Colorado Basketball

February 29th

… CU in the Arena … 

Wright calls out teammates: “We have to step up … and have some pride in our defense”

From the Daily Camera …  It was a relatively long postgame gathering in the Colorado Buffaloes’ locker room Thursday night.

The Buffs had just trudged down into the bowels of Cal’s Haas Pavilion on the heels of their second consecutive loss — the first time since early December the 21st-ranked Buffs have dropped back-to-back games.

Unlike CU’s two most recent losses at home against UCLA and at Oregon, Thursday’s debacle was not an instance of the Buffs playing well for most of the contest, only to let a win slip away down the stretch. The Buffs led a Bears team that had lost five of its previous six games only briefly in the first half before Cal once again took control. This was the sort of drubbing the Buffs endured at Kansas and at Arizona, except this time it occurred against a team that entered the contest fighting to stay out of the Pac-12 Conference basement.

… “I called them out individually, man to man, and I told them to not take it personal, but we have to step up as an individual and be able to guard our matchup and take that personal and have some pride in our defense,” Wright said. “Credit to Cal. They made a lot of tough shots. We’ve just got to be better on the defensive end.”

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February 28th

… CU in the Arena … 

CBS Sports: Pac-12 could match NCAA tournament bid total from last two seasons

From CBS Sports … A season ago, the last place team in the Pac-12 featured a nonconference resume highlighted by a home win over the 116th team in NET.

This season’s last-place team defeated No. 2 Baylor in a neutral-site game.

The most maligned power conference in college basketball over the last two seasons may not have a dominant team this season. But the Pac-12 finally has a middle class again, and its lower-tier is benefitting from an influx of new coaches and talent that is lifting the overall fortunes of a league that slipped into national irrelevance in 2018 and 2019.

This week began with the Pac-12 locked in the tightest race in the country, with just one game separating the top five teams in the league. Six teams have at least shared a tie for the conference lead over the last eight weeks, and six enter Thursday’s action as projected entrants to NCAA Tournament by CBS Sports Bracketology Expert Jerry Palm. A seventh, UCLA, has emerged on the bubble with nine wins in its past 11 games under first-year coach Mick Cronin.

“Definitely, the league is better,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle told CBS Sports. “It’s more balanced and it’s stronger throughout.”

And in some ways, the league is a year ahead of schedule. After two straight seasons of sending just three teams to the NCAA Tournament, the Pac-12 CEO Group voted last year to implement scheduling standards starting with the 2020-21 season.

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February 27th – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs lay an egg in Berkeley, fall to Cal, 76-62

Related“Cal dominates from start to finish in topping No. 21 CU Buffs” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com …  Nothing went right for Colorado here Thursday, as the cold-shooting Buffaloes fell behind by 12 at the half and never recovered in a 76-62 loss to California at Haas Pavilion.

The Buffaloes’ second straight defeat — only their second two-game losing streak of the season and first in Pac-12 play — dropped CU to 21-8 overall and 10-6 in Pac-12 play. Cal improved to 12-16, 6-9.

Just one week ago, the Buffs were alone atop the Pac-12 standings. Now, after losses to UCLA and Cal, Colorado is in danger of slipping out of the league’s top four and losing the first round conference tournament bye that goes with that finish.

McKinley Wright IV led the Buffs with 18 points, six rebounds and four assists, Tyler Bey added 13 points and five rebounds and Lucas Siewert scored 11.

Cal’s Matt Bradley finished with a career-high tying 26 points that included a 5-for-7 night from 3-point range, and the 76 points were Cal’s season high in Pac-12 play.

The Buffs struggled all night from the floor. CU entered the game as the league’s best 3-point shooting team in Pac-12 play, but finished just 6-for-29 from beyond the arc (20.7 percent), including a dismal 3-for-20 in the second half. Cal — one of the league’s worst-shooting teams — shot 46.3 percent from the floor (25-for-54), including 9-for-20 from 3-point range.

Colorado committed just 11 turnovers in the game, but those led to a 21-5 Cal edge in points off turnovers.

“We’ve got some holes right now in our lineup and and guys are struggling a little bit,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “Our defense has left us. We’ve got some guys who can’t make shots right now and they get their heads down. Defensively we’re not tough enough. Execution, toughness and discipline win games this time of year and we’re not that team.”

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Buffs tip off three-game road trip with visit to Cal (7:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

From CUBuffs.com … No. 21 (AP)/20 (Coaches) ranked Colorado is 21-7 overall and in a three-way tie for second place in the Pac-12 Conference at 10-5; one-half game behind league leading Arizona State (10-4). The Buffaloes split their final homestand last week, defeating USC 70-66 on Feb. 20 before falling to UCLA, 70-63, on
Feb. 22.

The Buffaloes have won seven of their last 10 and 14 of their last 19. Colorado is 33-11 over its last 44 games.

Colorado will end the regular season with three road games for the first time since 2013-14, when the Buffaloes faced the same three programs they’ll battle over the next two weeks (at Utah, then at Stanford and California in 2014).

It’s the sixth time in 10 seasons the Buffaloes have 10 or more conference wins. CU’s Pac-12 best is 11, in 2011-12 (11-7). Colorado’s 21 regular season wins ties for the best in program history, achieved three other times: 1996-97, 2013-14 and 2015-16. Overall, it ties for the seventh-most wins counting postseason (see page 5).

Colorado’s 21-7 record matches that of the 1968-69 Big Eight championship team for the best 28-game mark in team history. That Buffaloes team, which won the Big Eight at 10-4, finished their season at 21-7 after going 1-1 in the NCAA Tournament.

