Colorado Basketball

March 15th – at Orlando (NIT first round)         No. 4 Central Florida 79, No. 5 Colorado 74

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado senior Derrick White did his best to extend CU’s season, scoring 30 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Buffs fell to UCF on Wednesday, 79-74, in their NIT opener.

Colorado ended the season with a 19-15 record, just the second time in the seven-year Tad Boyle era that the Buffs failed to reach the 20-win plateau.

White finished with 30 points, Xavier Johnson chipped in 13 and  Josh Fortune added 12.

The Buffs actually had five more field goals, but shot just 30-for-71 from the field, including just 9-for-33 from 3-point range. The Knights were 25-for-46 from the field, including 12-for-22 from beyond the arc.

UCF also made 17 of its 32 free throws while Colorado shot just six free shots and made five.

HOW IT HAPPENED: After trailing by as much as 12 in the first half, the Buffs closed the gap to four by halftime, 38-34, then tied the game at 40-40 when White scored the Buffs’ first six points of the half.

But the Buffs never found an answer for UCF’s 3-point shooting, and the Knights were aided by a parade to the free throw line. UCF built the lead back to as much as 12 again, then held Colorado off down the stretch at the free throw line.

CU closed to within three in the final minute, but the Knights managed to hit five of their last six free throws to seal the win.

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March 14th

Getting to Know: Central Florida

Game … Wednesday, March 15th, 5:00 p.m., ESPN3, 760 AM radio

Game Notes … From CUBuffs.com

NIT POSTSEASON FACTS: Colorado makes its 10th NIT appearance and first since the 2010-11 Tad Boyle’s first season as head coach. The Buffaloes advanced to the national semifinals that season as a No. 1 seed, winning three games in Boulder before dropping a 62-61 decision to Alabama in the semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York. Colorado is 11-8 all-time in the NIT, winning the title in 1940. The Buffaloes also have a runner-up finish in 1938, and a third place showing in 1991. Overall, this will be Colorado’s 25th postseason tournament past the conference level. Boyle also extends his school-record streak by coaching the Buffaloes to a seventh-straight postseason appearance. Prior to this seven-year run, no Colorado team had participated in the postseason more than two consecutive years. Colorado is 45-65 in all-time postseason play, including conference tournaments; 22-25 on the national level (NCAA, NIT, CBI).

Related

… “Buffs Take Aim at UCF In NIT Opener” … from CUBuffs.com

… “CU Buffs men’s hoops bracing for a Fall” … from the Daily Camera

Quotable Tad Boyle … “A lot of this tournament has to do with the teams that do embrace it and do play with hunger and a chip on their shoulder to try to prove, ‘Hey, we do belong in postseason play and we’ve got some pride and we want to advance and we are competitors,'” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. “Those are teams that usually win these games.”

Central Florida 2016-17 Season:  UCF is 21-11 overall and finished fourth in the American Athletic Conference at 11-7. The Knights advanced to the semifinals of the AAC Tournament, dropping a 70-59 decision to the eventual champion, No. 12 ranked SMU. UCF sports the nation’s best field goal defense allowing opponents just 36.2 percent from the field. Offensively, UCF averages 67.2 points on 44 percent from the field. UCF enjoys a plus-8.8 rebounding average over its opponents.

Sophomore guard B.J. Taylor leads UCF at 17.2 points, 3.6 assists and 1.1 steals per game, earning All-ACC Second Team honors. Senior guard Matt Williams averages 15.0 points per game sporting a school and AAC season record 110 3-point field goals. Sophomore center Tacko Fall, the 2017 AAC Defensive Player of the Year, leads the team at 9.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game while pitching in 11.1 points an outing. Johnny Dawkins is in his first season at UCF. The former Stanford lead man is in his ninth overall season as a head coach with a record of 177-126.

Series:  This will be the second meeting between Colorado and UCF. The Buffaloes claimed the one previous contest, a 96-87 decision in Boulder on Jan. 3, 2007. Tad Boyle has never faced UCF as a head coach. Johnny Dawkins is 3-6 against Colorado as a head coach, all with Stanford.

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… CU in the Arena …

CU invited to participate in the WNIT, will host UNLV Thursday night 

From CUBuffs.com …  Colorado’s women’s basketball team accepted a bid to the Women’s NIT on Monday evening. It will be CU’s sixth appearance in the WNIT and 19th postseason appearance, including 13 NCAA Tournament selections.

CU will face UNLV in the first round on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Coors Events Center. The Lady Rebels are 22-10 this season and went 12-6 in the Mountain West Conference this season, falling in the semifinals of their conference tournament to Fresno State.

The second round of the tournament runs March 18-21. Round 3 is slated for March 22-24; Round 4 is March 25-27, and the WNIT semifinals are set for March 29-30. The championship will be played on April 1 at 1 p.m. and will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

The Buffs (15-15 overall) are 12-5 all-time in the WNIT, including 10-3 at home in the Coors Events Center. They last participated in the WNIT in 2014, reaching the third round of the 64-team tournament. CU has reached the quarterfinals in three of its five previous appearances, including the semifinals in 2008. CU has also advanced past the first round in each of the previous five trips.

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March 12th

… CU in the Arena … 

Colorado a No. 5 seed in the National Invitation Tournament

NIT Bracket

From CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado has accepted a bid to the 2017 National Invitation Tournament (NIT) and will play UCF in a first round game on Wednesday, March 15, in Orlando.

