds.

The CU women have only four Pac-12 games remaining, taking on the Washington teams at home this weekend, before taking on the Oregon schools on the road. Of the four, only Washington has a winning record, making a strong finish for the CU women a distinct possibility. The Buffs will likely be at home between March 23rd and 26th, so plan on being there to cheer the Buffs onto a berth in the Sweet Sixteen!

February 18th

Boyle: Josh Scott “day-to-day”

From cubuffs.com … Colorado basketball coach Tad Boyle on Monday said freshman Josh Scott “is going to be fine” but remains day-to-day with concussion symptoms following his injury during Saturday’s loss to Arizona State.

“We don’t really know anything more (Monday) than we did after the game, but he’s going to be fine,” Boyle said. “He’s working with the trainers and will be back as soon as possible. I don’t have a timeline on that; I don’t know if it’s tomorrow or the next day or the day after. I’d say he’s day-to-day.”

CU plays Utah on Thursday (8:05 p.m., Pac-12 Network) at the Coors Events Center. The Utes defeated the Buffaloes 58-55 on Feb. 2 in Salt Lake City.

The 6-10, 215-pound Scott was injured in the second half of Saturday’s 63-62 overtime loss to the Sun Devils. About four minutes into the half, Scott became entangled under the basket with ASU’s 7-2, 250-pound Jordan Bachysnski and received an elbow to the head. Scott was taken to the CU locker room and did not return to the game.

With Scott’s status undetermined, the Buffs could be leaning more on 6-11, 250-pound junior Shane Harris-Tunks, who played 12 minutes (no points, two rebounds, one assist, three fouls) against ASU. Boyle said Harris-Tunks “is going to be critical for us as we come down the stretch . . . you can make an argument that he’s the most critical guy coming off our bench. When he plays well, our team plays well.”

After road sweep of Arizona schools, CU women move up to No. 20 in AP poll

From cubuffs.com … Riding a five-game winning streak, the University of Colorado moved up one spot to No. 20 in the Associated Press Women’s Basketball Top 25 poll, released Monday.

This week’s ranking matches CU’s season-high in the AP poll, achieved for the third time. CU was also ranked No. 20 in the Dec. 31 and Jan. 21 polls. CU’s 10-week run in the AP poll is its longest since appearing in all 19 polls of the 2003-04 season.

Colorado, 20-5 overall and 9-5 in the Pac-12 Conference, received 253 points, up from 188 last week. All five of Colorado’s losses have been to ranked teams, including two each to Stanford and California ranked No. 7 or better at the time. Stanford and California remained at No. 4 and No. 6 respectively, while UCLA dropped two spots to No. 17.

The Buffaloes do have one top 10 win on their resume, a 70-66 win over then-No. 8 Louisville on Dec. 14. The Cardinals are currently ranked No. 12.

The Buffaloes have a long history of rankings in the AP poll, dating back to the 1980-81 season. This week’s ranking marks the 168th time Colorado has appeared in the AP poll, trailing only Stanford, USC and UCLA among Pac-12 schools.

The USA Today Sports Coaches poll is scheduled to be released on Tuesday. Colorado was No. 25 in last week’s coaches’ poll.

Colorado, fresh of clinching the 19th 20-win season in team history, will play its final regular season home series this weekend with the Washington schools coming to Boulder. The Buffaloes entertain Washington State on Friday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. and will host Senior Day against Washington on Sunday, Feb. 24, at 2 p.m.

February 17th

No. 21 Colorado 71, Arizona State 63

For much of Sunday afternoon, it appeared as if Arizona State would take a weekend sweep over Colorado, but the No. 21 women’s team rallied from a 12-point deficit to take a 71-63 road victory over the Sun Devils in Tempe.

Jen Reese led the Buffs, scoring 22 points on 7-for-10 from the field and 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Senior Chucky Jeffrey posted a double-double, with 12 points and ten rebounds, while freshman Arielle Roberson contributed 16 points and eight rebounds.

After opening with a 7-4 lead early, the Buffs went cold for much of the first half. Arizona State pushed the lead out to 23-14 before the Buffs scored six straight points to pull within three at 23-20. The Sun Devils then went on another run, out-scoring the Buffs, 12-7 the last five minutes of the first half to take a 35-27 lead into the break.

Matters looked dire for the Buffs early in the second half, as the Sun Devils scored the first four points of the second half to push the lead to 12 points. The lead was still ten with 14 minutes to play, when the Buffs went on an 11-1 run to tie the score at 49-all with 9:04 to play on a Jamee Swan layup.

The Buffs, on a Rachel Hargis layup and an Arielle Roberson three-pointer, made the run 16-1 to give the Buffs a 54-49 lead with seven minutes to play. The lead remained between three and five points for much of the next five minutes, before the Buffs made five of six free throws in the final minute to make the final score of 71-63 the Buffs’ biggest lead of the day.

Colorado, with the weekend road sweep of the Arizona schools, raised its record to 20-5, 9-5 in Pac-12 play. The Buffs are in fifth place in the conference, but are not likely to finish any lower, as the No. 6 team, Washington State, has a 6-7 conference record (likely to go to 7-7 Sunday night, as the Cougars play are playing last place Oregon).

So, how are the Buffs doing in the Pac-12? … Just in front of the Buffs in the standings is UCLA, 10-4 after being swept by the Bay Area schools over the weekend. The Bruins own the tie-breaker over the Buffs, but finish with three of their final four games on the road.

The other team the Buffs have a chance of catching – and earning a first round bye in the Pac-12 tournament – is Washington. The Huskies are 10-3 (likely to go to 11-3 with a game against Oregon State Sunday night. The Huskies, while they might be two games clear of the Buffs right now, must play at Colorado next Sunday, before finishing with Stanford and Cal in the final weekend of play.

Colorado, for its part, returns home to play the Washington schools next weekend, with Washington State on Friday night, and Washington on Sunday afternoon. The final two games of the regular season will be on the road, but will be against Oregon State and Oregon, a combined 12-38 coming into Sunday.

It’s looking like the Buffs, if they finish fifth, will have an easy game against Oregon in the first round of the tournament, then play Washington or UCLA. If the Buffs finish third or fourth, they would likely still play Washington or UCLA in the second round. Ironically enough, UCLA and Washington are two teams which the Buffs play only once this year in the regular season. The Buffs lost to UCLA in Los Angeles, 62-46, on February 1st, and will play, as we know, Washington at home next Sunday afternoon.

February 16th – Boulder          Arizona State 63, Colorado 62 OT

Evan Gordon scored on a layup as time expired, giving Arizona State a 63-62 win over Colorado in Boulder. Just eight seconds earlier, Spencer Dinwiddie had given the Buffs the lead with a jumper, but Gordon was able to slice his way down the lane for the winning shot.

The loss spoiled a Buff rally in regulation, in which Colorado scored the last six points in the final 1:16 to tie the score at 54-all. A Xavier Johnson dunk off of an assist by Spencer Dinwiddie tied the game with 2.5 seconds left to play.

Spencer Dinwiddie made his case for Pac-12 Player-of-the-Week, going over 20 points for the third consecutive game. Dinwiddie scored 24 points, including a 14-for-14 effort from the free throw line. Askia Booker had 17 points, while Xavier Johnson had a double-double, going for ten points and 14 rebounds.

Andre Roberson, after a slow start, finished with 15 rebounds and eight points. Combined with his 13-rebound effort against Arizona, Roberson will likely retake the nation’s rebounding lead, as No. 1 rebounder O.D. Anosike of Siena, was held to 13 total rebounds in two losses this weekend.

The free throw line, a nemisis for the Buffs earlier in the season, could not be blamed in the Arizona State game. The Buffs, led by Dinwiddie’s perfect 14-for-14, were 16-of-18 on the night, much better than the 10-for-17 posted by the Sun Devils. Likewise, the boards were owned by the Buffs, who had a 41-26 domination in rebounds.

Instead, it was turnovers, 15 in all, which doomed the Buffs to their eighth loss of the season. The loss was just the sixth at home in 48 games under Tad Boyle (and the second of the season – the Buffs fell to UCLA, 78-75, back on January 12th).

Colorado is now 17-8, 7-6 in the Pac-12, while Arizona State raised its record (and NCAA hopes) with a 19-7, 8-5 mark. The Buffs only have one game next week, a home game against Utah on Thursday (8:00 p.m., Pac-12 Networks).

Locker room quotes

Opening statement … “Welcome to college football, I thought football season was over in December but I guess it is not. That was an unbelievably physical game, hard fought game by both teams but Arizona State had the ball at the end and they made a big time play and we didn’t get a stop when we needed to. The most physical basketball game I have ever been a part of in college, high school, it was a very physical game.”

On The Physicality Of The Game … “It affected both teams, the physicality of the game affected both teams, and I thought our guys reacted well, they played their hearts out. I have no problem with our team’s energy, and with their effort. We didn’t always execute and we will get better at that, but they did everything we asked them to on defense, they played their hearts out but we came up a little bit short. It was a helluva game which came down to the last play and it could have gone either way, but it stinks. Arizona State is a good team and every game from here on out is going to be like this, it is going to be like this, and we just have to get ready for it.”

On Josh Scott … “I don’t know, blacked out, he has a concussion I have no idea. I am sure we will find out more tomorrow after they do all those tests.  Concussions are a big part of sports, and we will find out more tomorrow.”

On Moving On … “My message to the guys is that there is a fine line between winning and losing, that we felt good after Oregon where we won two close games but we cannot get too down on ourselves after a game like this. This could have gone either way and we will bounce back I am not worried about it. I am glad we don’t play until Thursday, I’m glad we are at home and I hope we can get Josh Scott back as soon as we can. Physically we are taking the day off tomorrow, Monday we won’t do much, we need to get our mind and body right for next Thursday. We would have loved to have this win in the bank, it would have changed our whole mindset, but we have to keep moving on. It is college athletics and losing is no fun, but I feel differently after a loss like this one because our team battled and I know those guys in that locker room are hurting.”

Game Notes –

– Colorado has lost six Pac-12 games, none by more than ten points;

– The Buffs’ two lowest shooting percentage games of the season have come against Arizona State. In the January loss in Tempe, the Buffs shot 35.3% (24-of-68). At home, the Buffs shot a season-low 35.1% (20-of-57);

– The all-time series against Arizona State is now tied, four games apiece, with the Sun Devils picking up their first-ever win in Boulder;

– CU’s 17-8 record is tied for the seventh best all-time after 25 games (tied with last year’s team);

– Spencer Dinwiddie’s 14-for-14 effort from the free throw line tied him for third on the all-time list (Jo Jo Hunter and Chauncey Billups each had 16-for-16 games). Dinwiddie has now made 32 consecutive free throws, closing in on the school record of 45 straight (Cory Higgins);

– The attendance at the Arizona State game was 10,926, the tenth game over 10,000 this season, adding to the school record. The total attendance for the season has already surpassed the total for all of last season (16 games), a season in which a new attendance record was set (at 7,804. This year’s average attendance has been 10,412)

… and don’t forget the No. 21 CU women’s team will be tipping off at 2:00 p.m., MT, Sunday (Pac-12 live feed) against Arizona State. Colorado will go for win No. 20 on the season against the Sun Devils, a team the Buffs defeated in Boulder, 57-43, on January 18th.

Preview – Colorado v. Arizona State (Saturday, 7:00 p.m., ESPNU)

Buff Bits –

– Colorado leads the all-time series against Arizona State, 4-3, with a 3-0 record in games played in Boulder

– The Sun Devils have an almost identical record to that of the Buffs. Colorado is 17-7, 7-5 in Pac-12 play; Arizona State is 18-7, 7-5, and owns a 65-56 victory over Colorado on January 6th;

– Arizona State is led by a freshman guard, Jahii Carson, who is scoring 17.6 ppg, while also leading the team in assists (5.0 apg).