ABOUT THE GOLDEN BEARS: California is 11-16 overall and ninth in the Pac-12 at 5-9. The Golden Bears stopped a four-game skid by picking up their first road win of the season (1-8) with a 66-57 decision at Washington State on Feb. 19. Cal has been much better at Haas Pavilion with a 10-5 record. California averages 62.4 points per game while shooting 42.1 percent from the field. The Bears have only reached 70 points three times in 14 league games. Defensively, California allows 68.7 points while opponents are shooting 42.5 percent. The Bears are the third best rebounding defense team, allowing 33.4 boards per game.

Sophomore guard Matt Bradley leads California and ranks fifth in the Pac-12 in scoring at 17.4 points per game. Bradley is the only Bear averaging in double figures and accounts for 28 percent of Cal’s scoring. Bradley has a team-best 54 3-point field goals and ranks fourth in the Pac-12 in free throw shooting at 85.0 percent. Senior guard Kareem South is second on the team in scoring (8.8 ppg) and 3-pointers (31). Junior forward Grant Anticevich tops California in rebounding at 5.5 per game while averaging 8.4 points an outing. Senior guard Paris Austin paces the Bears in assists (63) while averaging 8.5 points per game.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 34th meeting between Colorado and California with the Buffaloes holding an 18-15 edge. Colorado has won five straight and six of seven from the Bears. The Buffaloes took a 71-65 decision in Boulder on Feb. 6. California has won 12 of 14 all-time meetings in Berkeley. Last season, the Buffaloes won for just the second time in Berkeley, 68-59, on Jan. 24.

Buffs hoping to overcome recent history of slow starts

From the Daily Camera … The Colorado Buffaloes got away with a slow start the last time they played Cal, as well as on several other occasions during Pac-12 Conference play.

It’s a bad habit head coach Tad Boyle hopes gets corrected when the Buffs visit the Golden Bears Thursday night at Haas Pavilion (7 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks).

Cal enters Thursday’s game ranked eighth in the Pac-12 in defensive field goal percentage, but in Boulder on Feb. 6 the Bears held the Buffs to a .393 mark in the first half before CU finally came alive, shooting .591 after halftime.

That wasn’t the only time the Buffs have authored that sort of script. Against Stanford two days later, the Buffs shot just .286 in the first half but erupted for a .700 mark (14-for-20) in the second half. In a home win against USC last week CU shot .345 in the first half but shot. 607 after halftime.

With three games remaining in the regular season, all on the road, surviving slow starts probably is not a habit that will remain sustainable over the final two weeks of the regular season.

“We haven’t gotten off to good starts the last couple games,” Boyle said. “The bench sometimes has been inconsistent. Sometimes there’s production coming off the bench and sometimes there’s not. But you know what? The starters have been inconsistent too in terms of getting us to (good starts). And everybody has a job to do. And when you’re in that starting five, your job is to be ready to go when that ball is tipped. You are crisp and tough and mentally ready and physically ready and sharp. You’re not lethargic. You’re not waiting to get your sweat going.”

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February 26th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs look for “bounce back” win over Cal (Thurs., 7:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

From CUBuffs.com … While the sting from Saturday’s 70-63 loss to UCLA has by no means worn off, the No. 21/20 Colorado Buffaloes don’t have time to wallow in their misery.

Rather, the Buffs (21-7 overall, 10-5 Pac-12) must turn their attention to a three game road trip to end the regular season, beginning with this week’s two-game stop in the Bay Area. Colorado squares off with Cal on Thursday (7 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Network), then heads across the bay Sunday for a 4 p.m. game at Stanford (ESPNU). After that, CU wraps up its regular season on Saturday, March 7, with a 12:30 p.m. game at Utah.

The loss to UCLA was painful in many ways. It knocked the Buffs out of first place in the Pac-12 standings, it eliminated their chance to guarantee themselves of at least a share of the conference title by winning out, and it dropped them several spots in both national polls as well as the NET rankings.

Now, the Buffs are a half-game out of first place and will need some help to finish at the top of the standings.  CU is part of a five-game group at the top of the standings separated by just one game.

Meanwhile, the Buffs must use the loss to the Bruins as fuel — and if their previous losses this season are any indication, they will do just that.

Colorado has won five games after a loss this season, with the Buffs’ only back-to-back losses coming to Kansas and Northern Iowa in late December.

In those five wins after losses, CU has won by an average of 22.4 points per game. In conference play, the Buffs rebounded from their first four Pac-12 losses with wins by an average margin of more than 26 points per game.

Thursday’s game at Cal will give them a chance to make it five wins after five conference losses.

“We know we shouldn’t be losing those games in the first place,” CU point guard McKinley Wright IV said after Tuesday’s practice. “We’re competing for a conference championship and we know we have to win games. So we’re ready to bounce back after an ‘L,’ especially ones we shouldn’t have lost.”

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February 24th

… CU in the Arena … 

Bracketology: CU remains a No. 5 seed at both CBS and ESPN; still a “100% chance” of making the tournament 

Bracketology by Jerry Palm at CBS Sports … CU remains a No. 5 seed (after splitting with Los Angeles schools last week)

The Pac-12 (five teams in bracket) … Oregon: No. 4 seed (same as last week); Colorado: No. 5 seed (same as last week); Arizona: No. 7 seed (down one from last week); USC: No. 10 seed (down from a No. 7 seed last week); Stanford: No. 11 seed (up one seed from last week)

CU’s first round opponent … v. No. 12 seed East Tennessee State (game to be played in Tampa)

Bracketology by Joe Lunardi at ESPN … CU up a No. 5 seed (same as last week)

The Pac-12 (five teams in bracket) … Oregon: No. 4 seed (up one from last week); Colorado: No. 5 seed (same as last week); Arizona: No. 6 seed (down one from last week): USC: No. 12 seed (down one from last week); Arizona State: No. 9 seed (not rated last week); Stanford: No. 11 seed (same as last week)

CU’s first round opponent … v. No. 12 Liberty (game to be played in Sacramento)

CU moved down from a No. 17 ranking to No.22  CBS Top 25 and 1 … The Buffaloes missed 14 of the 19 3-pointers they attempted in Saturday’s 70-63 loss to UCLA. Colorado is the only team besides Kansas to beat Dayton this season.