The Buffaloes are the No. 5 seed in one of four eight-team regions and head east to play the Knights for a 5 p.m. MT tip streamed live on ESPN3. The winner of Wednesday’s game will play the winner of top-seed Illinois State and No. 8 seed UC Irvine in the second round, to be announced, March 16-20.

Second round games and the regional finals (March 21-22) will be played on campus sites at the highest seeded team barring any institutional conflicts. The NIT semifinals will take place on Tuesday, March 28, at Madison Square Garden in New York, with the championship game on Thursday, March 30. This will be the 80th NIT to conclude at the iconic New York City arena.

UCF is 21-11 overall and finished fourth in the American Athletic Conference at 11-7.  Colorado and Central Florida have met once, a 96-87 Buffaloes win in Boulder on Jan. 3, 2007.

Colorado makes its 10th NIT appearance and first since 2010-11, Tad Boyle‘s first season as head coach. The Buffaloes advanced to the national semifinals that season as a No. 1 seed, winning three games in Boulder before dropping a 62-61 decision to Alabama in the semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Colorado is 11-8 all-time in the NIT, winning the title in 1940. The Buffaloes also have a runner-up finish in 1938, and a third place showing in 1991.

Overall, this will be Colorado’s 25th postseason tournament past the conference level. Boyle also extends his school-record streak by coaching the Buffaloes to a seventh-straight postseason appearance. Prior to this seven-year run, no Colorado team had participated in the postseason more than two consecutive years.

Colorado is 19-14 overall and finished in seventh place in the Pac-12 Conference at 8-10. The Buffaloes will be out to claim their 10th season of 20-plus wins and sixth time in the last seven seasons under Boyle.

… Cal is a No. 1 seed in the tournament … Utah a No. 3 … Colorado State a No. 4 …

Note … Some experimental rules the NIT is trying out … Two 10-minute “segments” each half (not calling them “quarters”, for some reason) … Team fouls reset with each segment … After four personal fouls in a segment, teams go straight to two-shot fouls (i.e., the end of the one-and-one) … 20-second shot clock when the ball is in-bounded in the front court …

Updated NIT Bracketology

From NYCBuckets.com … CU a No. 6 seed in the NIT 32-team field, listed as a “bubble team” (Cal a No. 2 seed; Utah a No. 4; CSU a No.5)

From DRatings.com … CU a No. 7 seed in the NIT (Cal a No. 1 seed; Utah a No. 3; CSU a No. 5)

From BracketMatrix … CU a No. 7 seed in the NIT (Cal a No. 1 seed; Utah a No. 5; CSU a No. 6)

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March 11th

… CU in the Arena … 

Updated NIT Bracketology

From NYCBuckets.com … CU a No. 6 seed in the NIT 32-team field, listed as a “bubble team” (Cal a No. 1 seed; Utah a No. 4; CSU a No. 4)

From DRatings.com … CU a No. 6 seed in the NIT (Cal a No. 2 seed; Utah a No. 4; CSU a No. 5)

From BracketMatrix … CU a No. 7 seed in the NIT (Cal a No. 1 seed; Utah a No. 3; CSU a No. 7)

From CUBuffs.com … If the Colorado Buffaloes do get a call from the NIT on Sunday, it will most likely be accompanied by orders for a road trip.

The latest NIT projections have the Buffs receiving an invitation to the 32-team tournament, but in the neighborhood of a No. 6 or No. 7 seed (one projection has them seeded seventh and playing TCU in the first round; another has CU at No. 6 and playing at Indiana).

The first four seeds in each regional earn a home game (unless “logistical circumstances preclude such an opportunity”), with the higher seed in each ensuing round getting host designation until the field is reduced to a Final Four, played in New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Thus, the Buffs would likely be on the road for as long as they survived.

Of course, the NIT isn’t where the Buffs aimed to spend their postseason when the season began. But CU’s hopes of a Pac-12 tournament run to an NCAA Tournament bid came to an end Thursday night in Las Vegas with a 92-78 loss to Arizona.

After the game, head coach Tad Boyle didn’t sound overly optimistic that the 19-14 Buffs would receive an NIT bid, saying, “We came up short, so our season is most likely over.”

The NIT field must first wait for the NCAA field to be determined. The NIT, which is now administered by the NCAA, will announce its field at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, with the announcement televised by ESPNU. With tournament upsets already shaking up the projected NCAA field, the NIT grouping will depend upon how some of the league tournaments shake out, particularly the smaller and mid-major tournaments. Regular season league champions that do not earn NCAA Tournament berths earn automatic NIT bids, which could reduce the field if there are a number of upsets.

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Chauncey Billups inducted into the Pac-12 men’s basketball Hall of Honor

From the Daily Camera …  Chauncey Billups never played a minute of basketball in the Pac-12 Conference. Jenny Simpson never raced in any Pac-12 track or cross country meets.

Nevertheless, the two University of Colorado legends played a small role, in absentia, in a meaningful Pac-12 event on Friday. Billups, represented by parents Ray and Faye Billups, was inducted into the Pac-12 men’s basketball Hall of Honor.

Simpson, winner of the bronze medal in the 1,500-meter run this past summer at the Rio Olympics, was scheduled to appear alongside other Olympians at an event where the USCOC recognized Pac-12 institutions for their commitment to Olympic sports, but Simpson was forced to cancel due to an illness.