– The Sun Devils have two other players averaging double figures in scoring – senior guard Carrick Felix (14.4 ppg) and junior guard Evan Gordon 11.1 ppg);

– With the win over No. 9 Arizona Thursday night, the Buffs now have nine victories over top ten teams in the 33-year history of the Coors Events Center. Three of those nine victories have come in the three-year tenure of Tad Boyle;

– Only four times in the history of the AP poll have the Buffs defeated three or more ranked teams in the same season. Three of those four occasions have come under Tad Boyle;

– Andre Roberson … has had eight games this season with at least ten rebounds, two steals and two blocks. That total is twice as many as any other college player, and matches the total of two NBA players (Josh Smith of Atlanta; Joakim Noah of Chicago), doing so in half as many games as the NBA players have played.

February 15th

No. 21 CU women take care of business against Arizona

The halftime score was the same as it was for the men’s game the night before: Colorado 30, Arizona 23.

And, just like the men, the CU women took control in the first few minutes of the second half.

Against the No. 9 Arizona men on Thursday night, the Buffs used an 8-0 run to start the second half to take a 15-point lead, on the way to a 13-point victory.

Against the Arizona women on Friday night, the Buffs used a 10-0 run to start the second half to take a 17-point lead, on the way to a 13-point victory.

Kinda eerie …

Game story, from cubuffs.com … So far this season, the No. 21 Colorado women’s basketball team hasn’t been fazed by road competition. On Friday night at the McKale Center, the Buffaloes showed they can create their own energy wherever they go.

Led by sophomore forward Jen Reese’s 15 points, CU rolled to its fourth consecutive win, 55-42, over the Arizona Wildcats. It was the second meeting this season for the Pac-12 Conference opponents, as the Buffs also defeated the Wildcats 79-36 in Boulder in January.

The win marks the 10th time this season the Buffs have held an opponent under 50 points, a team record. It was also the third conference win on the road for the Buffs this season, matching last year’s total.

CU improves to 19-5 overall and 8-5 in the conference. Arizona’s loss, meanwhile, was its eighth straight, dropping the Wildcats to 11-13, 3-10.

The Buffs outrebounded their opponents 40-35, grabbing 16 offensive rebounds compared to the Wildcats’ 9. Redshirt freshman forward Arielle Roberson picked up a game-high seven rebounds, while Reese and freshman forward Jamee Swan added six each.

Colorado ended the game shooting just 37.3 percent from the field, but held Arizona to 32.6 percent. CU also scored 14 points off of turnovers compared to AU’s nine and got 30 points in the paint compared to AU’s 14.

Lappe said her team was prepared specifically to guard Whyte, a player who averages 16.4 points per game to rank fifth in the Pac-12.

“I thought it was a team defensive effort,” Lappe said. “We rotated a lot of different players on her, and I thought it was great to have somebody fresh on her. We know what she can do offensively.”

Junior guard Brittany Wilson opened guarding the standout, but senior guard Chucky Jeffery and junior center Rachel Hargis took turns on her as well.

“Whyte’s a great player,” Reese said. “Stopping her was big – I mean, they had other players kind of stepped up, but our defense won the game for us.”

CU committed 20 turnovers but also had 11 steals, marking the team’s fifth straight game with 10 or more steals.

February 14th – Boulder          Colorado 71, No. 9 Arizona 58

Colorado played a complete game on Valentine’s Day, not giving up a double digit lead late this time, taking down No. 9 Arizona in Boulder, 71-58.

It was a great all-around effort, with Xavier Johnson carrying the offensive scoring load in the first half, Spencer Dinwiddie in the second. Johnson scored the Buffs’ first five points of the game, posting 12 of his 19 points before halftime. Dinwiddie, conversely, had only two first half points – both on free throws – in the first half, but wound up leading the Buffs with 21 points, including 9-for-9 from the free throw line.

Andre Roberson was his usual spectacular self. Roberson only had seven points, but had 13 rebounds (Sienna’s O.D. Anosike had only six rebounds in a 74-52 loss to Fairfield Thursday night, edging Roberson closer to regaining the national rebounding lead) and two steals (Roberson also leads the Pac-12 in steals).

The Buffs are now 17-7, 7-5 in Pac-12 play. Arizona falls to 20-4, 8-4. With the win, Colorado moves into a tie for fourth place in league play, tied with Arizona State (Saturday 7:00 p.m., MT, ESPNU). The Buffs are also tied at 7-5 in Pac-12 games with Cal, which surprised UCLA, 76-63, and USC, a 65-64 winner on the road against Stanford (6-6)

Attendance for the game was 11,120, not quite good enough to make it into the top ten all-time (11,198 v. Kansas in 1996 is the No. 10 attendance game at the CEC. The all-time record is 11,708, set against CSU earlier this season).

Game story from cubuffs.com … On a cold, snowy Colorado night, if the guys from the desert needed a blanket, their hosts were happy to oblige. The Buffaloes draped themselves over No. 9 Arizona, smothering the Pac-12 Conference’s highest-scoring team and leaving a delirious Coors Events Center with a 71-58 win.

As good as CU’s defense was in limiting Arizona to its lowest point total of the season, the offense provided by sophomore Spender Dinwiddie and freshman Xavier Johnson was just as good for the Buffs. Dinwiddie finished with a game-high 21, Johnson with a career-high 19.

Sophomore guard Askia Booker added 10 points, and junior Andre Roberson contributed seven points and a game-best 13 rebounds.

The Wildcats came into the game averaging 76.2 points a game and featured two of the league’s top nine scorers in Mark Lyons (17.5) and Solomon Hill (15.4). Lyons got 11 points, Hill 12 on Thursday night as the Wildcats were limited to 42.3 percent from the field.

The Buffs, meanwhile, checked in at 50 percent, including 59.1 percent in the second half when the Wildcats were trying desperately to rally.

In winning its fourth straight and sixth of its last seven games, CU (17-7, 7-5) avenged its 92-83 overtime loss in Tucson on Jan. 3. Arizona (20-4, 8-4) lost its second consecutive game and dropped out of a first-place Pac-12 tie with UCLA and Oregon.

The Buffs, defeating a Top 25 team for the second time in three games, improved to 11-1 in the CED this season and went to 42-5 at home under third-year coach Tad Boyle.

Post-Game Quotes –

Opening Statement … “This was a great atmosphere for college basketball tonight, and the whole state of Colorado can be proud, we beat a good basketball team,” said Tad Boyle. “What makes this win sweet has nothing to do with revenge, it has to do with the respect I have for Arizona, Sean Miller and their basketball program. They are a top ten team in the country, and they are going to win a lot of games as the season unfolds. If we play the way we played tonight, we will too, we proved that we belong but it is short lived. Saturday night is just as big as tonight is, and that is our biggest challenge is getting those guys turned around quickly, mentally, emotionally. This place was electric tonight, there was a lot of emotion in here tonight, and we have to have the same thing on Saturday.”

On Offensive Efficiency … “Moving the ball, using the shot clock, we talk about getting a great shot for our team every single time, and in order to do that you have to share the ball, and move the ball. Arizona is a good defensive team, and now at the end of the shot clock you have to make a play, and we were able to do that. Xavier Johnson made some three’s, [Xavier] Talton, [Spencer] Dinwiddie had some big ones at the end of the shot clock. And you could really see that deflate them, when you use the shot clock especially at the end of the half it is hard on the other team emotionally. We always talk about playing hard, smart, and playing aggressive, and that is the playing smart part that our team is starting to figure out. We always want to be in attack mode, but getting a great shot is critical.”

On Beating Two Top 25 Teams … “It means we have to win on Saturday night, because Arizona State beat us, just like Arizona did. We have to take care of the next game on our schedule, and the fact that we have beaten two top 25 five teams I think says a lot about our team and our ability. We have got to hold serve at home, I am still aggravated about the UCLA game, so we have to take care of business on Saturday.”

On the Game’s Atmosphere … “The fans were a part of this victory, and I want our fans and students to know that everybody in this building was a part of this victory, it was everybody”.

Buff Bits –

– Colorado has (like most teams) a poor record against top-ten teams. The Buffs are 24-121 (.165) all-time against teams ranked in the top ten at the time of the game, but 3-6 (.333) under Tad Boyle;

– Several well-known names were on hand for the game, including John Elway, Mason Crosby, Matt Russell, and Alec Burks;

– The 11,120 on hand for the game was not good enough for the top ten in all-time attendance, but was the 9th game over 10,000 this season, adding to the school record;

– CU committed 11 turnovers against Arizona, giving the Buffs 20 over the past two games, a season-low;

– For the third straight home game, the Buffs hit on at least 50% of their field goal attempts (25-for-50 against Arizona);

– CU now leads the all-time series against Arizona, 11-6. The Buffs are 7-2 in games played in Boulder all-time, and are 3-2 overall against the Wildcats since joining the Pac-12;

– The 45-5 home record in the past 50 games is second only to a 47-3 run between 1936-37 and 1944-45;

– The Buffs’ 17-7 overall record is tied for the fifth-best record in school history after 24 games (four teams, the latest in 1968-69, posted 18-6 records);

Xavier Johnson … The true freshman had a career-high 19 points, besting the 18 points put up against Cal. In CU’s last three home games, Johnson is averaging 16.0 ppg.;

Andre Roberson … With 13 rebounds, Roberson now has 978 career rebounds, passing Cliff Meely (971, 1968-71). Up next: Stephane Pelle (1,054, 1999-2003);

Spencer Dinwiddie … Scored 21 points, giving him over 20 in back-to-back games for the second time in his career. Dinwiddie also added a career-high seven assists, to go with a perfect 9-for-9 from the free throw line. “Spencer is growing up before our eyes,” said Tad Boyle. “He is becoming one of the premier guards in this league. I have said this before and I will say it again, I would not trade Spencer for anybody, what he brings to this team, his ability, Spencer is special.”

February 13th

Preview – Colorado v. No. 9 Arizona

Note – For those going to the game, the CU/Arizona game (8:00 p.m., Pac-12 Networks), the game has been designated as a Blackout game (the CU Bookstore is selling black “Fear the Buffalo” t-shirts for the game).

Buff Bits –

– Colorado leads the all-time series against No. 9 Arizona 10-7, including a 6-2 mark in Boulder;

– Including the now infamous overtime game in January, the teams have played three overtime games, with Arizona holding a 2-1 edge;

– Arizona comes to Boulder as the No. 9 team in the nation. The last time CU defeated a top-ten team came on February 26, 2011, a 91-89 win over No. 5 Texas (in that game, the Buffs rallied from a 22-point deficit, the second greatest comeback in school history;

– Colorado has 19 wins over top ten teams since 1953 (Colorado has never defeated a No. 1 team. The Buffs have defeated a No. 2 team, taking down No. 2 Oklahoma State, 57-53, in 1992;

– Colorado is 2-2 against ranked teams this season;

– Buffs 16-7 record matches that of the 2011-12 team;

– In Pac-12 play, CU leads the Pac-12 in scoring defense (64.2 ppg) and field goal defense (.406);

– Arizona

– The Wildcats are 20-3 this season, 8-3 in the Pac-12. Arizona opened the season 14-0, but has since lost at Oregon, and at home to UCLA and Cal;

– The loss to Cal dropped Arizona from 7th to 9th in the polls. The Wildcats have been ranked as high as third this season, and were ranked third when the Buffs were in Tucson on January 3rd;

– Arizona is led by two seniors, 6’7″ forward Solomon Hill (14.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and guard 6’1″ guard Mark Lyons (12.3 ppg, 2.9 apg);

Home Court

– Colorado is 9-1 at home this season, and 41-5 at home under Tad Boyle;

– A sellout (all but guaranteed) will make five for the season, matching the record set in 2010-11;

– Nine crowds of over 10,000 will set a school record;

Andre Roberson watch

– Roberson has 956 career rebounds. Against Arizona, with seven rebounds, Roberson will pass Cliff Meely for second place on the all-time list (Stephane Pelle, 1,054);

– Roberson continues to lead the conference in rebounding (11.6), defensive rebounding (8.9), and steals (2.2);

– In CU history, only one player (Stephane Pelle) has over 1,000 points (1,367) and rebounds (1,054). Roberson is closing in on becoming the second (918 points, 965 rebounds);

– Roberson currently is second in the nation in rebounding. His 11.6 rebounds per game trails only Siena’s O.D. Anosike (11.9).