Team Rankings.com … CU chances of making NCAA tournament: 100.0% (still!) … Most likely seed: No. 5 (down one from last week) … 34.1% chance of making the Sweet Sixteen (down from 40.3% last week) … 5.7% chance of making the Final Four (down from 7.3% last week) …

CU dips to No. 21 in AP poll, but ranking sets another school record

Note … Even with the drop, the Buffs remained in the poll for the 13th week this season (continuing to add to a school record). And this historical note: CU has now been ranked in 52 polls in the 70-year history of the poll – 13 this season. I’ll help you with the math – a full one-quarter (25%) of CU’s all-time mentions in the AP poll have come during the 2019-20 season … 

From CBS Sports … Saturday afternoon’s marquee matchup between Big 12 foes Kansas and Baylor had conference championship stakes on the line and also the No. 1 ranking in the sport hanging in the balance. Now, after a five-week stay atop the AP Top 25 rankings, Baylor, which lost to Kansas 64-61 on Saturday, is off the top line and being replaced by the Jayhawks. It’s the first time this calendar year and second time this season that KU is ranked No. 1 in the AP Top 25.

The Bears tumbled just one spot to No. 2 in the polls as the result of their first loss since Nov. 8, 2019. Kansas jumped two spots and leapt Gonzaga in the process as well after the Zags fell to BYU, 91-78, on Saturday. Gonzaga dropped just one spot to No. 3.

Despite the small shifting, voters tabbed KU the near unanimous No. 1, with 62 of a possible 64 first-place votes going to the Jayhawks. The remaining two were cast for Baylor.

Rounding out the top five is a flip-flop between Dayton and San Diego State, with Dayton jumping from No. 5 to No. 4 after San Diego State took its first loss of the season on Saturday. It’s the highest ranking for the Flyers since they finished No. 3 in the 1955-1956 season.

All but one of the top 10 teams is the same this week from last week, though the order was shaken after a wacky week of results. The big faller from last week’s top 10 was Penn State, which dropped to No. 16 from No. 9. New to the top 10 is Creighton, jumping five spots to get to No. 10. It’s the firs time since the 2016-17 season the Bluejays have entered the top 10 of the AP poll.

1Kansas24-31,5983
2Baylor24-21,5321
3Gonzaga27-21,4422
4Dayton25-21,5325
5San Diego State26-11,2874
6Florida State23-41,2478
7Duke23-41,1866
8Kentucky22-51,13010
9Maryland22-51,1247
10Creighton22-698615
11Louisville23-596611
12Villanova21-692812
13Seton Hall20-784216
14Oregon21-765314
15Auburn23-464313
16Penn State20-76189
17BYU23-759823
18Iowa19-848920
19Michigan18-9329NR
20West Virginia19-831317
21Colorado21-729118
22Texas Tech18-9226NR
23Ohio State18-921025
24Michigan State18-9160NR
25Houston21-710222

Others receiving votesArizona State 95, Illinois 82, Arizona 71, Butler 51, Virginia 50, Marquette 41, Stephen F. Austin 29, LSU 24, East Tennessee State 13, Utah State 9, Florida 8, Wisconsin 7, New Mexico State 2, Northern Iowa 2, Liberty 2, UCLA 1

 

 

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February 22nd – Game Day!!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs implode in the second half, fall to UCLA, 70-63

From CUBuffs.com … A second-half drought doomed Colorado here Saturday, as the Buffaloes couldn’t protect a nine-point lead and UCLA took a 70-63 win before a sold-out crowd of 11,214 at the CU Events Center.

The No. 18/17 Buffaloes fell to 21-7 overall and 10-5 in Pac-12 play while UCLA improved to 17-11 and 10-5.

The Buffs held a 50-41 lead with 12:34 to play, but the Bruins put together a 20-3 run over the next nine minutes to take a 61-53 edge and the Buffs never recovered. CU went more than seven minutes without scoring and nearly 10 minutes without a field goal in the stretch, and while the Buffs did manage to pull back within three in the final two minutes, it was as close as they could come.

McKinley Wright IV led CU with 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Tyler Bey added 13 points and six rebounds and Evan Battey had 11 points and seven rebounds.

Cody Riley led UCLA with 16 points and Tyger Campbell had 15.

The Buffs held the Bruins to 40 percent shooting in the first half, but allowed UCLA to shoot 56.3 percent after intermission (18-for-32). Colorado also dominated the paint in the first half, outscoring the Bruins 20-8, but UCLA had a 28-16 edge in the paint in the second half.

“Credit to UCLA, they deserved to win this game,” an obviously disappointed CU coach Tad Boyle said. “They were the tougher team. In the second half they made the plays down the stretch that needed to be made and we didn’t.”

The Buffs did win the rebound battle, 35-31, but they also finished with 10 turnovers to UCLA’s seven, and the Bruins did not have a turnover in the second half.

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Buffs to take on surging Bruins before sell-out crowd and CBS national audience (2:00 p.m.)