“He couldn’t be here, but I’m sure he’s happy and he asked us to come in and accept the award for him,” Ray Billups said. “I haven’t really had a chance to sit down and talk with him about it about, but I know he’s happy. He wouldn’t have asked us to come in and accept the award if he wasn’t happy about it. Just knowing that he asked me to come in and accept it made me feel good.”

Another former basketball star with Colorado ties in the same boat as Billups is former Denver Nuggets guard Andre Miller, a former standout at Utah who also was inducted into the Pac-12 Hall of Honor despite never playing in the league. Miller, a native of Los Angeles, said he would have loved to have played in the Pac-12 but found it odd to be going into a shrine to the Pac-12 when his collegiate career was highlighted by four consecutive WAC regular-season titles.

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March 10th 

… CU in the Arena … 

NIT Bracketology 

From NYCBuckets.com … CU a No. 6 seed in the NIT 32-team field, listed as a “bubble team” (Cal a No. 2 seed; Utah a No. 4; CSU a No. 5)

From DRatings.com … CU a No. 6 seed in the NIT (Cal a No. 1 seed; Utah a No. 4; CSU a No. 5)

From BracketMatrix … CU a No. 7 seed in the NIT (Cal a No. 1 seed; Utah a No. 2; CSU a No. 7)

From CUBuffs.com … With an NCAA Tournament bid now off the table, the Colorado Buffaloes will wait until Sunday night to see if the NIT comes calling.

But that didn’t stop CU head coach Tad Boyle from expressing what kind of team he thinks the Buffs could have been this season. After an 0-7 Pac-12 start, the Buffs finished strong by winning eight of their last 11 regular season games, then went 1-1 in the conference tournament.

“I believe we’re an NCAA Tournament team,” Boyle said. “We know we’re not going to get in, but I think we’ve got NCAA Tournament-caliber talent.”

Boyle even used that as a source of motivation before CU’s Thursday night game against Arizona, one which saw the Buffs come up on the short end of a 92-78 decision.

“The challenge I gave our guys tonight: Look, you want to play in the NCAA Tournament? This game is an NCAA Tournament game against an NCAA Tournament team in an NCAA Tournament venue. And we came up short, so our season is most likely over.”

But after the game, Boyle did not sound too confident about receiving an NIT bid, although most projections have the Buffs in the 32-team field.

Boyle is familiar with the NIT. In his first season in Boulder, the Buffs finished strong but were snubbed by the NCAA, then ended up earning a No. 1 seed in the NIT and making a run to the NIT Final Four.

“If we get the invite, we’ll take it,” Boyle said. “I’d love to keep coaching these guys. … I’m not planning on it, but I’m sure hoping for it. I think we have enough talent to be playing in that thing.”

… The NIT bracket will be released Sunday at 6:30 p.m. and will be televised by ESPNU.

March 9th – Las Vegas – Pac-12 tournament          No. 7 Arizona 92, Colorado 78

Related … “Arizona’s second-half surge dooms CU Buffs in Pac-12 tourney” … From the Daily Camera 

From CUBuffs.com … Now the waiting game begins.

Despite 31 points from guard Derrick White, the Colorado Buffaloes couldn’t match Arizona’s firepower down the stretch Thursday night, dropping a 92-78 decision to the Wildcats in the Pac-12 quarterfinals at T-Mobile Arena.

Now 19-14 on the year, the Buffs will wait for Sunday’s postseason tournament invitations to be issued. Any thoughts of an NCAA bid were snuffed by the seventh-ranked Wildcats, but Tad Boyle‘s crew is still hoping a call from the NIT will extend their season.

White’s 31 points — the most by a Buff in Pac-12 postseason play and fourth-most by a CU player in Colorado’s postseason history — led all scorers. Xavier Johnson added 20 for Colorado and George King chipped in 11, but they were the only Buffs to finish with more than one field goal.The Wildcats countered with five players in double figures, led by Lauri Markkanen with 20.

HOW IT HAPPENED: For at least a half Thursday night, visions of a conference tournament run were still dancing through the Buffs’ heads. Colorado fell behind by as much as nine in the first half, but rallied to take the lead momentarily, and trailed by only one, 38-37, at intermission.

But the Wildcats broke from the gate with a 14-2 run to start the second half and while Colorado managed to cut the gap back to seven at one point, the Buffs could never come closer than that again. Arizona shot a blistering 64 percent from the field in the second half (16-for-25), including 6-for-8 from 3-point range, while the Buffs hit just 12 of their 31 field goal tries after intermission.

“There’s nothing to be ashamed of when you lose to a team like Arizona,” Boyle said. “These guys, they’re a legitimate top 10 team in the country and I think they showed it tonight. I thought our guys really competed, especially that first half. The second half of the game got away from us a little bit in terms of not being able to make shots. We had some good looks that just didn’t go down.”

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Arizona preview – No. 7 seed CU v. No. 2 seed Arizona

From CUBuffs.com … For the fifth time in six Pac-12 tournament appearances, the Colorado Buffaloes will face off with the Arizona Wildcats, this one coming Thursday in a 7 p.m. quarterfinal matchup at T-Mobile Arena.

“A great challenge,” said CU coach Tad Boyle, whose Buffs dropped an 82-73 decision to the Wildcats earlier this season in Tucson. “I talked about that with Sean (Miller, UA coach) a couple weeks ago, and here we are again.”