February 12th

ESPN story on Lexy Kresl

Here is a link to a great front page ESPN story about CU sophomore Lexy Kresl and her brother.

Here are some excerpts from the story …

In the first days after her younger brother was diagnosed with brain cancer, 9-year-old Lexy Kresl didn’t really know what to make of it.

“He was really strange to me, like a different person,” the Colorado sophomore forward recalled. “He acted different after his surgery. I didn’t really process it.”

By middle school, Kresl understood that her brother, Logan, diagnosed at age 7, had won a battle, but it came at a cost. The surgery that extracted the golf-ball-sized tumor from his brain left the right side of his body compromised. His speech was affected, his balance shaky, his right eye droopy, his right hand and arm less than fully functional. Formerly right-handed, Logan came out of surgery and had to relearn to walk, eat and talk, and become left-handed. So when classmates started to tease him, big sister became his protector.

By high school, Lexy Kresl understood that Logan couldn’t do the things she could on the basketball court but would have given almost anything for her skill set. She learned to appreciate her talent all the more because of that.

“He still mentions to me that he wishes he could play,” Lexy said. “And when I think about everything he’s been through and I’m having a tough day, I just think, ‘If Logan can do what he’s doing, I can do this. It’s just a game.'”

Ten years have passed since her brother was diagnosed with anaplastic medulloblastoma, among the most challenging brain tumors largely found in young children. Lexy draws strength from Logan’s fight every day, on and off the court. And though the Arizona native gets to see younger brothers Logan (now 17) and Colten (14) only a few times during the season, her self-appointed “lucky charm” will be courtside this week, when the Buffaloes travel to Arizona and Arizona State.

At the very least, Logan makes Lexy feel lucky that she is on the floor, doing what she loves. “He’s definitely my inspiration,” she said.

Lexy remembers when her brother first started showing symptoms that something wasn’t right. The Kresls were on a family trip to Disneyland and Logan was struggling on the rides with nausea and extreme headaches. “He came home and he was throwing up every day, missing a lot of school,” Lexy said.

Kresl’s father, John, is a radiation oncologist and an expert in the fields of Gamma Knife and CyberKnife technologies, both sophisticated radiation techniques. He sees the irony that he was treating some of his young patients with the very same disease that afflicted his young son.

“I had some expertise in it,” John Kresl said. “It was bizarre.”

When he put the MRI scans up on the light screen, he recognized instantly what he was looking at. And it was devastating.

“It will be imprinted on me forever,” John Kresl said. “I will never forget for a split second how I felt when I saw that MRI. I didn’t think he’d live six months. The survival rate for what he had was less than 15 percent.”

Two of John’s closest friends performed the surgery on his young son, one of them flying in from another state the same day Kresl made the call.

John Kresl closely tracked his son’s treatment as Logan endured chemotherapy and radiation following surgery. He expedited tests, read films and made the experience more understandable to his family.

“I didn’t oversee it, but I knew the how, what and when,” John Kresl said, “and I could ensure things were happening.”

Lexy was an active part of the support system at home when Logan returned after surgery and throughout his grueling radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

“They would hang out together, take naps together, she’d read books with him,” John Kresl said. “As she got older, Logan still hung around. He’d go to the gym, come to practice, go to games. He’d be out on the court with the young brothers at halftime, shooting. He still loves shooting the basketball, but you could see that it was difficult for him. He was just not as coordinated as the other kids.”

John’s experience in medicine doesn’t make him immune from the frustration of Logan’s lasting limitations. He watches his oldest child play elite college basketball, while his youngest participates in sports, including basketball and soccer.

And he watches Logan struggle, both physically and socially. It is not easy to look different in high school. Logan has had multiple surgeries to correct his eyesight, though he still experiences double-vision. He has long limbs on a thin frame, one that John Kresl said “locked” into place in the shoulders and hips when he was about 8 years old. Logan’s pituitary gland was affected by the radiation treatments, impacting his growth.

But Logan is also an honor-roll student, taking a full class load. He drives and is working part-time at a local grocery store. Logan still takes shots at the basketball hoop outside the Kresl’s Arizona home, but chess is his game now.

“That’s what I do now,” Logan said. “Not so much tournaments and stuff, but I play online.”

“There are five people in our family, and four of us really do move at a different speed,” John Kresl said. “He’s much more laid back than the rest of us, and it’s a good reminder that we can all slow down. ”

John remembers when Logan could do everything his siblings could do.

“Lexy started playing basketball at 4 and we were in gyms all the time. Logan was in the gym from the time he was 2 years old, he grew up with the ball,” John Kresl said. “When I look at all three of my kids, when they were all 7, Logan was the most talented, the most gifted athlete of the three of them. He really was a player, and then, boom, everything was taken away from him.

“I know he misses basketball and football. We still place a significant emphasis on it in our family. We go to Lexy’s games, we talk about them. People at church ask us about how she’s doing. I think he feels a little bit left out, but he just deals with it. He’s probably accepted it better than I have.”

Logan admits that he wishes he could be out there on the court, experiencing the same things as his siblings.

“When they make a good play, I think, ‘I wish I could still do that,'” Logan said. “But I like watching them play.”

And he is looking forward to watching his big sister play this coming weekend.

Lexy is having a solid sophomore season for the No. 21-ranked Buffaloes, which sit in fifth place in the Pac-12 standings. In 23 games (and 16 starts), she leads Colorado with a team-high 29 3-pointers and is averaging 6.3 points and 2.9 rebounds.

“I think Logan has given her the ability to really move through stuff,” John Kresl said. “She has a pretty amazing capability to push herself in ways that some other people haven’t found yet or aren’t willing.”

Better than a good-luck charm any day.

February 11th

A great photo …

CU women's bb bench



A game winning shot? No. It’s the reaction from the bench when freshman Alexus Atchley scored her first basket during garbage time in the rout of Oregon on Sunday.

Chucky Jeffery becomes the first in-conference play Player-of-the-Week since 1997

From cubuffs.com …  On the heels of back-to-back double-double performances, University of Colorado senior Chucky Jeffery was named the Pac-12 Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 3-10, the league office announced on Monday.

The Pac-12 Player of the Week honor is Jeffery’s second of the season and third of her career. She was also recognized on Dec. 17, 2012, after guiding the Buffaloes to wins over Denver and then-No. 8 ranked Louisville, and as a junior on Dec. 5, 2011.

A 5-foot-10-inch guard from Colorado Springs, Colo., Jeffery averaged 18.5 points, 13.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals in leading No. 21 (AP)/25 (USA Today Sports/Coaches) Colorado to home wins over Oregon State (61-47) and Oregon (84-59) this week.

Jeffery has recorded double-doubles her last three games, the third such stretch of her career. She had 22 points, 11 rebounds and a season-high three blocked shots against Oregon State. Jeffery’s scoring total put her over the 1,500 point milestone and also moved her into 10th on CU’s all-time scoring list (currently at 1,520). Friday’s double-double marked the 10th 20-10 double of her career and third this season. Jeffery hit 8-of-12 free throw attempts and drained 2-of-3 from 3-point range.

Against Oregon, Jeffery scored 15 points, grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds and dished out three assists in 29 minutes. She hit a season-high three 3-pointers, finishing at 62.5 percent from long range on the week (5-of-8). It was Jeffery’s fourth career double-double with at least 15 points and 15 rebounds. Her three assists also moved her into fourth place on CU’s all-time list with 445.

Jeffery’s honor is Colorado’s sixth overall Pac-12 weekly award and fifth this year. Arielle Roberson is a three-time winner of Pac-12 Freshman of the Week this season. Remarkably, Jeffery’s overall Player of the Week award is Colorado’s first during a conference schedule since Reagan Scott earned Big 12 Conference honors on Feb. 24, 1997. The Buffaloes had several Rookie of the Week winners over the years during Big 12 league play, including Jeffery in 2010, and current head coach Linda Lappe in 1999.

Riding a three-game winning streak, CU remained at No. 21 in the Associated Press Women’s Basketball Top 25 poll, released Monday.

Colorado, 18-5 overall and 7-5 in the Pac-12, received 188 points, up from 162 last week. All five of Colorado’s losses have been to ranked teams, including two each to Stanford and California ranked No. 7 or better at the time. Stanford and California remained at No. 4 and No. 6 respectively, while UCLA moved up two spots to No. 15.

The Buffaloes do have one top 10 win on their resume, a 70-66 win over then-No. 8 Louisville on Dec. 14. The Cardinals are currently ranked No. 10.

The Buffaloes have resided in the AP poll for the last nine weeks, reaching as high as No. 20 twice – Dec. 31 and Jan. 21. CU’s nine-week run in the AP poll is its longest since appearing in all 19 polls of the 2003-04 season.

The Buffaloes have a long history of rankings in the AP poll, dating back to the 1980-81 season. This week’s ranking marks the 167th time Colorado has appeared in the AP poll, trailing only Stanford, USC and UCLA among Pac-12 schools.

The USA Today Sports Coaches poll is scheduled to be released on Tuesday. Colorado was No. 25 in last week’s coaches’ poll.

Colorado continues league action this weekend with a pair of games in Arizona. The Buffaloes will face Arizona on Friday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. and will take on Arizona State on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 2 p.m.

February 10th – at Oregon State          Colorado 72, Oregon State 68

From cubuffs.com … Nothing came easy for the Colorado Buffaloes in Oregon, but they might like it that way. The Buffs rallied behind sophomore Spencer Dinwiddie here Sunday night to beat Oregon State 72-68 and sweep their two-game trip in the Northwest.

Dinwiddie’s long-range shooting and free throw accuracy brought CU back from a seven-point second-half deficit and kept the Buffs in prime position for a February ascent in the Pac-12 Conference.

He scored 17 of his 24 points in the second half, helping CU to go above .500 (6-5, 16-7 overall) for the first time this season in Pac-12 play. Dinwiddie was eight-of-eight from the free throw line in the final 20 minutes, including six-of-six in the last 1:41.

Oregon State (2-9, 12-12) was led by Roberto Nelson with 21 points. Teammate Ahmad Starks was second scoring 20 points, 17 of them in the first half.

The Buffs return to the Coors Events Center this week. On Thursday they face No. 7 Arizona (8 p.m., Pac-12 Network), with Arizona State visiting on Saturday (7 p.m., ESPNU).

CU started with a feverish pace, hitting its first six shots before finally missing and going up by 13 points (19-6) on a pair of free throws by Askia Booker. But the Buffs hot hands didn’t remain that way.

A 13-4 run pulled the Beavers to within 27-25 and Starks took over from there, hitting consecutive treys to tie the score at 31-31 then adding a third to give Oregon its first lead, 34-33.

The half ended that way, and whatever early momentum the Buffs had was swept away.

Starks finished the half with 17 points, hitting five of his nine three-point attempts. And it wasn’t like the Buffs hadn’t been warned: Their scouting report on Starks said he was most dangerous going to his left off the dribble – and that’s what he did on four of his five first-half treys.

CU, meanwhile, didn’t have a player in double figures in the first 20 minutes and was outrebounded 21-17. Each team shot 41 percent from the field in the first half.

Roberto Nelson, tied for the conference scoring lead at 18.4 points a game, had only four first-half points. But he opened the second half with a long trey from the right wing, giving the Beavers a 37-33 advantage.

The Buffs caught and passed them with a 6-0 run, going ahead 39-37 on a pair of Dinwiddie free throws with 17:51 to play. From there, it was back and forth for the next 3 minutes, with neither team able to take more than three-point lead until Joe Burton converted a three-point play with 14:22 left to send the Beavers ahead 51-47 – their largest lead of the night.