Related … “Model of stability Lucas Siewert ready for final home game with CU Buffs” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … Rather quietly, the UCLA Bruins have been playing as well as anyone in the Pac-12 over the last month, winning six of their last seven and eight of their last 10 games.

But they won’t be sneaking up on Tad Boyle‘s Pac-12 leading Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday — and it definitely won’t be a quiet environment. Colorado is expecting its largest CU Events Center crowd of the season for Saturday’s 2 p.m. home finale that will pit No. 18/17 Colorado (21-6 overall, 10-4 Pac-12) against the surging Bruins (16-11, 9-5).

The game will be the first-ever CU men’s game in Boulder to be televised by CBS.

Boyle certainly hasn’t had a problem getting his team’s attention when it comes to UCLA. In their Jan. 30 meeting in Los Angeles, the Buffs dropped a 72-68 decision that saw the Bruins take a 12-point lead at the half, then fight off a CU rally down the stretch. The Bruins dominated the Buffs on the boards in the game, 39-29, while also getting a career-high 30 points from 6-foot-9 guard Chris Smith.

“They’ve turned a corner,” Boyle said. “You can just see it in their film. We saw it in L.A. the way they guarded. They’ve got an identity about themselves defensively now that they didn’t have in November, December. And they’ve got talented players.”

Indeed, the Bruins have come a long way in their first year under head coach Mick Cronin. The team that lost to Hofstra, BYU and Cal State Fullerton in non-conference play — then lost three of its first four Pac-12 games — has no doubt turned the corner. The win over Colorado was the beginning of a stretch that has seen them win six of seven, with the only loss a narrow defeat at Arizona State.

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GAME NOTES

From CUBuffs.com … No. 18 (AP)/17 (Coaches) ranked Colorado is 21-6 overall and in first place in the Pac-12 Conference at 10-4, one-half game ahead of Arizona and Arizona State (9-4). The Buffaloes began their final home series of the season with a 70-66 win over USC on Feb. 20.

It’s the sixth time in 10 seasons the Buffaloes have 10 or more conference wins. CU’s Pac-12 best is 11, in 2011-12 (11-7).

The Buffaloes have won seven of their last nine and 14 of their last 18. Colorado is 33-10 over its last 43 games. Colorado’s 21-6 record is the best 27-game mark in team history. The 1968-69 Big Eight championship team was 20-7 after losing their first round NCAA tournament game. That was also the last season Colorado was in first place in a conference race this late into the season. The 1968-69 squad finished the regular season at 20-6 overall, winning its league title with a 10-4 mark. Those Buffaloes finished their season at 21-7.

ABOUT THE BRUINS: UCLA is 16-11 overall and tied with Oregon for fourth place in the Pac-12 at 9-5, one game behind Colorado. The Bruins have won four straight and six of their last seven. UCLA is coming off a 69-58 win at Utah on Feb. 20. The Bruins average 69.9 points while shooting 43.9 percent from the field. Defensively, UCLA allows 67.6 points while opponents shoot 42.7 percent.

UCLA is the Pac-12’s top team in offensive rebounds (12.1 orpg) and rebounding defense (30.7 rpg). Junior guard Chris Smith leads the Bruins at 13.2 points per game while shooting 48 percent from the field. He’s one of the Pac-12’s top free throw shooters at 85.8 percent from the line. Sophomore forward Jalen Hill averages 9.4 points per game while leading UCLA in rebounding (7.1 rpg) and shooting (.527). Freshman guard Tyger Campbell paces the Bruins in assists at 4.4 per game while averaging 6.8 points per contest.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 19th meeting between Colorado and UCLA with the Bruins holding an 12-6 advantage. UCLA snapped a four-game Colorado win streak in the series with a 72-68 decision in Los Angeles on Jan. 30. Colorado has a 4-3 edge in games played in Boulder, including wins in the last two.

20 WINS: Colorado has a 20-win season for the 11th time in program history. Seven of those 20-win seasons have come under head coach Tad Boyle. Colorado’s 21 wins are tied for the seventh best mark in team history. The Buffaloes reached 20 in 26 games, tying the 1968-69 team for the quickest to reach 20 in team history.

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February 20th – Game Day!!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs overcome 14-point first half deficit, take down USC 70-66

... Related … “No. 18 CU Buffs hold off USC” … from the Daily Camera

Related … “Arizona State beats No. 14 Oregon for 6th straight win” … From ESPN

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado took the best punch the USC Trojans could muster Thursday night, then punched back.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffaloes overcame a 14-point first half deficit, then withstood a furious USC rally down the stretch to collect a 70-66 win over the Trojans before 10,027 at the CU Events Center.

The No. 18/17 Buffaloes improved to 21-6 overall and 10-4 in Pac-12 play while the Trojans dropped to 19-8, 8-6. The win, coupled with Oregon’s loss to Arizona State on Thursday, also gave CU sole possession of first place in the Pac-12 standings.

After falling behind early, 20-6, Colorado came back and led by as much as 12 in the second half before the Trojans cut the margin down to one, 67-66, with 1:30 to play.

But McKinley Wright IV hit a floater from the lane coming out of a timeout to bump the margin back to three with 1:20 remaining and the Buffs forced two empty USC possessions in the final minute. Wright hit a free throw with 6.5 seconds on the clock to provide the final margin.

Colorado finished with five players in double figures, including Tyler Bey’s 14-point, 11-rebound double-double, his 11th of the season and 30th of his career. Wright had 15 points and six rebounds, Shane Gatling added 13 points, and D’Shawn Schwartz and Lucas Siewert each had 11.

Onyeka Okongwu led USC with 21 points.

“Really gritty, tough win,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “Ugly win. But you know in February you take them where you can get them and sometimes you have to try to win games ugly when you don’t play your best.”