CU’s first tourney appearance against the Wildcats ended on a high note, as the Buffs beat Arizona in the 2012 tournament final to earn an NCAA berth. But since then, the Buffs have lost three in a row to the ‘Cats in the Pac-12 postseason.

Now, they have a chance to end that streak — but to do that, they know they can’t afford to put forth a first half like they did in Wednesday night’s tournament opener, when they fell behind by 19 to Washington State before rallying for the win.

“We play a first half like we did tonight and Arizona, number one, is probably not going to let us back in the game, and number two, instead of a 14-point game at halftime, it might be a 24-point game at halftime,” Boyle said. “The one thing we know about Arizona, they’re very efficient. They don’t beat themselves. You have to go beat Arizona, and the way you beat them is to be rock solid defensively.”

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March 8th – Las Vegas – Pac-12 tournament           Colorado 73, Washington State 63

Related … “Derrick White sparks rally as CU Buffs race past WSU in Pac-12 tourney” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … Earlier this week, Colorado senior Derrick White said conference tournaments are moments when big-time players make big-time plays.

White delivered exactly that for the Buffs on Wednesday, fueling a furious second-half Colorado rally that produced a 73-63 win over Washington State in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament at T-Mobile Arena.

The win, Colorado’s third in a row and ninth in their last 12 games, means the Buffs’ season is alive for at least another day. The seventh-seeded Buffs (19-13) will face second seed Arizona on Thursday in a 7 p.m. matchup (Pac-12 Network).

“It was a tale of two halves, obviously,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “First half, I thought our defense was atrocious. … But our second half, our guys really dialed in, and the numbers show it.”

Indeed, the Buffs appeared on their way to a one-and-done appearance after the first 20 minutes, a half in which they trailed by as much as 19 and were still down by 14 at intermission, 41-27.

But sparked by 15 points and four assists from White in the second half, the Buffs went on a 32-11 tear to turn a 14-point halftime deficit into a seven-point lead, 59-52, with just more than six minutes to go.

The Cougars then rallied to cut the margin back to two, but the Buffs quickly rebuilt the cushion to hold WSU at bay down the stretch for the win.

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March 7th

… CU in the Arena …

Boyle Named To USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup Team Staff

From CUBuffs.com … The 2017 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup Team will be led by Naismith Basketball Memorial Hall of Fame member John Calipari (Kentucky) as the head coach with successful collegiate head coaches Tad Boyle (Colorado) and Danny Manning (Wake Forest), a 1988 Olympic bronze medalist, serving as USA assistant coaches.

The coaching staff was selected by the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.

“USA Basketball has assembled an outstanding staff led by Coach Calipari, and the team will excel under their leadership,” said Matt Painter, Purdue University head coach and chair of the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee.

As the 2013 and 2015 FIBA U19 World Champion, the USA will look to defend its titles at the 16-team 2017 FIBA U19 World Championship from July 1-9 in Cairo, Egypt.

Training camp to select the 12-member USA U19 World Cup Team will be held June 18-25 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Athletes eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens who are 19 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1998).

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Getting to Know: Washington State – 1st round, Pac-12 tournament, Las Vegas

Game … Wednesday, March 8th, 7:00 p.m., Pac-12 Networks, 760 AM radio; Sirius 145; XM 197

Game Notes … From CUBuffs.com

OPENING TIP: Colorado is in its sixth Pac-12 Tournament holding an overall record of 9-4 in the championship. The Buffaloes are 5-0 all-time in Pac-12 first round games, and have won at least one tournament game (advancing to the quarterfinal round) in each of their five appearances. Colorado is also 5-0 as the higher seeded team. The Buffaloes took a historic route to the 2012 Pac-12 Championship, winning four games in four days at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in 2012.

Colorado is 44-63 in all-time postseason play a mark that includes a 22-39 record in conference tournaments. The Buffaloes were 4-20 in the Big Eight Tournament between 1977-96 and 9-15 in the Big 12 Championship between 1997-2011. Head coach Tad Boyle owns half of Colorado’s all-time conference tournament wins. He is 11-5 in conference tournament action, including a 2-1 mark in Colorado’s final year of the Big 12. Boyle has led the Buffaloes to a conference semifinal or better in three of his six seasons. Boyle is also 6-0 as Colorado’s head coach in first round conference tournament games.

Related

… “Boyle’s Buffs Have History On Their Side In Pac-12 Tourney Opener” … From CUBuffs.com

… “Rugged road to Pac-12 title begins against WSU for CU Buffs” … from the Daily Camera

Quotable Tad Boyle … “The key is to be aggressive, hungry — aggressive without fouling,” Boyle said. “Take the fight to your opponent. You can’t come out walking on eggshells, worried about making mistakes. You’ve got to come out guns a blazing, playing with confidence, playing with aggressiveness and not playing afraid to lose. Playing to win and playing expecting to leave it all out on the floor. In a 7-10 matchup like this, the winner is going to refuse to lose.”

Washington State 2016-17 Season:  Washington State is 13-17 and finished tied with Stanford for ninth place in the Pac-12 at 6-12. Stanford won the tie-breaker due to its 84-54 win over WSU on Jan. 12. The Cougars have won two of their last four. Washington State averages 70.5 points on 46 percent from the field. Defensively, the Cougars allow 76.8 points per game while opponents shoot 46 percent from the field.

Senior forward Josh Hawkinson leads Washington State at 15.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game while shooting 53 percent from the field. Freshman guard Malachi Flynn is third on the team in scoring at 10.1 points per game while leading the Cougars in 3-pointers with 58. Junior guard Ike Iroegbu averages 12.5 points and a team-best 3.6 assists per game.