And it got larger. When Starks drained another triple from just left of the top of the key, Oregon was up 56-49 – and with 12:50 remaining the Buffs were entering dangerous territory. No matter; they had been there before and survived.

CU crept to within two (56-54) on a three-pointer by Dinwiddie over Oregon’s 2-3 zone and a transition basket by Scott. Just under 3 minutes later, Dinwiddie got another triple and the Buffs suddenly were down just a point (58-57).

Then a short shootout began.

After Oregon freshman Olaf Schaftenaar answered with a trey, restoring the Beavers’ four-point lead, Dinwiddie struck again from beyond the arc and pulled the Buffs to within 63-62. Andre Roberson, who registered a career-high five steals, made one of two free throws with 3:23 showing to tie the score at 63-63.

CU freshman Xavier Johnson’s tip-dunk at the 2:20 mark put CU ahead (65-63) for the first time in nearly 14 minutes, and the Buffs might have been flashing back to their final-minute win (48-47) in Eugene on Thursday night.

Dinwiddie made both ends of a one-and-one with 1:41 left, giving CU a 67-63 lead. But on the other end, he fouled Nelson beyond the arc, and Nelson’s three free throws cut the Buffs’ lead to 67-66.

At 1:10, Boyle called a timeout. With 3 seconds showing on the shot clock and 52.9 on the game clock, Dinwiddie was fouled and hit both ends of his one-and-one for a 69-66 lead.

Oregon missed, Roberson rebounded and Booker was fouled with 29.1 seconds to play. Making one of two foul shots, he put CU ahead 70-66, but Nelson scored in the lane to pull Oregon to within 70-68 with 16.7 seconds left.

Fouled by Nelson on the inbounds pass, Dinwiddie hit both free throws and the Buffs were up 72-68 with 14.2 seconds showing. Oregon’s Eric Moreland missed at point blank range, Roberson rebounded and was tied up.

The possession arrow favored the Buffs – and this one was done.

“We didn’t play our best; we had stretches where we played really good offensively, and some stretches that were good defensively”, said Tad Boyle. “The only time we had both of them, was a little bit there during the comeback time over the last four minutes of the game when it counted. We were fortunate to win that game. Our defense and our rebounding was not good enough and we got annihilated on the boards and they had 14 offensive (rebounds) and nine at halftime which is too much. We had some great individual performances. I thought Andre [Roberson] was terrific again; he made (OSU Center Joe Burton) work for his 15 points. Andre had some big time steals at the end. Spencer Dinwiddie was the player of the game. You look at his line, it was pretty special, he made plays for us down the stretch. A couple key guys really played well for us, which we needed to have happen.”

On The Mental Toughness Of Team – “This team has something about it, and it’s not like we have had it forever, but the last couple of games we have shown it on the road”, said Boyle. “It gets down to crunch time and we just have a toughness and a resolve about us. And you can sense it in the huddles, as a coach the huddles are big for me, because you can sense where your team is emotionally. It wasn’t like that throughout the whole game, but it was like that when it counted. We have to get it like that for 40 minutes. There was one timeout in the second half when he had a play called and Spencer, who I just bragged about, looked over at the bench and didn’t know what the play was. We came out of a timeout to run a zone play and Xavier Johnson didn’t know what zone play we were running. So, there is still some maturing that we have to do for a 40 minute game. But, that didn’t happen down the stretch, and they executed and did what they had to do both offensively, and defensively, and I thought that Sabatino [Chen] didn’t play his best game but he gave great energy, got the ball to the rim off that zone play and helped us get back in it. Again, there were some great performances individually.”

Buff Bits –

– The Buffs’ overall record of 16-7 matches that of last year’s team through 23 games;

– Colorado now leads the series against Oregon State 8-3, with a 2-3 record in Corvallis. As was the case with Oregon, it was the first win for CU in the series on the road since 1955;

– CU has won five of its last six conference games. The last time that happened was in 2004;

– The Buffs now have three conference road wins, a feat not accomplished since 2004;

– All seven of Colorado’s Pac-12 road games have been decided by ten points or less;

– Andre Roberson’s ten rebounds moves him into third place on the all-time list at Colorado, with 965 (passing Shaun Vandiver, 962, 1988-91);

– Roberson also had a career high in steals against Oregon State, with five.

No. 21 CU women overcome slow start to run over Oregon

From cubuffs.com … The Colorado women’s basketball team had four players score in double figures Sunday afternoon in an 84-59 Pac-12 Conference win over the Oregon Ducks.

The 84-point total ties the second-highest scoring game of the season for the Buffs, as they scored 87 against Western State and 84 against New Mexico in the non-conference season. It is the fourth time the Buffs have scored more than 80 this season and the first so far in conference play.

Junior guard Brittany Wilson led CU in scoring with 16. Senior guard Chucky Jeffery added 15 points and 15 rebounds, her 27th career double-double. Sophomore guard Lexy Kresl and junior center Rachel Hargis added 12 and 10, respectively, while four other players scored at least six.

With the win, Colorado improves to 18-5 overall and 7-5 in the Pac-12. CU’s seven conference wins to date are more than the team recorded in total last season, as the 2011-12 Buffs went 6-12. The Buffs have not won seven or more conference matchups since finishing the 2004 Big 12 schedule at 11-5.

Oregon falls to 3-21 and 1-11 in conference play.

The Buffs started the first half slow, allowing Oregon to go on a 10-3 run in the first 3:15 and record three blocks in the first five minutes.

But after a Jamee Swan layup broke the Ducks’ streak, the Buffaloes seemed to find the energy they had been lacking. Senior guard Chucky Jeffery and junior guard Brittany Wilson hit three consecutive three-pointers to regain a four-point lead with 13:40 left in the half. The Ducks continued to fight, taking the lead once again with 7:45 on the clock, but at that point CU’s offense clicked.

In the final 7:20 of the half, Colorado outscored Oregon 20-6 and headed into intermission with a 43-31 advantage.

That momentum more than carried through halftime, as the Buffs went on a 10-0 run out of the gates to go up 20 (53-33). The Ducks were unable to recover, and with three minutes remaining, a Hargis basket put the Buffs up 27 (80-53).

The Buffs would hold onto the lead, ending with a 25-point advantage (84-59). CU shot 44.9 percent from the field overall and had just 12 turnovers, meanwhile holding the Ducks to 38.6 percent and forcing 21 Oregon turnovers.

The CU women hit the road once again next week, taking on Arizona on Friday at 7 p.m. MT and Arizona State at 2 p.m.

February 9th

Oregon State Preview – Buffs hope not to lose momentum from Oregon win

From cubuffs.com … If ever there was a serious need for a bounce-back game, Thursday night qualified. And after his team’s gut-it-out, grind-it-out win, Boyle recognized the magnitude: “We really, really needed this one.”

What the Buffs really, really need now is to quickly move on and rediscover their offense. In shifting from Eugene to Corvallis for Sunday night’s game against Oregon State (7 p.m. MST, Pac-12 Network) they go from competing against a team that was tied for first in the Pac-12 Conference to competing against one tied for last.

But it’s a top-to-bottom scenario that the Buffs had best not be viewing in those terms. Forget that the Beavers (2-8) share a room in the Pac-12’s low rent district with the Utes and Washington State, remember what happened in Salt Lake City. With a loss in Corvallis, Thursday night’s general giddiness and extended curfew in Eugene will be all but blotted out.

Boyle is hoping the mood swings following the past two games left an imprint on his players. Even in the residue of the Utah loss, which saw the Buffs come from 22 points down in the final 8 minutes, sophomore guard Spencer Dinwiddie said a statement was made: “It said we’re never going to give up. I think you saw that in the Utah game, as bad as that turned out. You see kind of the toughness and heart this team has and the resiliency, I think, is the proper word. We’re a very resilient group.”

CU needs to hang onto and nurture that characteristic through the remainder of February and into March. Boyle doesn’t want the Buffs looking that far into the future, but this month is critical to their NCAA Tournament aspirations. They’ve negated the Utah debacle with a quality road win in Eugene; three RPI rankings (RealTime, TeamRankings, ESPN/Joe Lundardi) as of Saturday morning had the Buffs at Nos. 12, 20 and 19, respectively.

Thursday night’s win, said CU guard Askia Booker, “builds a lot of confidence. But, honestly, if we don’t beat Oregon State it doesn’t mean anything. At the end of the day, we have another road game . . . if we don’t win, that (Thursday night) doesn’t mean a whole lot.”

The Buffs have reason to be wary of the Beavers. Last season’s visit to Corvallis produced a beat-down (83-69) that still stings. Despite its unimpressive records (12-11, 2-8) and mediocre home mark (9-5), Oregon State has Boyle’s attention and he hopes that of his players.

OSU junior guard Roberto Nelson is tied with Arizona State’s Jahi Carson for the Pac-12 scoring lead (18.4 ppg), and Boyle calls 6-7 senior Joe Burton “probably the best passer in our league.” Burton has averaged 4.3 assists in 10 conference games. The Beavers’ top rebounder is 6-10 sophomore Eric Moreland (9.7 rpg in league). In all games, he averages 10.7, ranking him tenth nationally. He’s also used atop a 1-3-1 zone that OSU occasionally employs.

Then there’s Ahmad Starks, a 5-9 junior guard the Buffs should remember from last season’s blowout in Gill Coliseum. Starks and Nelson combined for 34 points, with Starks scoring 16 of his 18 during a 33-8 second-half run that buried the Buffs in their final regular-season game.

As a team, the Beavers are first in the Pac-12 in three-point shooting (36.7 percent), second in assists (15.6 per game) and third in scoring (74.3 ppg) and field goal percentage (45.7). “They’ve got a lot of guys who are dangerous,” Boyle said.

On the flip side, Boyle is hoping the Buffs shake themselves out of the offensive slump that has plagued them for the past two games. They shot 40 percent from the field at Utah and 36.5 percent at Oregon, but their defense in Eugene was good enough for 40 minutes to prevent the Ducks from mounting a huge lead. That wasn’t the case in Salt Lake City, where the Buffs could feel good about rallying but not about losing by three points.

In home wins against Stanford and California, CU had at least four players in double figures in each game (five vs. Stanford). At Utah and Oregon, those numbers dropped to two and one, respectively. The misfiring has been especially obvious for Booker; he’s 6-for-27, making three field goals in each game.

For two weeks he’s been battling a cough and fever that he said has “been wearing on my body . . . I’m trying to get back in shape; my legs are not the same.” Merely wanting a change, he’s also sporting a new, closer-cropped hair style. “Nothing to do with basketball,” he said.

If there’s an silver lining to the Buffs’ shoddy shooting, Booker said it’s that they are “not letting it affect our defense. If we can continue to play defense, our offense will come eventually. We’ll start knocking down shots.”

Boyle agreed: “Offense comes and goes,” he said. “When you’re not shooting well, you have to rely on something else to win games. ‘Ski,’ Spencer and Josh (Scott) are good players; they’re getting good looks. It’s just not going in right now. I just want to make sure we’re taking care of the basketball and not turning it over, which we didn’t late (against Oregon). When we take care of the ball and we get good shots, as a coach that’s all I can ask for.”

That’s not entirely true. He’s also asking his guys for the same degree of focus on Sunday night that they displayed three nights earlier at Oregon. Have they matured enough to rekindle it?

“We’ll find out,” Boyle said. “I think, again, they saw that we got on a little three-game run there – Washington State, Stanford and Cal – and we stubbed our toe against Utah. Hopefully everything we go through is a learning opportunity; hopefully you learn from the Utah opportunity that (a bad loss) can negate a lot of things.”

February 8th

No. 21 Colorado women take care of business against Oregon State

From cubuffs.com … Colorado senior guard Chucky Jeffery recorded her 1,500th career point and 26th career double-double on Friday night to lead the CU women to a 61-47 win over Oregon State.