The Buffs certainly weren’t at their best in the first half, as they shot just 34.5 percent (10-for-29), had 11 turnovers and allowed the Trojans to collect a 22-21 rebound edge, including nine offensive boards. That was enough to give USC a 29-26 lead at intermission.

But CU bounced back with a strong second half, shooting 60.7 percent from the field, including 8-for-14 from 3-point range, while also finishing with a 35-32 edge on the boards.

“We found a way to win and McKinley Wright was terrific down the stretch,” Boyle said. “It’s nice to have a point guard who can make plays and our crowd was fantastic. You know, they helped us win this game. I always say college basketball isn’t always a spectator sport. It’s a participant sport. And I thought our crowd participated in this win tonight.”

But Boyle wasn’t celebrating CU’s position atop the conference standings — not with four games remaining and three of them on the road.

“It means nothing,” Boyle said. “It didn’t mean anything two weeks ago, it doesn’t mean anything right now — absolutely nothing. What matters is we have to take care of business on Saturday (against UCLA). That’s all that matters.”

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Buffs looking for USC’s best shot: “They are very, very talented”

Related … “Shane Gatling looks to end CU Buffs career with a 3-point flurry” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado coach Tad Boyle expects to see a different USC team when the No. 18/17 Buffs and Trojans square off Thursday in a 7 p.m. game at the CU Events Center (ESPN2).

Not that the names and faces will be different. The roster hasn’t changed.

But Boyle does expect the Trojans to remember their last meeting — a 78-57 Colorado win on the Trojans’ home court on Feb. 1 — and play accordingly.

“If I’m USC, one of those players or on their coaching staff, I want another crack at  Colorado,” Boyle said. “I want to make sure that that doesn’t happen again. So we know we’re going to get a good USC team, a hungry one, a competitive one. We just have to come out and do what we do and do it well.”

The Buffs (20-6 overall, 9-4 Pac-12) enter the game tied with Oregon for the Pac-12 lead. But just a half-game behind are Arizona and Arizona State (both 8-4 in conference play), followed closely by and USC and UCLA, just a game behind at 8-5.

It means there will be plenty on the line for both teams Thursday, as well as Saturday, when UCLA pays a visit to Boulder for a 2 p.m. matchup in CU’s home finale.

Colorado’s win at USC earlier this month — CU’s third in a row over Andy Enfield’s team — was one of the Buffs’ best overall efforts of the year. CU dominated the Trojans in virtually every statistical category, jumping out to a nine-point lead at the half before putting the game away with a 13-0 run early in the second half. The Buffs shot 51.9 percent from the floor, held USC to 37.9 percent shooting and produced a comfortable 33-27 edge on the boards against the Pac-12’s leading rebounding team.

Perhaps most importantly, CU contained the Trojans’ “big three” — Onyeka Okongwu, Nick Rakocevic and Jonah Mathews — to just 28 points on 10-for-31 shooting. The three are averaging more than 41 points per game.

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GAME NOTES 

From CUBuffs.com … No. 18 (AP)/17 (Coaches) ranked Colorado is 20-6 overall and tied with No. 14/16 Oregon for first place in the Pac-12 Conference at 9-4. The Buffaloes are coming off a road split in Oregon, falling 68-60 to the Ducks on Feb. 13th and rebounding with a convincing 69-47 win at Oregon State Feb. 15th.

The Buffaloes have won six of their last eight and 13 of their last 17. Colorado is 32-10 over its last 42 games.

Colorado’s 20-6 record ties for the best 26-game start in team history, joining the 1968-69 Big Eight Conference championship team. That was also the last season Colorado was in first place in a conference race this late into the season. The 1968-69 squad finished the regular season at 20-6 overall, winning its league title with a 10-4 mark. Those Buffaloes would advance to the NCAA Tournament, finishing their season at 21-7.

During the Pac-12 schedule, Colorado leads the conference in scoring (72.0 ppg), scoring defense (63.9 ppg), field goal percentage (.456), 3-point shooting (.378), scoring margin (+8.2) and assists (14.2 apg) while ranking second in free throw percentage (.739), rebounding margin (+4.2), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.2) and rebounding defense (31.5 rpg).

ABOUT THE TROJANS: USC is 19-7 overall and tied with crosstown rival UCLA for fifth place in the Pac-12 Conference at 8-5; one game off the league lead. The Trojans rebounded from a season-long three-game losing skid by sweeping the Washington schools at home last week. USC averages 71.8 points per game while shooting 43.8 percent from the field. The Trojans rank second in the Pac-12 in assists at 14.7 per game.

Defensively, USC allows 66.8 points per game while opponents shoot 38.6 percent. That opponent shooting figure ranks second on the league charts. USC tops the Pac-12 in overall rebounding (39.2 rpg) and defensive boards (28.0 drpg) while ranking second on the offensive end (11.2 orpg).

Freshman forward Onyeka Okongwu leads USC at 16.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.0 blocks while shooting a Pac-12 best 60.9 percent from the field. He is second in the Pac-12 in blocks and third in rebounding. Senior guard Jonah Mathews averages 12.8 points per game and his 58 3-point field goals ranks fourth in the Pac-12 (2.2 3mpg). Senior forward Nick Rakocevic averages 11.2 points per game and ranks sixth in the Pac-12 in rebounding at 8.7 per contest. Freshman guard Ethan Anderson tops the Trojans in assists (4.5 apg) while pitching in 5.8 points per game.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 20th meeting between Colorado and USC with the Buffaloes holding an 12-7 series lead. Colorado has won the last three, including this season’s earlier meeting, a 78-57 decision on Feb. 1 at the Galen Center. The Buffaloes lead the series in Boulder 6-2, but two of USC’s wins at the Events Center have come in the last three seasons.