Series:  This will be the 14th meeting between Colorado and Washington State with the Buffaloes holding a 10-3 series edge. The teams split their season series, each winning at home. Colorado has won 9 of 11 since joining the Pac-12 for the 2011-12 season. This will be the second postseason meeting between the two teams, and a rematch of last year’s first round Pac-12 Tournament game won by the Buffaloes, 80-56.

CU 5-0 in Pac-12 conference tournament openers

From CUBuffs.com … When the Colorado Buffaloes open play against Washington State in Wednesday’s opening round of the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas (7 p.m., Pac-12 Network), the Buffs will have history on their side.

For starters, the game is a rematch of last year’s tourney opener, when the Buffs claimed an 80-56 win over WSU.

The setup is similar this time around, although the two teams split their season series this year. The Buffs dropped a 91-89 overtime decision in their first meeting Jan. 21 in Pullman; then rolled to an 81-49 win three weeks later in Boulder.

Now, the rubber match will again come in the Pac-12 tournament, where Tad Boyle‘s Buffs hope to repeat last year’s result.

“We know each other, we know each other’s plays, we know each other’s tendencies and personnel,” Boyle said. “It’s the third time for them, third time for us — there’s no advantage either way.”

But there’s more to history being on the Buffs’ side than just last year’s game.

Also in CU’s corner is Colorado’s tournament performances under Boyle.

Since taking the reins in Boulder, Boyle is a perfect 6-0 in conference tourney openers (1-0 Big 12, 5-0 Pac-12). Boyle owns a 9-4 record at CU in Pac-12 tournament play (2-1 Big 12), and his teams have advanced to at least the semifinals in three of his six conference tournaments with the Buffs.

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March 6th

… CU in the Arena …

Senior Day recognition video

Derrick White named first-team All-Pac-12 and All-Defensive team

From CUBuffs.com … University of Colorado senior Derrick White has been named to the 2017 All-Pac-12 Conference First Team and All-Defensive Team the league office announced Monday.

White is one of 10 members of the All-Pac-12 First Team as voted on by league coaches. He is Colorado’s sixth All-Pac-12 First Team selection and the fourth individual (Josh Scott and Andre Roberson were two-time picks). White is also the sixth Colorado player to be named to a conference’s All-Defensive team.

A 6-foot, 5-inch guard from Parker, Colo., White leads Colorado at 17.0 points, 4.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 51 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free throw line. He is the second-leading scorer in the Pac-12 during league games at 18.5 an outing.

Overall White is fourth in scoring, sixth in assists, seventh in free throw percentage and blocks (1.5 bpg), 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7), 12th in 3-point percentage (.402) and 13th in steals. He is the only player in the Pac-12 to rank among the league’s top 10 in scoring, assists and blocks.

Nine of White’s 12 games of 20-plus points have come during Pac-12 play including a team season-high 35 points at Arizona State. His 528 points rank 19th on CU’s single-season list and his 132 assists are 14th.

Derrick White named team Most Valuable Player at team banquet

From CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado men’s basketball team celebrated the 2016-17 season at its annual Awards Banquet Sunday at the George Boedecker, Jr., Practice Gym at the Coors Events Center.

Senior guard Derrick White received the Chauncey Billups Award as the team’s Most Valuable Player. The Chauncey Billups MVP Award is one of four voted on by Colorado men’s basketball student-athletes. Junior forward Tory Miller won the Most Improved Player Award, senior forward Wesley Gordon was named the team’s Best Defender and junior guard George King was voted Most Inspirational.

In addition, two statistical champion awards were handed out. King won the Stephane Pelle Rebounding Award while White earned the Jay Humphries Assist Award.

White leads the Buffaloes at 17.0 points, 4.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game. His 528 points rank 19th on CU’s single-season list and are the second-most by a transfer in his first season. White is shooting 51 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range and 80 percent from the free throw line.

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March 5th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU to face No. 10 seed Washington State in first round of Pac-12 tournament

Related … “Fate Brewing Company Official Pac-12 Watch Party Headquarters” … from CUBuffs.com

From CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado is the seventh seed in the 2017 Pac-12 Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament and will face No. 10 seed Washington State on Wednesday, March 8, at 7 p.m. MT at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

This will be the second straight first round meeting between Colorado and Washington State. In 2016, the fifth seeded Buffaloes cruised to an 80-56 win over the Cougars at the Las Vegas MGM Grand Garden Arena.

The winner of Wednesday’s first round game will play No. 2 seed Arizona, on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Colorado finished the regular season at 18-13 overall and in sole possession of seventh place in the Pac-12 standings at 8-10. The Buffaloes rebounded from a 0-7 start in league play to win eight of their last 11 games.

Washington State was 13-17 in the regular season and finished tied with Stanford for ninth in the Pac-12 at 6-12. Stanford gained the ninth seed by virtue of its 84-54 win over the Cougars on Jan. 12 in the only meeting between the teams.

Colorado and Washington State split the regular season series, with each team winning at home. Washington State squeaked out a 91-89 decision in Corvallis on Jan. 21. Colorado countered with a convincing 81-49 triumph at the Coors Events Center on Feb. 12.

This will be the 14th meeting between Colorado and Washington State with the Buffaloes holding a 10-3 series edge.