Jeffery, moving into 10th place on the school’s career scoring list, led the Buffs with 22 points, added 11 rebounds and a season-high three blocks. CU sophomore forward Jen Reese also scored in double figures with 10 points, while redshirt freshman forward Arielle Roberson added nine.

With the win, CU improves to 17-5 overall, 6-5 in the Pac-12 Conference, while OSU falls to 9-14 and 3-8 in conference play.

It was a long-awaited return to the Coors Events Center for the Buffs, who dropped three of four games in California over the past two weeks. CU lost to Top 25 opponents Stanford, Cal and UCLA but defeated Southern California.

The Buffs wore pink-accented uniforms on Friday night in honor of the annual “Play 4 Kay” game to support breast cancer awareness. Breast cancer survivors were recognized at halftime, and fans were invited to donate to the Boulder Community Hospital Auxiliary’s Breast Cancer Fund to aid local cancer patients.

“It was breast cancer week, and coach talked about attacking because that’s what the women with breast cancer have to do,” said junior guard Brittany Wilson, who had a game-high five steals. “They have to attack, they have to fight. So we came down, we attacked, we came after loose balls, and I think that’s what forced them into those (24) turnovers.”

CU put the heat on the visitors early on, going on a 9-0 run before OSU scored its first basket of the game with 14:09 left in the half.

Wilson said that solid start was crucial for the Buffs, as they were battling a strong defensive team ranked sixth in the nation in blocks at 6.1 per game.

“We knew we had to come out and set a statement or they would keep coming at us,” Wilson said, “and you can’t give a team like that confidence.”

The Beavers answered with four three-pointers in five minutes to make it 21-16 with six minutes remaining in the first half. But CU was opportunistic at the free throw line (78.6 percent) and maintained its five-point lead (28-23) at the break.

“Oregon State is a good team, they hustle and they scrap the entire game,” Jeffery said. “They weren’t going away, so we knew we had to go on a run and we had to get it up a little bit . . . that was huge for us to get this win.”

The second half began in a similar fashion to the first as the Buffs went on a 7-0 run with five straight points by Jeffery and two made free throws by Roberson.

This time, though, the momentum stuck.

Colorado built its largest lead of the game – 15 points – with eight minutes to play. From there, the Beavers would not pull closer than eight.

Shooting 7-of-10 free throws to end the game, the Buffs widened the gap back to 14 and closed out the visitors, who were led by freshman guard Jamie Weisner with 22 points and seven rebounds. She was the only OSU player with more than seven points.

“Weisner’s tough,” said CU head coach Linda Lappe. “She plays so hard, she’s physical, she never quits. She’s a tough matchup for anybody in the league, so you’ve got to give her a lot of credit. She kept them in the game.”

Colorado returns to the Coors Events Center Sunday at 1:30 p.m. to take on Oregon. After falling to Utah 67-47 Friday night, the Ducks are ranked last in the Pac-12 at 1-10.

In fact, the Buffs have just one opponent remaining (Washington) in the regular season that is currently ranked higher in the conference standings.

Wilson, however, said her team won’t get comfortable just yet.

“Being in the Pac-12, you never know what team is going to come out,” Wilson said. “You have to play every team and respect them. This is a bottom-to-top hard conference to play, and if you give a team confidence, they’ll keep shooting and keep coming back at you. You don’t want to relax too much.”

February 7th – at Oregon         Colorado 48, No. 19 Oregon 47

The Colorado Buffaloes only led once against No. 19 Oregon, but it came when it mattered the most … at the final buzzer. Holding the Ducks scoreless for the final 4:28 of the game, the Buffs posted a 48-47 victory by scoring the final eight points of the game.

Andre Roberson posted a double-double, reaching double digits in points after securing the 12th of his 13 rebounds with 32 seconds remaining, putting back his own missed jumper to give the Buffs their first lead of the game.

Later, with four seconds left, Spencer Dinwiddie harrassed an E.J. Singler jumper, with the miss rebounded by Andre Roberson with 1.1 seconds to play.

The victory for the Buffs was their second win over a ranked team this season (the Buffs knocked off Baylor back in November). The loss was the first at home for Oregon this season, breaking a 20-game home winning streak overall.

Andre Roberson’s ninth and tenth points came with 29 seconds remaining, making him the only Buff in double figures. While the Buffs did not score very many points, the score sheet was at least balanced. The starters scored as follows: Roberson, 10 points; Spencer Dinwiddie, 8 points; Askia Booker, 8 points; Xavier Johnson, 8 points; Josh Scott, 7 points.

Oregon out-rebounded Colorado, 34-25, and the Buffs again made it interesting at the free throw line (6-of-10). On the positive side, though, the Buffs, who rank first in the Pac-12 in field goal defense (.323), held the Ducks to 21-58 (.362) shooting for the game, and – most importantly – no baskets in the final four minutes.

The win moves Colorado to a 15-7, 5-5 record, and back into consideration for the NCAA tournament (see ESPN bracketology story, below). The Buffs move on down Interstate 5 about 40 miles to Corvallis, where the Buffs will take on Oregon State (12-11, 2-8) Sunday night (7:00 p.m., Pac-12 Networks). The Beavers took down Utah, 82-64, on Wednesday night.

“It was just a street fight, and we tried to prepare our guys for that,” said Tad Boyle. “We knew it was going to be physical, Oregon is a physical team. We talked about their offensive rebounding, we didn’t do a great job of that, but you know what when we had to we got stops. I’m really, really proud of our players, to win when you don’t play your best. To win ugly, you have to do it at some point of the year, you just do, and multiple times sometimes because it is not always going to be pretty.”

On the team’s maturation … “It was a huge step (tonight). And I saw it in Andre’s eyes, I saw it in Spencer’s eyes, you could just feel it. This is when the leaders have to step up, and I heard Andre’s voice in the huddles and the put-back he had was reminiscent of the (Pac-12) tournament last year in the quarter finals when he got a put-back to beat Oregon and he did it again tonight. The feeling between winning and losing shouldn’t be as wide as it is, but I guess that is just the way it is and I don’t think that is ever going to change unfortunately. But, boy, it’s sweet to come out with a win when you don’t play your best. Because you know there is room for improvement, and we beat a top-20 team on their home floor and broke a big time winning streak. Again, all the credit goes to our players.”

Buff Bits –

– Colorado is now 6-3 all-time against Oregon, including three wins in the past four games. The win in Eugene was the first for the Buffs since 1955;

– The Buffs’ 15-7 record matches the record of last year’s team through 22 games;

– Colorado is now 2-2 against ranked teams this season (wins over Baylor and Oregon, losses to Kansas and Arizona). All four games have been played away from home;

– The win was the first against a ranked opponent on their home floor in two years (No. 21 Kansas State in January, 2011);

– The last time CU won a game while scoring less than 50 points? Try 1967, a 49-42 win over Oklahoma State in Stillwater;

– Andre Roberson’s 35th double-double ties him for 7th on the all-time list with former Buff great Scott Wedman (1971-74);

Here is the game recap from cubuffs.com

Colorado basketball coach Tad Boyle had wanted his Buffaloes to play a 40-minute game, and it took them nearly that long to take their first lead on Thursday night against No. 19 Oregon.

But when CU finally got its advantage, it held. Andre Roberson’s lay-in with 29.5 seconds to play, coupled with intense defense on the Ducks over the final 4 1/2 minutes earned the Buffs a 48-47 win at Matt Knight Arena.

Bouncing back from a disheartening loss last weekend at Utah and winning for the first time in 58 years in Eugene, CU improved to 15-7 overall and evened its Pac-12 Conference record at 5-5. Oregon, meanwhile, lost its third consecutive game and its first home game of the season, slipping to 18-5, 7-3.

CU is 2-2 against ranked opponents this season, having beaten Baylor and Oregon and losing at Arizona and Kansas. The Buffs’ last road win against a ranked opponent was on Jan. 12, 2011, when they defeated No. 21 Kansas State 74-66.

The Buffs closed out the game with a 8-0 run, holding the Ducks scoreless for the final 4:26. Spencer Dinwiddie pressured an E.J. Singler shot in the final seconds and Roberson gathered in the miss. He was fouled and went to the foul line with 1.1 seconds to play.

Missing the front end of his one-and-one wasn’t a problem; Arsalan Kazemi rebounded for the Ducks but time expired.

Roberson finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds, while Singler and Carlos Emery scored 14 each for the Ducks, who had won 20 consecutive home games stretching back to the 2011-12 season (14-0 this season).

Oregon freshman point guard Dominic Artis missed his fourth straight game with a foot injury. But until the final minutes, the Ducks weren’t as turnover prone Thursday as they had been in their previous three games, when they totaled 65. By halftime, forging a five-point lead, Oregon had committed just four turnovers the CU’s eight.

But the Buffs committed only four second-half turnovers and never succumbed to the Ducks’ pressure. Oregon also committed a dozen turnovers.

The Buffs never led in the opening half and trailed by as many as eight points (15-7) with 11 minutes before the break. During the stretch when they fell behind by that margin, they strayed from what Boyle wanted from them – specifically, to attack the rim in transition and run after getting stops. Problem was, the stops weren’t plentiful enough to allow CU to speed up its transition game. The Buffs stayed out of sorts offensively for nearly 6 minutes.

Nonetheless, after the Ducks took that eight-point lead, the Buffs got strong minutes off the bench from Jeremy Adams, who hit a pair of free throws and three-pointer during a 10-2 run that pulled CU into a 17-17 tie.

But Oregon, responding with a 9-2 surge, went back on top by seven points (26-19) and CU needed a turnaround jumper by Josh Scott at the halftime buzzer to trail 28-23 at intermission.

The Ducks got 12 first-half points from Singler and eight off the bench from Emory. The Buffs didn’t have a player in double figures for the first half. Roberson’s seven first-half rebounds were more than any of his teammates’ point totals. CU’s 33.3 percent from the field was its second-lowest in Pac-12 play this season, as were its 23 points.

The Buffs opened the second half with a traditional three-point play from Spencer Dinwiddie – his first points of the game. That cut the Ducks’ lead to 28-26 with 17:57 to play, and another Dinwiddie layup brought CU to within 30-28 less than a minute later.

An Xavier Johnson trey – his second of the game – pulled the Buffs to within 32-31 with just over 15 minutes remaining. But the Ducks outscored their visitors 7-2 over the next 4 minutes and increased their advantage to 39-33 with 11:02 left.

CU pulled to within 47-43 at the 3:01 mark on one of two free throws by Askia Booker, to 47-44 on one of two foul shots by Josh Scott, then to 47-46 on a putback by Roberson with 2:07 to play.

After each team squandered a possession apiece, the Buffs got the ball after an offensive foul by Singler with 50.1 seconds remaining. Boyle called timeout with 46.2 seconds showing, and Roberson’s lay-in gave CU its one-point lead at the 29.5 mark.


Preview – Colorado at No. 19 Oregon – 8:00 p.m. (MT), ESPNU

Buff Bits –

– Colorado leads the series, 5-3, but is only 1-3 in games played in Eugene. CU’s only win in Eugene came back in 1955;

– The Buffs won two of three against the Ducks last season, including a 63-62 victory in the Pac-12 tournament;

– Andre Roberson enters the weekend tied for the lead nationally in rebounding, at 11.6 ppg. Roberson is tied with Siena’s O.D. Anosike, who led the nation in rebounding last year (Roberson was third in the nation in rebounding last year);

– Oregon is undefeated at home this year, but is coming off a two loss weekend in the Bay area, losing to both Stanford and Cal;

– Freshman point guard Dominic Artis has missed the past three games with a left foot injury. The Ducks are 1-2 without him, and in those three games Oregon’s turnover total is 65 (23, 20, 22). A date for Artis’ return hasn’t been disclosed, and to complicate matters at the position junior Jonathan Lloyd suffered a thumb injury at Cal, leaving his status this week unknown;

– Colorado is playing its fourth ranked team this season (1-2 to date);

– Oregon has three players scoring in double figures – guard Damyean Dotson (11.4 ppg), forward E.J. Singler (10.8 ppg), and center Tony Woods (10.8 ppg.).