20 WINS: Colorado has 20 wins in a season for the 11th time in program history. Seven of those 20-win seasons have come under head coach Tad Boyle. It ties for the earliest the Buffaloes have reached 20 wins, matching the 1968-69 Big Eight title team that reached 20-6 through regular season play before ending their campaign in the NCAA Tournament at 21-7.

—–

February 19th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs facing must wins against L.A. schools: “Let’s have no regrets”

Related … “Is this home finale for CU Buffs’ Tyler Bey? Only time will tell” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … Nobody needs to remind the Colorado Buffaloes what’s at stake this week.

The No. 18/17 Buffs (20-6 overall, 9-4 Pac-12) play their final two home games of the year this week, beginning with a 7 p.m. game Thursday against USC at the CU Events Center (ESPN2), followed by Saturday’s 2 p.m. home finale against UCLA (CBS).

The math says they need a home sweep to remain in the driver’s seat for a regular season conference title, something the Buffs haven’t won since 1969.

Their coach doesn’t disagree.

“They’re must wins,” CU coach Tad Boyle said after Tuesday’s practice. “If we want to compete for a league championship, they’re absolute must wins.”

The Buffs enter the week tied with Oregon atop the Pac-12 standings, with a half-game lead over Arizona and Arizona State and a full-game lead over USC and UCLA. It means the Buffs will be hosting two teams this week with very real aspirations of moving into the hunt for a title — or at least solidifying a top-four finish in the league, which guarantees a first-round bye in the conference tournament.

None of that is news to the Buffs.

“We have got smart guys, we have veteran guys,” Boyle said. “They know what’s on the line. They know what position we put ourselves in, they get it. You don’t harp on it. You just say, ‘Hey guys, let’s have no regrets.’ That’s the biggest thing you want.”

Boyle, though, admits to feeling a measure of regret over a couple of games this year that slipped away from Colorado in the final minutes. Had the Buffs held on at home against Oregon State in January or at Oregon last week — games they led with seven minutes to play — they would be in the conference lead.

“I feel regret about those last six minutes against Oregon and I know our players do, too,” Boyle said. “Well, let’s do something about that. Let’s not have regret with the way we come out and play Thursday night.”

Continue reading story here

—–

February 18th

… CU in the Arena … 

Bracketology: CU a No. 5 seed at both CBS and ESPN; “100% chance” of making the tournament 

Bracketology by Jerry Palm at CBS Sports … CU down to a No. 5 seed from a No. 4 seed (after splitting with the Oregon schools on the road last week)

The Pac-12 (five teams in bracket) … Oregon: No. 4 seed (up from a No. 5 seed last week); Colorado: No. 5 seed (down one spot from last week); Arizona: No. 6 seed (same as last week); USC: No. 7 seed (same as last week);  Stanford: No. 12 seed (down two from last week)

CU’s first round opponent … v. No. 12 seed Liberty (game to be played in Spokane)

Bracketology by Joe Lunardi at ESPN … CU up a No. 5 seed (same as last week)

The Pac-12 (five teams in bracket) … Oregon: No. 5 seed (same as last week); Colorado: No. 5 seed (same as last week); Arizona: No. 5 seed (up one from last week): USC: No. 11 seed (down one from last week); Stanford: No. 11 seed (same as last week)

CU’s first round opponent … v. No. 12 seed v. winner of play-in game between East Tennessee State and Utah State (game to be played in St. Louis)

CU moved down from a No. 13 ranking to No.17  CBS Top 25 and 1 … Tyler Bey finished with 21 points and 15 rebounds in Saturday’s 69-47 victory at Oregon State. The Buffaloes are the only team besides Kansas to beat Dayton this season.

Team Rankings.com … CU chances of making NCAA tournament: 100.0% (up from 99.8% last week) … Most likely seed: No. 4 (same as last week) … 40.3% chance of making the Sweet Sixteen (up from 36.4% last week) … 7.3% chance of making the Final Four (up from 6.2% last week) …

—–

February 17th

… CU in the Arena … 

Tad Boyle has brought (much needed) success and integrity to CU

From Neill Woelk at CUBuffs.com … When Boyle took the job in time for the 2010-11 season, CU’s football team was hitting a rough patch. All Boyle did was deliver an NIT Final Four appearance and three straight NCAA Tournament bids in his first four seasons.

Now, in the wake of the sudden and rather unseemly departure of CU’s football coach after just one year, Boyle’s team is again poised to deliver a dose of good news:

— The Buffs are currently ranked No. 16/15 in the national polls and will almost certainly maintain a spot in the top 20 when the new polls are released Monday.

— They will head into next week’s final homestand of the year with no worse than a tie for the Pac-12 lead.

— They are No. 11 in the NCAA Evaluation Tool rankings (NET), No. 16 in the KenPom and No. 21 in the Sagarin and ESPN Power Index ratings. All are used by the NCAA Selection Committee for seeding, and right now, those numbers point very favorably in the direction of a top five or six seed.

But while this year’s Buffs — led by an outstanding 2017 recruiting class that includes McKinley Wright IVTyler BeyD’Shawn Schwartz and Evan Battey — are no doubt poised to do something special, the story is bigger than one season.

… What Boyle has done in his tenure in Boulder is provide a decade of stability, dependability and quality. He has done so rather quietly and without fanfare, but the truth is he has produced without question the most successful decade of men’s basketball at CU in more than a half century.

But “just” the numbers don’t do the Boyle Era true justice.