Colorado enters its sixth Pac-12 Tournament holding an overall record of 9-4 in the championship. The Buffaloes have won at least one tournament game (advancing to the quarterfinal round) in each of its previous five appearances. This week marks the fifth anniversary of Colorado’s four wins in four days to claim the 2012 Pac-12 Tournament title at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

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March 4th – Boulder          Colorado 54, California 48

Related“CU Buffs men’s basketball holds off Cal in defensive battle” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … One game after putting on an offensive clinic against Stanford, the Colorado Buffaloes struggled to find the basket Saturday afternoon against Cal.

But the Buffs did play solid defense and when it mattered most, they scored — enough to come away with a 54-46 win over Bears in the regular season finale for both teams.

The win, CU’s second in a row, gave the Buffs an 18-13 overall record and an 8-10 Pac-12 mark while the Bears slipped to 19-11, 10-8.

Colorado trailed for much of the first half, but took the lead with 12:30 to go in the game and never relinquished the edge.

Fittingly, it was a 3-point bucket from senior Derrick White on Senior Day that clinched the win. With 20 seconds remaining and the shot clock ticking down, White buried a trey in front of the CU bench to give the Buffs a 52-46 lead with just 20.6 seconds remaining.

After Xavier Johnson hit two free throws with 5.9 remaining to give CU its final points, head coach Tad Boyle took his seniors — Johnson, White, Wesley Gordon and Josh Fortune — out of the game to an ovation from the crowd.

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March 3rd 

… CU in the Arena …

Getting to Know: Cal

Game … Saturday, March 4th, 12:00 p.m., Pac-12 Networks, 850 AM radio; Sirius 137; XM 197

Game Notes … From CUBuffs.com

OPENING TIP: Saturday is Senior Day for four Colorado seniors, Wesley Gordon, Xavier Johnson, Josh Fortune and Derrick White. The players and their families will be introduced pregame, approximately 20 minutes before tip and will address the fans individually immediately after the contest.

ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 17-13 overall and tied with Arizona State for seventh place in the Pac-12 at 7-10. The Buffaloes are coming off their best offensive game of the season, a 91-72 win over Stanford on March. 2. Colorado recorded season highs in points and field goals (35) while shooting 56.5 percent from the field. The Buffaloes had 25 assists, their most in two years, while committing only six turnovers.

Overall Colorado has won seven of 10 games since beginning the Pac-12 season 0-7. With the win over Stanford, Colorado secured no less than the No. 9 seed in the upcoming Pac-12 Tournament, March 8-11, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The Buffaloes could still be as high the No. 7 seed, with the simplest route being a win over California and having Arizona State lose to Arizona on Saturday afternoon. The Sun Devils hold the tie breaker over Colorado due to their 78-77 win in Tempe back on Jan. 5th.

Related

… “CU Hosts Cal As Four Buffs Celebrate Senior Day” … From CUBuffs.com

… “Derrick White’s improbable college hoops journey culminates at final CU home game” … from the Daily Camera

Quotable Tad Boyle … “I want them (the four seniors, playing their last home game) to go out with a bang, hopefully, and a positive taste in their mouth about their experience here,” Boyle said.

California 2016-17 Season:  California is 19-10 overall and tied with Utah for fourth place in the Pac-12 at 10-7. The Golden Bears have lost four of their last five including a 74-44 setback to Utah on Thursday night. Cal is averaging 69 points on 43 percent shooting. The Golden Bears are the Pac-12’s best scoring and field goal percentage defense team allowing 62.2 points while giving up just 39.2 percent from the field. Cal is the best rebounding team in the Pac-12, grabbing 39.4 boards per game.

Sophomore forward Ivan Rabb leads California by sporting the season double-double at 14.4 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. Senior Jabari Bird averages 14.3 points and 5.0 rebounds, while ranking second on the team with 57 3-point field goals. Freshman guard Charlie Moore leads California in assists (109) and steals (32) while averaging 12.7 points an outing.

Series:  This will be the 29th meeting between Colorado and California with the Golden Bears holding a 15-13 edge. California won the first meeting of the season, 77-66 in Berkeley on Feb. 5. The Golden Bears have a 6-5 lead in the series since the Buffaloes joined the Pac-12 in 2011-12. Colorado has won nine of 11 all-time meetings in Boulder, including a 70-62 decision on Jan. 31, 2016.

CU men’s basketball attendance second-lowest in the Tad Boyle era

From the Daily Camera … All those empty seats at the Coors Events Center are becoming too glaring for the University of Colorado to ignore.

This week, CU athletic director Rick George conceded the dwindling attendance numbers witnessed at CU men’s basketball games this season has been a disappointment, and that it is a situation he will address with head coach Tad Boyle in addition to members of CU’s athletics and marketing departments over the spring and summer in hopes of reversing the trend.

“It’s become an issue,” George said. “I know we haven’t had the season that we’ve wanted to, but we have a good basketball program that deserves better support than it has been getting. That’s something we’re going to look at. Especially with all the good things our marketing department has done with the football program and all the success with attendance that we saw there this year. We have to build on that momentum.”

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March 2nd – Boulder        Colorado 91, Stanford 72

From CUBuffs.com … Earlier this week, Tad Boyle put the Colorado Buffaloes through a drill in which baskets didn’t count unless they were assisted by a teammate.

The Buffs took the lesson to heart. Colorado recorded a season-high 25 assists Thursday night and rolled to a 91-72 win over Stanford at the Coors Events Center.