From cubuffs.com … For most coaches, moving past losses usually requires a couple of days, provided they have a couple to spare. For Tad Boyle, getting rid of last weekend’s loss at Utah appeared more of a chore – or so it seemed late Monday afternoon.

He converses weekly (maybe daily during some weeks) with Maryland coach Mark Turgeon, a close friend, mentor and former boss. That Boyle spoke by phone with Turgeon following Colorado’s insipid, uninspired 58-55 loss on Saturday in Salt Lake City was as predictable as discord in Congress.

Turgeon’s advice to Boyle might seem generic, but after feeling CU’s three-game winning streak crumpled and discarded by the Pac-12 Conference’s last-place team, any words offered by a colleague/friend were appreciated.

Turgeon to Boyle: “Don’t get too high, don’t get too low; stay even-keeled. That’s what he said, and he’s right. There were some things I was contemplating that I didn’t do (in SLC). But I want our players to understand that the effort and the level of concentration, the level of focus and the level of execution that we displayed against Utah are unacceptable. And I will say since I’ve been here at (CU) as the head coach it’s probably one of the top three losses that bothers me the most.”

It’s probably safe to say now that Boyle has flushed last weekend and is focused on this week’s trip to Oregon (Eugene on Thursday, Corvallis on Sunday). After climbing out of their 1-4 hole in the Pac-12 standings, the Buffs slipped underground again in SLC. What that loss ultimately does to their RPI and chances to make a second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance can’t be determined just yet.

But let’s just say another excavation needs to take place in the regular-season’s final nine games. At 4-5, CU shares fifth place in the Pac-12 with Southern California. Ahead of that pair at 5-4 are three teams, two (Stanford, California) of which the Buffs have beaten. Washington rounds out the fourth-place trio.

NOT TO DWELL ON LAST WEEKEND’S debacle, but had CU taken care of business in Utah, the Buffs would have been in position to make another ascent in the standings. Five of their final nine games are in the Coors Events Center, but a road win or two could mean separation from the pack and earning a top four seed for the conference tournament.

“Players have to understand what’s at stake and what every game means,” Boyle said. “I don’t think our guys understand that yet, and obviously they didn’t understand it going into Utah.”

Boyle found no fault with assistant coach Mike Rohn’s scouting report – “He did a great job” – of the Utes. But, he added, “Obviously our guys don’t listen or don’t believe. But for whatever reason they weren’t ready to play. The only people who can answer that are our players.

“I’m disappointed as a coach, because obviously what I’m doing isn’t working – at least it didn’t against Utah. But in the three games previous to that we were pretty good. I don’t think they were ready to play, the first play of the game we turned it over . . . we were not ready to play.”

Sabatino Chen, the only senior on the roster, said the Buffs lacked “consistency” and a “sense of urgency” – a couple of intangibles they must rediscover before trekking to the Pacific Northwest. CU, Chen said, must “come together and rely on our main foundations – defense and rebounding. We didn’t do that against Utah (and) we need more urgency. We’re running out of games now. We can’t give games away. It’s not about the teams we play, it’s on us.”

Boyle called his team’s inconsistencies “mind-boggling . . . we come out in three games, especially Stanford and Cal at home, we’re playing well offensively and defensively and we feel like we’re on the right track, then we have that kind of effort (at Utah). It’s disheartening.”

Asked if those “mind-boggling” inconsistencies might be the mark of a young, inexperienced team, Boyle said, “It’s a result of a poorly coached team and a result of a team that doesn’t play with a sense of urgency – that’s what it’s a result of.”

The Ducks might be involved in the same sort of introspection as the Buffs. Oregon’s weekend trip to the Bay Area was an epic bust; after losing at Stanford and Cal, the Ducks dropped to No. 19 in the national polls and find themselves in a first-place tie with Arizona (7-2) in the conference.

If he wants to use it, Oregon coach Dana Altman has a physical handle on what struck down his team last weekend. Freshman point guard Dominic Artis has missed the past three games with a left foot injury. The Ducks are 1-2 without him, and in those three games Oregon’s turnover total is 65 (23, 20, 22).

A date for Artis’ return hasn’t been disclosed, and to complicate matters at the position junior Jonathan Lloyd suffered a thumb injury at Cal, leaving his status this week unknown. If Artis doesn’t return and Lloyd can’t play this week, that moves freshman Willie Moore to the forefront.

February 6th

CU subject of bracketology story

From ESPN … For Colorado coach Tad Boyle, the message heading into Thursday’s game at Oregon is simple.

Don’t look ahead.

Time and time again over the past few days, Boyle has advised the Buffaloes to stay off of the Internet. Don’t listen to the analysts on “SportsCenter,” he told them, and don’t pay attention to the things people write on Facebook and Twitter.

“We just need to worry about winning our next game,” Boyle says. “I don’t want them looking at the big picture.”

But how could the Buffaloes not?

Colorado, after all, is considered an NCAA tournament bubble squad, and for the next month, buzz about which schools will make the 68-team field — and which ones will be snubbed — will dominate the conversation in college basketball.

Bracketologists … Bubble Watches … in-or-out debates are on television each night. The topic may be entertaining for fans, but for the players and coaches fighting to secure one of those coveted final bids, the upcoming weeks will be defined by sleepless nights and stress.

For all the talk about March, February is the month that can make or break a season.

“Winning is relief, and losing is misery,” former Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg said. “You’re living practice to practice, game to game, time out to time out.

“Some days you can hardly breathe.”

Greenberg knows the feeling all too well. Three times during his final five seasons as Virginia Tech coach, the Hokies failed to make the tournament despite finishing fourth or higher in the ACC. The most maddening omission came in 2010, when Greenberg’s squad went 23-8 in the regular season but didn’t receive a bid.

“People would get on me about how emotional I got about it,” said Greenberg, now a college basketball analyst at ESPN. “But until you walk in those shoes … people just don’t realize what it’s like. It’s not one month. It’s years of building a program, or thinking you’re doing things the right way.

“In an instant, it’s over.”

Indeed, the stress leading up to Selection Sunday can take a toll on the coaches and players of bubble teams. Every game, it seems, is magnified in February, every score scrutinized, every performance compared to that of other squads in a similar scenario.

Coaches attempt to insulate their players from the situation. But deep down they know that’s not entirely possible.

“With social media, they have so much information at their fingertips,” Boyle said. “They realize what’s at stake. As a coach you want them to understand the importance of every game, but you don’t want them to feel the pressure.

“Finding that balance is the hardest thing.”

Perhaps no one is as accustomed to life on the NCAA tournament bubble as former Missouri State coach Barry Hinson. Each and every year, Hinson finds himself watching a game on television when a list of the highest-rated RPI teams to be left out of the bracket pops up on the screen.

Three of Hinson’s teams are always in the top 10.

His 2006 Missouri State squad was No. 21 in the RPI and failed to earn an invite. No other team has ever been rated that high and not earned a berth. Hinson also had teams rated No. 34 and No. 36 in the RPI that didn’t make it.

“I remember one year we beat a good team, but someone said we didn’t win by enough,” said Hinson, now in his first season at Southern Illinois. “I’m like, ‘What? Now we’ve got different grades for a win?’

“You’re under the daggum microscope in everything you do. You’re talking about maybe 30 schools that are on the bubble. Of those 30, about 10 are mid-majors, and of those 10, maybe one of them has a shot. All of that stuff plays into your head because that’s all anyone is talking about.”

Hinson paused. “I”m telling you,” he said. “There is no margin for error.”

Coaches urge their players not to look too far down the line, but privately they can’t help but do it themselves. Greenberg said there was always a member of his staff willing to take on the role of a number cruncher who would provide updates on RPI and how other bubble teams were faring in the quest for a berth.

Boyle said he studied his team’s résumé at the end of the nonconference portion of Colorado’s schedule and attempted to figure out how many Pac-12 victories — and against whom — his team would need to reach the NCAA tournament.

“You can drive yourself crazy doing that,” Boyle said.

He said Tuesday that he feels good about the Buffaloes’ chances if they “take care of business.” But Boyle also remembers what happened in 2011, when Colorado posted a 21-13 regular-season record that included three wins over NCAA tournament team Kansas State and another against No. 5 Texas.

A CBS camera crew was at Boyle’s home on Selection Sunday to capture the Buffaloes’ reaction as the bracket was unveiled. “The thought never even entered my mind that we wouldn’t get in,” he said.

But that’s exactly what happened. Colorado was snubbed.

The story is one that makes Hinson cringe. He, too, had the CBS crew in his basement on Selection Sunday in 2006, when Missouri State became the highest-ranked RPI team in history not to earn a bid.

“We didn’t think we were in,” Hinson said. “We knew we were in. We were fired up. They got to the last region, and the final two teams that came up were Oklahoma and Marquette. We were thinking, ‘Well, maybe there’s another region we didn’t see.’ But there wasn’t.

“About 30 seconds passed, and no one said a word. Everyone just stared at the screen. It was probably the sickest feeling I’ve had in college athletics. If we would’ve had ‘Texas’ on the front of our jerseys instead of ‘Missouri State,’ we would’ve gone to the NCAA tournament. I’ll stand by that until the day I die.”

Hinson is in the midst of a rebuilding project at Southern Illinois. At 9-14 overall and 2-10 in the MVC, he knows there is little chance of the Salukis playing in the postseason. Still, as a basketball fan, he’ll be watching closely as the next month unfolds, with schools fighting each night for one of those precious at-large berths.

The successful teams will have to be tough-minded on the court — and off of it, too.

“They’re going to be graded every night by every analyst,” Hinson said. “People say, ‘Oh, the selection committee doesn’t listen to that stuff.’ But that’s not true. If the committee members are doing their homework and they’re out there studying, they’re going to hear everything. It’s human nature.

“I feel for the kids on those teams. I feel for every one of them. It’s a tremendous amount of pressure, and it’s only going to get worse in the next few weeks.”

February 5th

CU women split games in Los Angeles … and move up one spot in the polls

The CU women’s team was blown out by No. 18 UCLA last Friday night, scoring all of 14 points in the first half on their way to a 62-46 loss. The Buffs rallied, though, to take down USC to earn a split of their weekend games. That was good enough to actually move the Buffs up a spot, to No. 21 in the AP poll, and keep the Buffs ranked (25th) in the coaches poll. With the remainder of the Pac-12 schedule to be games against unranked teams, the chances of the Buffs remaining ranked for the remainder of the regular season (and hosting the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament) are looking good …

From cubuffs.com … Following a Southern California split, the University of Colorado slid down two spots to No. 25 in the USA Today Sports Women’s Basketball Coaches poll released on Tuesday.

On Monday, Colorado moved up one spot to No. 21 in the Associated Press Women’s Basketball Top 25 poll.

Colorado, 16-5 overall and 5-5 in the Pac-12 Conference, received 64 points in the coaches’ poll, the same amount as last week, but point shifts with other teams put the Buffaloes at No. 25. The Buffaloes have been in the coaches’ poll for four-straight weeks and five overall this season. Colorado reached a season-high of No. 23 in the coaches’ poll twice, in consecutive weeks, Jan. 22 and Jan. 29. This week’s ranking marks the 156th time Colorado has appeared in the coaches’ poll dating back to the 1988-89 campaign.

Colorado received 162 points in the AP poll, down from 205 last week. The Buffaloes have resided in the AP poll for the last eight weeks, reaching as high as No. 20 twice — Dec. 31 and Jan. 21. CU’s eight-week run in the AP poll is its longest since appearing in all 19 polls of the 2003-04 season. The Buffaloes have a long history of rankings in the AP poll, dating back to the 1980-81 season. This week’s ranking marks the 166th time Colorado has appeared in the AP poll, trailing only Stanford, USC and UCLA among Pac-12 schools.