Boyle has accomplished these things while operating with class and integrity. In an era when FBI and NCAA investigations hover over some of the top programs in America — including some from the Pac-12 — there has never been a sniff of impropriety with Boyle’s program.

He has done it the right way. He has refused to compromise his ethics or those of the university.

Just last week, Boyle talked with reporters about the importance of recruiting high-quality young men to the program.

“Character is the number one criteria we have in recruiting,” Boyle said. “You can’t win without high-character guys, in my opinion. There’s coaches that would disagree with me. There’s coaches that would say talent is infinitely more important than character. I’m not one of them.”

Continue reading story here

—-

CU No. 18 in latest poll (down two spots from last week)

From CBS Sports … Dayton is a top five college basketball team for the first time in 64 years. The Flyers jumped a spot in the AP Top 25 on Monday to No. 5 after a 2-0 week that included a convincing 81-67 victory over a Rhode Island team projected to make the NCAA Tournament.

It marks the first time since the 1955-56 season that the Flyers have reached the top five in the AP poll. Dayton (23-2, 12-0 Atlantic 10) has won 14 straight games and is just six wins away from going undefeated in conference play for the first time in program history.

Staying in the top five won’t be a cakewalk for Dayton, though. The Flyers have two Quadrant 1 road games remaining on their schedule, starting with a Tuesday trip to VCU. Dayton must also face Rhode Island on the road in the final week of the regular season.

Dayton benefited from an 0-2 week for Louisville, which dropped from No. 5 to No. 11. The Cardinals (21-5, 12-3 ACC) play Syracuse and North Carolina this week as they try and regroup from their worst week of the season. The Cardinals weren’t the only team to fall from the top 10. Seton Hall fell from No. 10 to No. 16 after an 0-2 week. One of the Pirates’ losses came against Creighton, which made the biggest surge of the week from No. 23 to No. 15.

Texas Tech, LSU and Illinois each dropped out of the poll after losses and were replaced by BYU, Arizona and Ohio State.

LSU’s departure left the SEC with just two ranked teams — No. 10 Kentucky and No. 13 Auburn. BYU’s entry into the AP Poll for the first time since 2011 sets up a showdown with No. 2 Gonzaga on Saturday.

1Baylor (48)23-115591
2Gonzaga (14)26-115182
3Kansas (1)22-314343
4San Diego State26-015184
5Dayton23-212946
6Duke22-312857
7Maryland21-411949
8Florida State21-410888
9Penn State20-5102413
10Kentucky20-5101112
11Louisville21-58375
12Villanova19-682415
13Auburn22-381811
14Oregon20-674217
15Creighton20-671823
16Seton Hall18-767210
17West Virginia18-755214
18Colorado20-650116
19Marquette17-740418
20Iowa18-825421
21Butler19-724219
22Houston20-623720
23BYU21-7188NR
24Arizona18-7102NR
25Ohio State17-895NR

Others receiving votes:Texas Tech 92, Michigan State 87, Michigan 83, LSU 55, Rhode Island 39, Virginia 32, Cincinnati 14, Stephen F. Austin 14, Illinois 12, Northern Iowa 9, Utah State 8, Rutgers 6, Florida 6, East Tennessee State 5, Saint Mary’s 4, Tulsa 3, Richmond 3, SMU 2, New Mexico State 2, Wright State 1, Arizona State 1

—–

February 16th

… CU in the Arena …

Buffs looked for packed houses in home finales: “I just implore our fans to come out and support this team”

From the Daily Camera … Already the Buffs have reached the end of the road of their home schedule, with CU returning home this week to take on USC on Thursday (7 p.m., ESPN2) and UCLA on Saturday (2 p.m., CBS) in the final home games for seniors Lucas Siewert and Shane Gatling.

“It’s gone so fast. I remember we were just in China. Now we’re playing our last two home games this week,” Wright said. “We just want to send our seniors out the right way. We’ve got two seniors, Shane and Lucas, and we’re going to do whatever it takes to get them two wins at our home. Our crowd, they’ve been there for us. We’ve had a couple sellouts this year. Hope they bring the same energy they’ve been bringing and help us send these seniors out the right way.”

… “Number one, we have to do our job and prepare and figure out how to beat USC,” Boyle said. “I just implore our fans to come out and support this team. There’s two more home games. Great tip times. We just need our fans to come out and support this team and give them the kind of energy that I know that they played with tonight. I think our players will be worth it. Five games left in the regular season. Two of them are at home, three on the road. It’s time to figure out how to get No. 21. That’s all we have to concern ourselves with.”

Continue reading story here

—–

February 15th – Game Day!!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs bounce back in a big way with a 69-47 win over Oregon State

Related … “Dogged defensive effort pushes No. 16 CU Buffs past Oregon State” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … This time around, the Colorado Buffaloes took care of business down the stretch against Oregon State.

The Buffaloes built a nine-point by the half, expanded it to 20 with under eight minutes to play and then protected the cushion in crunch time Saturday to collect a 69-47 win at Gill Coliseum.

The Buffs improved to 20-6 overall and 9-4 in Pac-12 play and guaranteed themselves of at least a share of the conference lead heading into next week. The Beavers fell to 15-10, 5-8.

The victory also gave the Buffs their 11th 20-win season in program history, with CU coach Tad Boyle now owning seven of them in his 10 years in Boulder.

In their first meeting this year, the Buffs allowed the Beavers to come back from an 11-point deficit with under eight minutes to play to collect a win. In Saturday’s second meeting, Colorado dominated the Beavers on their home court — especially in the second half.