The win, which ended a two-game skid and provided head coach Tad Boyle with his 100th win at the Events Center, improved the Buffs to 17-13 overall and 7-10 in Pac-12 play while Stanford dropped to 14-15, 6-11.

The assists meant balanced scoring, as the Buffs put six different players in double figures, led by Xavier Johnson, George King and Lucas Siewert with 15 points each. Wesley Gordon, Tory Millerand Deleon Brown each added 10 while Derrick White had nine points, eight assists, two rebounds and two steals.

HOW IT HAPPENED: The Buffs broke open a close game with a 16-5 run to start the second half, expanding a six-point halftime lead into a 17-point margin — then continued to build the cushion.

Continue reading story here

NEXT UP: The Buffs close their regular season Saturday at home with a noon game vs. Stanford, then opens the Pac-12 tournament on Wednesday in Las Vegas.

CU women fall, 79-78, to Washington State in Pac-12 tournament

From CUBuffs.com … Down by nine points in the fourth quarter, the Colorado women’s basketball team battled back to within one before falling 79-78 to Washington State in the opening round of the Pac-12 Conference Tournament.

Sophomore Monica Burich, shooting for Kennedy Leonard, missed a game-tying free throw with 12 seconds to play after Leonard hit the floor on a layup that cut CU’s deficit to 79-78. Trainers came on the floor to attend to Leonard, sending her to the bench for one possession.

The No. 10-seeded Buffaloes’ final possession ended with a missed jump shot by Ariana Freeman, closing out JR Payne‘s first season at 15-15 and launching a waiting game for a possible WNIT bid.

“We got exactly what we wanted,” Payne said of the final possession. “We got our best finisher near the basket with a ball and an opportunity to score the ball. We’ve said all year long, Ariana makes the toughest shots of any player we’ve ever coached.”

CU had four players in double figures, topped by Haley Smith with 21 points. Alexis Robinson added 17, Freeman scored 16 and Makenzie Ellis 11. Leonard, the Buffs’ leading scorer, finished with 8 points, going 3-of-13 from the field.

CU fell to 3-2 in Pac-12 first-round games and 5-6 overall in the tourney since joining the conference for the 2011-12 season. The Buffs and Cougars split their regular season games, with CU winning 70-58 in Boulder before dropping a 67-56 decision last Saturday in Pullman, Wash.

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March 1st 

… CU in the Arena … 

Getting to Know: Stanford

Game … Thursday, March 2nd, 7:00 p.m. (MT), ESPN2, 760 AM radio; Sirius 81; XM 81

Game Notes … From CUBuffs.com

OPENING TIP: A win Thursday would give Colorado head coach Tad Boyle two significant milestones. It would be his 100th win at the Coors Events Center (entering game 99-18 overall in his seventh season) and also his 147th win at Colorado which would tie him for third in all-time wins at the school with Forrest B. “Frosty” Cox, who led the Buffaloes to a 147-89 record from 1936-50.

ABOUT THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 16-13 overall and tied with Stanford and Washington State for eighth place in the Pac-12 at 6-10. The group is one-half game behind Arizona State for seventh place. The Sun Devils are 7-10 with a single home game against rival Arizona on Saturday. The Buffaloes have dropped their last two, but have also won six of nine since opening the conference season with seven-straight losses. Colorado is coming off an 86-81 setback to Utah in its only action last week.

Colorado could still mathematically finish as high as sixth in the final Pac-12 standings, USC currently sits in that spot at 8-8, but with tiebreakers involved the Buffaloes will be in the No. 7-10 seed range for the upcoming Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas, March 8-11. Colorado would need to win both games this weekend, and have Arizona State lose to Arizona, to capture the No. 7 seed.

Related

… “Buffs Gear For Visit From Surging Stanford” … From CUBuffs.com

… “Buffs Ready For Theft-Minded Stanford Defense” … From CUBuffs.com

… “Josh Fortune aims for one last flurry of 3-pointers for CU basketball” … From the Daily Camera

… “Wesley Gordon hopes to end inconsistent year with wins in final CU Buffs home games” … from the Daily Camera

Quotable Tad Boyle … “The thought for the day for our team today was there are two types of teams this time of year,” Boyle said. “Those that can’t wait for the season to be over and those that don’t want it to end. We have to be the latter.”

Stanford 2016-17 Season:  Stanford is 14-14 overall and resides in a three-way tie with Colorado and Washington State for eighth in the Pac-12 at 6-10. The Cardinal have won two of their last three, wrapping up their home season with wins over California and Oregon State before falling just short against Oregon in their home finale. Stanford is just 1-8 in road games this year with its only win coming at Oregon State on Jan. 19.

The Cardinal are next-to-last in scoring in the Pac-12 at 69.4 points per game while shooting 44 percent from the floor. Stanford is last in the Pac-12 in 3-point shooting (.312) and has also made and taken the fewest among league schools (132 of 423). Defensively, Stanford allows 69.6 points on 44 percent shooting. The Cardinal rank second in the Pac-12 in steals (6.8 spg) and third in turnover margin (plus-1.7). Junior forward Reid Travis leads Stanford and ranks third in the Pac- 12 in scoring at 17.7 points per game and is fifth in rebounding at 8.8 an outing.

Series:  This will be the 20th meeting between Colorado and Stanford with the Buffaloes taking a 10-9 edge in the series after their 81-74 win over the Cardinal on Feb. 2. The Buffaloes have won the last seven and 7 of 9 since joining the Pac-12 for the 2011-12 season. Colorado leads the series 6-3 in Boulder and has won the last three at the Coors Events Center.