All five of Colorado’s losses have been to ranked teams, including two each to Stanford and California ranked No. 7 or better at the time. After this weekend’s games, Stanford remained at No. 4 AP and No. 5 coaches, and California stayed at No. 6 in both polls. UCLA jumped up one spot in each poll, No. 17 AP and No. 18 coaches. The Buffaloes do have one top 10 win on their resume, a 70-66 win over then-No. 8 Louisville on Dec. 14. The Cardinals are currently ranked No. 11 in both polls.

Colorado returns home for the first time in three weeks as the Buffaloes will host the Oregon schools. Colorado will face Oregon State on Friday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. and host Oregon on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 1:30 p.m.

February 3rd

No. 22 CU women salvage split in L.A.

From cubuffs.com … It’s been a tough road trip for the No. 22 Colorado women’s basketball team, with three straight road losses against nationally ranked opponents in the past two weekends.

On Sunday, though, the CU women had one last chance to pull out a road win over the Southern California Trojans – and this time, they made it happen.

With a solid second-half effort on both sides of the ball, Colorado pulled away from the Trojans for a 65-49 victory.

“I really liked our toughness in this game,” said Colorado head coach Linda Lappe. “We didn’t have any of that on Friday, and so it was nice to kind of get our identity back because that’s who were are when we’re playing our best.”

It was a success that came at a much-needed time, as the Buffs were in the midst of their longest losing streak of the season. After falling to top-10 teams Cal and Stanford last weekend, Colorado shot less than 30 percent from the field in a 62-46 loss to No. 18 UCLA on Friday.

“I think we knew we could definitely win this game and that we had to win this game,” said redshirt freshman forward Arielle Roberson, who led the Buffs in scoring with 16. “We just knew we had to do it in a fun way and not make it too stressful.”

The stress was certainly still there in the first half, as the Buffs and Trojans traded baskets and both teams struggled to gain a solid advantage. The lead changed eight times throughout the half, and neither team went up by more than five.

In the four minutes before intermission, however, USC found its momentum and went on a 13-3 run to reverse Colorado’s five-point lead to a five-point lead of its own by halftime (31-26).

The Buffs shot 36 percent from the field in the first half compared to USC’s 33, but the Trojans were efficient from the line with an free throw percentage of 89.

Colorado, though, took control at the start of the second half, going on an 8-0 run and forcing five turnovers in the process to build a three-point lead.

“I kind of had a feeling that (the Trojans) were going to get tired in the second half,” Lappe said. “And I think that’s what happened. I think we pushed the ball really well at them in the first half, we were physical with them in the first half, and I think that wore on them in the second half.”

With 12:17 remaining, Roberson knocked down an “and-1” play to put the Buffs up eight (41-33). Four minutes later, senior guard Chucky Jeffrey scored on a steal and a fast break to give CU a 10-point lead.

In the final two minutes, Colorado went on an 8-1 run capped by a Roberson trey and a Jeffery free throw, erasing USC’s chance for a late-game comeback.

By the final buzzer, the Buffs had gone up 16 for a 65-49 victory.

Lappe said the improvement her team made from Friday night’s struggle to Sunday’s success was indicative of a high-level team.

“Everybody has a bad game, championship teams have bad games,” Lappe said. “But the real championship teams respond in a great fashion. They can let it go, they can take it for what it’s worth, and they can get a little mad and come back even stronger. I think that’s what’s going to happen to us after that Friday night game.”

Colorado demonstrated its depth in both scoring and rebounding on Sunday, with four players scoring in double figures and six players grabbing five or more boards.

In addition to Roberson’s game-high 16 points, Jeffery scored 15 and grabbed 10 rebounds in the process for her fifth double-double of the season. Junior guard Brittany added 12 points, while sophomore guard Lexy Kresl scored 11 and grabbed six rebounds.

Overall, the Buffs out-rebounded the Trojans 44-29, with 13 of those on the offensive end. Colorado ended the game shooting 40.4 percent from the field, holding USC to just 27.5 percent.

Junior forward Cassie Harberts led the Trojans in scoring with 14 total points, below her average of 18.7, while sophomore guard Ariya Crook added 10.

The win bumps Colorado’s record to 16-5 overall and 5-5 in the Pac-12 Conference, while USC falls to 8-13 and 5-5 in conference play. The Trojans remain unsuccessful against ranked teams (0-6) so far this season.

Though the Buffs may be only .500 in conference play, their start to the season has been far from smooth sailing. Half of Colorado’s matchups so far in conference play have been against nationally ranked opponents, and four of those have been against top-10 Cal and Stanford teams.

Only one of Colorado’s next eight opponents, Washington, currently has a better record than the Buffs in the Pac-12.

The CU women return to the Coors Events Center next week with matchups against Oregon State on Friday and Oregon on Sunday.

February 2nd – at Utah           Utah 58, Colorado 55

Colorado mounted a furious comeback after falling down 22 points in the second half, but a Spencer Dinwiddie three point attempt at the buzzer missed its mark as Utah held on for a 58-55 victory.

Down 49-27 with 11:46 to play, the Buffs out-scored the Utes 28-9 down the stretch, holding Utah without a made basket for the final ten minutes of the game. Spencer Dinwiddie led the Buffs with 18 points, scoring seven of the Buffs’ final 12 points. Andre Roberson had yet another double-double, with ten points and 12 rebounds, but was again saddled with foul trouble.

If Utah was expecting a sell-out crowd on a Saturday afternoon to honor Rick Majerus, they were mistaken – the crowd was small.

If Colorado was expecting Utah to roll over and play dead for the Buffs, they were mistaken – as Utah came to play.

Utah jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, as Colorado missed its first three shots, turning the ball over twice. It was two-and-a-half minutes into the game before Andre Roberson got the Buffs on the board with a three-pointer. A Josh Scott put back and an Askia Booker jumper finally tied the score at 7-all, with the Buffs taking their first lead on a Spencer Dinwiddie steal and layup. At the first television break, the Buffs were up, 9-7.

Xavier Johnson became the fifth Buff to score, giving the Buffs an 11-7 lead, but CU missed on three straight opportunities to expand the lead. Utah ended the Buffs’ 8-0 run with a jumper, but another put back by Josh Scott upped the lead to 13-9. Utah hit on a jumper, but a Spencer Dinwiddie three-pointer gave CU a five point lead at 16-11. Another second chance basket by Utah made it 16-13 at the under 12 break.

Spencer Dinwiddie made one of two free throws to up the lead to four, which was cut in half a moment later on a Utah layup. The Buffs’ fifth turnover of the first half gave Utah the opportunity to pull even, with the Utes tying the score, 17-all, with yet another layup. A third layup in as many possessions gave Utah the lead back, but Andre Roberson stopped the 6-0 run by Utah with a layup. At the under eight timeout, the score remained tied, 19-19.

Shane Harris-Tunks missed two free throws (to make CU one-for-five from the charity stripe to open the game), then Harris-Tunks shot an air ball on the Buffs’ next possession. A layup by Utah gave the Utes a 21-19 lead, with Askia Booker tying the score with two made free throws. A Roberson steal then led to a Booker jumper, giving the Buffs the lead back at 23-21. Turnover No. 8 by the Buffs stopped the clock with 3:50 to play and the Buffs still up two.

A three-pointer from the corner gave Utah a 24-23 lead, upped to four with another three pointer a moment later. Tad Boyle then took his first timeout with the Utah crowd into the game for the first time, Utah 27, Colorado 23.

Askia Booker missed a layup on the Buffs’ next possession, with Utah taking its biggest lead, 29-23, on a mid-range jumper. Spencer Dinwiddie broke the 8-0 Utah run with a pair of free throws, but the Buffs could not take advantage of a Utah turnover, with Andre Roberson picking up his second foul on a charge. A layup by Utah gave the Utes a six-point lead, with Colorado unable to even get off a shot after holding the ball for the final shot.

Halftime score: Utah 31, Colorado 25.

At the break, Colorado had more turnovers (10) than made baskets (9).  The Buffs had the rebounding edge, 18-12, but could not overcome turnovers and missed free throws (four misses in nine first half attempts). The Buffs were led by Spencer Dinwiddie’s eight points, followed by Askia Booker with six. Andre Roberson, before picking up foul No. 2, had six rebounds and five points.

Colorado missed two three-pointers, missed a layup, and traveled to open the second half, with neither team scoring in the first two minutes. A dunk by Utah gave the Utes their biggest lead at eight, with a layup making it a ten point game with 16:30 to play. Timeout, Colorado. Utah 35, Colorado 25.

After the timeout, Andre Roberson missed a three-point attempt, with another layup at the other end giving Utah a 12-point lead. Askia Booker then missed a three-pointer, with a basket and a foul giving Utah a 39-25 lead at the under 16 break.

The traditional three-point play made it a 19-2 run for the Utes, with Xavier Johnson finally getting the Buffs on the board with a put back. A short jumper put the Utes back by 15, at 42-27, with Andre Roberson picking up foul No. 3 on a rebound attempt. Tad Boyle was called for a technical foul protesting the call (or lack thereof), with Utah hitting both free throws to make it a 17-point lead for the Utes. A short jumper upped the lead to 19 points a moment later, with a bank-in three-pointer leading to another Colorado timeout. Utah 49, Colorado 27.

Josh Scott made one of two free throws to give CU three second half points, which was doubled by a three-pointer by Spencer Dinwiddie, but Utah countered with a jumper. With ten minutes to play, it was a 20-point game. Utah 51, Colorado 31.

The 20-point edge was all from the bench, as the Utes’ bench had 20 points, Colorado’s bench … 0.

Askia Booker hit a jumper, giving him three baskets in fourteen attempts. Utah then took over a minute off the clock before hitting one of two free throws. Xavier Talton then gave CU its first bench points with a basket, but missed the opportunity to make it a three-point play. A three-pointer by Andre Roberson cut the lead to 14, but now only 7:37 remained.

Xavier Johnson missed a layup which would have cut the lead to 12, with Utah taking 35 seconds off the clock on its next possession. Johnson then turned the ball over on the Buffs’ next possession, but made up for it with a tip in after another Utah miss. Timeout, Utah, with the Utes up 12, 52-40.

Utah made one of two free throws to make it a 13-point game, but Sabatino Chen made a layup and was fouled. Chen then made it a ten-point game, at 53-43, but now only 4:30 remained.

Utah missed the front end of a one-and-one, with Spencer Dinwiddie hitting a three to make it an eight-point game. Utah 53, Colorado 45, with four minutes to play.

The next Buff foul put Utah into the double bonus, but the Utes made only made one of two free throws. Spencer Dinwiddie was then fouled on the other end, making both to cut the lead to seven points at 54-47. Utah missed on its next possession, but got an offensive rebound allowing the Utes to work more clock. The Buffs then forced a jump ball, getting the ball back. Sabatino Chen then hit a three-pointer, and it was a new game. Timeout, Utah. Utah 54, Colorado 50.

The run was 21-3 for Colorado when the Buff defense forced a ten-second violation. Spencer Dinwiddie was then fouled on a drive, with Dinwiddie making one of two. A Roberson steal and score then made it a one point game, with 1:39 still to play. Utah 54, Colorado 53.

Utah made a pair of free throws to make it a three-point lead with 1:19 to play. Spencer Dinwiddie then did what he had been doing the last few minutes, driving and picking up a foul. This time, though, Dinwiddie made the basket, but missed the free throw which would have tied the game.

Colorado forced a heave at the end of the shot clock, taking the ball over with less than thirty seconds to play. Spencer Dinwiddie, though, the hero of the comeback, was then called for a turnover.

Forced to foul, the Buffs fouled the Utes with 6.9 seconds to play. The Utes made both free throws.

A Spencer Dinwiddie jumper at the buzzer missed iron.

Final score: Utah 58, Colorado 55.

Spencer Dinwiddie had 18 points, with Andre Roberson contributing ten points to go with 12 rebounds. The Buffs out-rebounded the Utes, 31-27, but again could not overcome turnovers, committing 14 for the game.