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February 28th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs still have plenty to play for 

From CUBuffs.com … It has been, without a doubt, one of the more frustrating seasons for Tad Boyle in his six years as the Colorado basketball coach.

A team tabbed by many as having NCAA Tournament talent has, in his words, underachieved — albeit by the smallest of margins.

With a 16-13 overall record and a 6-10 conference mark, the Buffs are literally four possessions away from being 20-9 and 10-6 — literally a team playing to improve its NCAA Tournament seed down the home stretch of the season.

But in a sport where every possession counts, where the slimmest margin for error creates a gulf between the haves and have-nots, the Buffs find themselves on the wrong side of that chasm. Those four possessions in games the Buffs led in the final minute have now left  Colorado in the unenviable position of needing four straight wins in the Pac-12 tournament to simply earn an NCAA berth.

It’s not an impossible task — the Buffs actually accomplished the feat five seasons ago in Boyle’s second year in Boulder — but given that three of the nation’s top 10 teams currently reside in the Pac-12, it’s highly unlikely.

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12 Replies to “Colorado Basketball”

  1. Well, this basketball season landed with a thud. Sorry to see White graduate, he gives 100% effort and plays smart every game. The rest of the senior class, not so much. What a disappointment Gordon and Fortune were this season. X Johnson played well in spurts but was inconsistent. No excuse for Johnson and Gordon to be suspended as seniors. Really?

    Boyle seems to recruit talented players who don’t play hard every game nor play as a team. No mental toughness, no “go to” players that want the ball to win the game. White was the first player I’ve seen do that since Dinwiddle left, he will be missed. Without White, the 2016-17 team would have been under .500.

    That has to change to consistently go to the big dance and win games. There was a time at CU when an occasional winning season was accepted. Not today.

  2. well this season was finally put out of its misery. The entire PAC 12 NIT contingent went out like drowned kittens. Schwartz better be the second coming of White and Battey better be the second coming of Wes Unseld if this team is going to do any better next year

  3. Well now. Double NIT blast. Congrats to the Mighty Buff BB teams.

    Been to the post season every year that “Tadball” has been in Boulder. Yup gotta count that one a couple of years ago too. Quite the deal for the Buffs.

    Hoping that at some point the next level of “Success in the post season”……sweet 16……(Gotta win two dang games in a row)……….IN THE NCAA of course……….arrives.

    Now of course you know that “Payneball” has been to the post season ever year as well. Nice

    Buffs

    Free Mac2
    Free RG

  4. WOW

    I like it.

    Gotta get by UCF. UCF coach Dawkins was Stanford the coach. Boyle was 6 and 2 against him with both losses coming in the first year. Gotta whip em.

    Okay then they gotta win the next one, Illinois state or that UC-whatever school.

    Because if they can win those two they will most likely get Utah for the third time to get to the final whatever it is. Payback eh? And if not Utah, then Illinois which is also a payback.

    I just wanna see this team play 5 great games. Please.

    Buffs

    Free Mac2
    Free RG

  5. “…..Tad Boyle didn’t sound overly optimistic that the 19-14 Buffs would receive an NIT bid, saying, “We came up short, so our season is most likely over.”

    Whoa Nellie. Tad playing the reverse angle. Remember his first year….Big Party..His house…Watch the NCAA selection show………..tv………….
    But Nooooooooooooooooooo.. Got the NIT bid instead.

    Dang nab it. I want them in the NIT. Wanna see White a couple more times.

    Don’t mess this up NIT……………….

    Buffs.

    Free Mac2
    Free RG

  6. For Derrick White’s sake, I hope they earn an NIT bid. A young man who could not earn a D-I look coming out of high school certainly made the most out of his only year playing Division I hoops – making 1st team all-conference in a league that (as of this week’s rankings at least) is home to 3 of the top 7 teams in the country. I’m going to be sorry to see his season end. I wager he is too.

    Intuitively, as someone whose time at CU spanned the final year of the Apke era and the first three years of the Miller disaster that followed it, it still feels a bit surreal to me to be disappointed at a 19-14 season and a possible NIT bid. Once upon a generation ago, nineteen wins took a couple of years, at least, to amass for the Buffs. Now, it’s a down season.

  7. Great now in the NIT Bracket projections. It looks like the first game in two of the Brackets could be Illinois. In the other one Indiana.

    Okay revenge city.

    Buffs.

    Free Mac2
    Free RG

  8. At this time:
    6 pm mst March 5th,
    Colorado is not in the “Bracketology” for the NIT.

    Go Buffs.

    Note CSU is dang nab it

    Free Mac2
    Free RG

  9. Veektor. Si amigo.

    Hope all goes well in Vegas…. and that they stay in Vegas till the end.

    Loved the way they moved the ball. Just hope the Cardinal doesn’t come up with an answer in the meantime.

    Go Buffs

  10. “…………Earlier this week, Tad Boyle put the Colorado Buffaloes through a drill in which baskets didn’t count unless they were assisted by a teammate……………”

    This kind of info only deserves one comment:

    Why the hell did it take you 29 games to do that?

    Buffs.

    1. Agreed. Sounds like Tad did the tighten up on these guys. I’ll be at the game on Weds night. I hope I see the enthusiasm then , that I have in the last 2 games.

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