The Buffs could also look to the free throw line for a place to blame their fifth conference loss. Both Utah and Colorado made ten free throws on the afternoon, but the Utes needed only 14 free throws to make ten, while Colorado needed 18 free throws to make ten.

“Here’s what you learn: you learn that basketball is a 40 minute game,” said Tad Boyle. “You can talk about the last eight minutes all you want, but in the first 32 minutes we did not have a sense of urgency. In the first half we were flat and did not have any sense of urgency.

“We can’t feel sorry for ourseslves, we have nobody to blame but ourselves. We are 4-5 right now at the midway point, we have five home games left and four road games and it starts at Oregon on Thursday. And let me tell you something, it’s time to strap it on. We cannot hang our heads and feel sorry for ourselves. We just have to understand right now that we are a mediocre team … It was not a good showing by the Buffs today, and as head coach I take full responsibility”.

Buff Bits –

– The win was the first for the Utes against the Buffs since 2004. Utah broke a five-game losing streak to Colorado.

– Andre Roberson recorded his 34th career double-double, sixth all-time at Colorado. Roberson has gone for a double-double in all four career games against Utah.

– Xavier Johnson recorded his second straight game with ten rebounds or more.

– Colorado has played more games decided by less than ten points (15) than any other Pac-12 game. CU is 9-6 in those games.

February 1st

Buffs to be guests at Rick Majerus tribute

From the Salt Lake City Tribune …

The last time Utah honored the legacy of Rick Majerus, the team went out and played its best game of the season from start to finish.

A rousing win over Boise State served as the net result, as dominating a victory as Utah has experienced this year.

On Saturday against Colorado, Utah will retire Majerus’ sweater and hang it in the rafters where it has belonged for so long. The players will try to honor the former coach, who died in December.

“We really want to win this game,” senior forward Cedric Martin said. “We know what he’s meant to the program. He built this program.”

Majerus led the Utes to the national title game in 1998. He consistently made the NCAA Tournament, and recruited such stars as Andre Miller, Keith Van Horn, Michael Doleac and Andrew Bogut, along with Britton Johnsen to the hill.

Buff Bits –

– Colorado leads the all-time series against Utah, 23-15. The Buffs have won five straight in the series, including all three games last year. CU is 8-10 against Utah in games played in Salt Lake City.

– The Buffs three-game win streak in conference play is currently the longest such streak in the Pac-12. Colorado has not posted four consecutive conference wins since 2005-06.

– Last season against Utah, Andre Roberson had a double-double in each game, averaging 16.3 ppg and 14.7 rpg.

– With only five rebounds against Cal, Roberson slipped back into second place nationally in rebounds, at 11.6 rpg.

– Heading into this weekend’s games, CU was 21st in the nation in the RPI rankings, behind only Arizona (4th) and Oregon (19th) amongst Pac-12 schools.

– Utah has three senior starters, but the leading scorer is a freshman, forward Jordan Loveridge, who is averaging 12.1 points per game.


Preview – Colorado at Utah

From cubuffs.com … The Colorado men’s basketball team is on a mini-run (a three-game winning streak) and the Pac-12 Conference race appears to be morphing into exactly that. This is what is known as good timing, or it could be.

CU coach Tad Boyle is happy, proud and grateful – and also eager to see if the Buffs’ late-January success seeps into February. You don’t see content among those adjectives trailing Boyle’s name because he isn’t.

Not even sniffing content, in fact. At the moment, he’s as cautious as an ice fisherman in mid-April.

While Boyle certainly would rather be counting three consecutive ‘W’s than ‘L’s, he’s also reminding his players how quickly things can sour if they forget what extracted them from that 1-4 pit in Pac-12 play. After Wednesday’s practice – the week’s first after two days of rest – he said he senses the hard lessons learned en route to four early losses just might be sinking in.

When I asked him about the modest three-game streak composed of wins against Washington State, Stanford and Cal and how much momentum had been created, he answered, “We’ve got a little bit, but again, that can all go away in a heartbeat. I think we understand why we’ve been successful. Now it’s committing to making sure we do those things.

“They’re little things, it’s not like we just want to start winning. It’s what do we have to do to do that? Play together offensively, share the ball, not care who’s taking shots, making sure we’re getting the best shot for the team every time down. And then defensively, all the things we talk about.”

Do his players realize how quickly success, short and long term, can be sabotaged by an unsightly loss – say, against a Utah team that’s won once in eight league games?

“Absolutely,” Boyle answered. “We’re young and we have to continue to improve. We lost some games, we watched film and we understand why we lost and what we have to do better. We understand why we went on a three-game win streak . . . why we’re having success and what we’re doing better. We talk about all those things.”

All the talk had best be digested. If the Buffs aren’t sharing a like mindset with their coach, Saturday’s trip over the Rockies to Salt Lake City could have all the trappings of a classic trap game.

No doubt, the Utes are in their second season of severe struggle under coach Larry Krystkowiak. After losing by 21 in Boulder last Thursday, Stanford visited SLC on Sunday and won by 31, dealing Utah its eighth loss in nine games.

The blowout matched the Utes’ worst home loss ever, and Krystkowiak was more than a bit bothered. He told the Salt Lake City papers, “This is rock-bottom for me. This is the lowest I’ve felt since I took over. We just got beat up out there . . . I can tell you this much: We will play hard for the rest of the year. That won’t be a problem again. There just wasn’t a bright spot in this ballgame for us.”

As for getting “beat up” by the Cardinal, this was his prescription for getting more physical: “If you want to come watch football practice, it takes place on Tuesday afternoon. We are going to have some games that we play really well. But we can’t lay an egg like that. I’m not going to tolerate a lack of effort.”

Don’t think Boyle doesn’t monitor these things. “No question they’re going to be angry,” he said. “I’m sure (Krystkowiak) is going to get after them this week in practice and they’re going to come out with a whole new resolve and a whole new level of intensity than they showed against Stanford. And we’ve got to be ready for that . . . they’ve proven when they play well they can beat anybody.”

Case in point: Washington, which remained unbeaten two weeks ago by stiffing Arctic-cold CU, 64-54. A couple of days after the Buffs tripped to Seattle, Utah strolled into Alaska Airlines Arena and dealt the Huskies their first league loss, 74-65. If eyes rolled in the Pacific Northwest, they opened elsewhere in the Pac-12.

“Anytime a road team wins, to some degree, especially a road team that had lost five games going in there . . . I think it opened a lot of people’s eyes,” Boyle said. “I watched their game live against Boise State early in the year, and I tell you what, they shot the ball well and looked like a whole different team that night. When they shoot the ball well, they can pose a lot of problems.”

Utah’s win at UW got – and continues to hold – the attention of CU sophomore guard Askia Booker. “Utah is not going to be an easy game, not at all,” he said. “They beat Washington, a team we couldn’t beat, and they did it in their (UW’s) house. We’re not overlooking them, looking at Oregon or Oregon State (next week). We want to be prepared for the next game, that’s all. And that’s what we’re doing in practice, that’s where it starts.”

The Buffs’ problem in Seattle was frigid shooting (36.2 percent), which the Utes know something about. They’re eighth in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (42.2) and last in scoring (59.4 points). They also are No. 12 in turnover margin (-2.50).

In the Stanford game’s aftermath, Krystkowiak announced that 7-foot sophomore center Dallin Bachynski will take a break from competition. In truth, the break might have started a game ago; the younger brother of Arizona State’s 7-2 Jordan Bachynski (the Buffs have vivid memories) played only three minutes. He had started nine previous games.

Boyle insists Krystkowiak isn’t dealing from a depleted roster, only a much different roster from last season. Boyle and his staff recruited 6-6 freshman forward Jordan Loveridge, and Boyle recalls redshirt junior guard Glen Dean, an Eastern Washington transfer who played against Boyle’s Northern Colorado team. Loveridge is Utah’s leading scorer in all games (12.1 ppg) but trails 6-10 senior Jason Washburn (10.8 to 13.5 ppg) in conference. Washburn also is the team’s leading rebounder (8.9 rpg).

By Saturday’s tip time (12:30 p.m., FSN) at the Huntsman Center, the Buffs will be playing their first game in six days. Booker, CU’s No. 2 scorer by a fraction (14.4 ppg to Spencer Dinwiddie’s 14.5), said the break was welcome, but added the Utes also should be well-rested – provided that was anywhere on Krystkowiak’s agenda after the Cardinal debacle.

January 29th

CU recruit has buzzer beater waved off

Guess Jaron Hopkins is learning – the hard way – what it’s like to be a Buff …

From azcentral.com … Gilbert boys basketball coach Jay Caserio knew Friday night’s Division I matchup against Mesa Dobson would be a tight one, but no one could predict an ending this dramatic.

With 1.1 seconds remaining in the game and Gilbert leading by a point, Dobson’s Jaron Hopkins (a CU commit) caught a long pass from center court and laid in a last-chance, buzzer shot from underneath the basket. No sooner did the visiting crowd erupt than was bucket was called off, with officials saying it didn’t beat the buzzer.

The controversial call meant victory for Gilbert, which defeated Dobson for the second time in two weeks, winning 58-57 Friday at home.

“To be honest with you I think that should have probably been a bucket there at the end,” Caserio said. “I think it was kind of stolen from them.”

Oregon star likely out for CU game next Thursday

From CBSSportsline … Oregon freshman point guard Dominic Artis will miss at least the next two games with a foot injury.

Ducks head coach Dana Altman said Tuesday on SiriusXM’s Inside College Basketball that Artis, who is nursing a foot injury, has been ruled out of this week’s trip to the Bay Area.

“He’s out this week for sure,” Altman said. “My guess is he’ll miss anywhere from three to five games.”

Artis is averaging 10.2 points and 3.8 assists this season. Oregon is 18-2 and in first place in the Pac-12 with a 7-0 mark.

After traveling to play Stanford and Cal this weekend, the Ducks will host Colorado next Thursday, February 7th.

CU women remain ranked in both polls despite losses

Following competitive losses to a pair of top 10 teams, the University of Colorado remained at No. 23 in the USA Today Sports Women’s Basketball Coaches poll released on Tuesday.

On Monday, Colorado slid two spots to No. 22 in the Associated Press Women’s Basketball Top 25 poll.

Colorado, 15-4 overall and 4-4 in the Pac-12 Conference, received 64 points in the coaches’ poll, down from 113 last week. The Buffaloes have been in the coaches’ poll for three-straight weeks and four overall this season. The current No. 23 ranking, held for the last two weeks, is Colorado’s highest spot in the coaches’ rankings since coming in at No. 16 in the March 15, 2004 poll. This week’s ranking marks the 155th time Colorado has appeared in the coaches’ poll dating back to the 1988-89 campaign.

Colorado received 205 points in the AP poll, down only 75 from last week. The Buffaloes have resided in the AP poll for the last seven weeks, reaching as high as No. 20 twice – Dec. 31 and Jan. 21. CU’s seven-week run in the AP poll is its longest since appearing in all 19 polls of the 2003-04 season. The Buffaloes have a long history of rankings in the AP poll, dating back to the 1980-81 season. This week’s ranking marks the 165th time Colorado has appeared in the AP poll, trailing only Stanford, USC and UCLA among Pac-12 schools.

All four losses of Colorado’s losses this season have been to league rivals Stanford and California, ranked No. 7 or better in each meeting. After this weekend’s games, Stanford moved up two spots in the AP poll to No. 4 and one in the coaches’ poll to No. 5. California moved up one spot in both polls to No. 6. The Buffaloes do have one top 10 win on their resume, a 70-66 win over then-No. 8 Louisville on Dec. 14. The Cardinals are currently ranked No. 12 in both polls.

Colorado will play its third-straight ranked opponent with a visit to No. 18 (AP)/19 (USAT) UCLA on Friday, Feb. 1, at 9 p.m. MT. The Buffaloes will conclude their four-game California swing at USC on Sunday, Feb. 3, at 10 a.m. MT. Both contests will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.

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