Junior Tyler Bey bounced back from a season-low four points against Oregon to produce a dominant 21-point, 15-rebound double-double, his 10th of the season and 29th of his career. Junior McKinley Wright IV added his fifth double-double of the season (10th career) with 13 points, 10 rebounds and six assists and no turnovers.

Ethan Thompson led OSU with 17 points while Beavers leading scorer Tres Tinkle had just 10.

The Buffs finished with just eight turnovers in the game (they had 15 in the first meeting), matching their Pac-12 low this season, while also holding OSU to just 33.3 percent shooting (19-for-57), including a 1-for-17 night from 3-point range.

Colorado shot 22-for-54 in the game and held a 45-35 edge on the boards and a 22-6 edge in bench points. The win was CU’s second-largest margin of victory on the road in its Pac-12 history, surpassed only by a 74-50 win at USC in 2012.

Coming on the heels of Thursday’s loss at Oregon, it was CU’s fifth win after a loss this year, with those wins coming by an average of more than 21 points per game. The Buffs have lost two in a row just once this season, in late December to Kansas and Northern Iowa.

“They’re a resilient group, they’re a confident group,” Boyle said. “Before we took the floor, our two words — we wanted to have our confidence and energy … When your two best players play like that, you have a chance to win. That’s why this team can be so good.  We’ve got a couple guys that can lead us like that. But we have other guys that are weapons and we had that as well tonight.”

… Continue reading story here

Buffs look to bounce back (and get revenge) against Oregon State

Related … “Payback, road split the goal for CU Buffs at Oregon State” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … Two-thirds of the way through the Pac-12 schedule, Tad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes are still tied for the league lead with an 8-4 conference mark (19-6 overall).

Still, in the wake of Thursday night’s loss at Oregon, a game the No, 16/15 Buffs led for most of the second half, it’s hard not to think about the fact that Colorado is 10 minutes away from being 21-4 overall and 10-2 in Pac-12 play.

That’s five minutes against Oregon State and five minutes against Oregon, two games in which the Buffs had the lead with under five minutes to play.

Against the Beavers in early January, CU had a 66-62 lead — at home — with 4:10 on the clock, only to drop a 76-68 loss. Thursday at Oregon, CU had a 58-53 lead with 4:40 to play, but ended up on the short end of a 68-60 decision.

That’s enough to cause sleepless nights for coaches and players.

But the reality is, the Buffs don’t have the time to play the “what-if” game. Instead, they have an opportunity to earn a measure of redemption Saturday when they travel to Corvallis for an 8 p.m. meeting with the Beavers (15-9, 5-7) at Gill Coliseum (FS1).

The Buffs remember only too well their first matchup with the Beavers, a game they led comfortably for much of the evening before stumbling down the stretch. OSU shot nearly 53 percent from the field in the game (56 percent in the second half), and the Buffs committed 15 turnovers that the Beavers converted into 16 points. That included four turnovers and 1-for-7 shooting by Colorado in the final five minutes.

CU then endured a similar scenario Thursday against the Ducks, when Oregon put together a 15-2 run to close the game.

“We have to bounce back mentally and emotionally,” Boyle said after Thursday night’s loss to the Ducks. “That’s the challenge I gave them in the locker room. We cannot feel sorry for ourselves. I’m not going to let this team do that.”

Continue reading story here

GAME PREVIEW

From CUBuffs.com … No. 16 (AP)/15 (Coaches) ranked Colorado is 19-6 overall and tied with No. 17/18 Oregon for first place in the Pac-12 Conference at 8-4. The Buffaloes began their final stretch of 5 of 7 on the road with a 68-60 setback to the Ducks on Feb. 13.

The Buffaloes have won five of their last seven and 12 of their last 16. Colorado is 31-10 over its last 41 games.

Colorado’s 19-6 record ties for the best 25-game mark in program history joining the 1954-55, ’61-62, ’62-63, ’68-69 teams. The last time CU was in first place this late in the season was in 1968-69, the Buffaloes’ last conference regular season championship team, claiming the Big Eight with a record of 10-4.

During the Pac-12 schedule, Colorado leads the conference in scoring (72.3 ppg), field goal percentage (.467), 3-point shooting (.372) and scoring margin (+8.4) while ranking second in free throw percentage (.743), 3-pointers made (7.8 3mpg) and assists (14.3 apg).

ABOUT THE BEAVERS: Oregon State is 15-9 overall and tied for eighth in the Pac-12 at 5-7. The Beavers have won two straight and three of their last four, including a 70-51 decision over Utah on Feb. 13. Oregon State averages 73.2 points per game while shooting 46.5 percent from the field, the second-best mark in the league. The Beavers lead the Pac-12 in free throw shooting at 75.1 percent, a number that has soared to 79.4 percent in conference games.

Defensively, Oregon State allows 66.9 points per game while opponents shoot 42.9 percent from the floor. The Beavers rank third in the Pac-12, and 18th in the nation, in blocks at 5.2 per contest.

Senior forward Tres Tinkle leads Oregon State at 18.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game. Junior guard Ethan Thompson leads the Beavers in assists (102) while ranking second in scoring(15.0 ppg) and steals (32). Senior Kylor Kelley leads the Pac-12, and ranks second in the nation, in blocks (3.6 bpg) while ranking third on the team in scoring at 11.3 points per game. Junior guard Zach Reichle averages 8.5 points and 2.3 assists per game.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 25th meeting between Colorado and Oregon State with the Buffaloes holding a 15-9 series lead. Oregon State won the first meeting this season, a 76-68 decision in Boulder on Jan. 5. The Beavers lead the series in Corvallis 6-3 and have won three of the last four at Gill Coliseum.

—–

February 13th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs build 14-point lead, but falter down the stretch in 68-60 loss to No. 17 Oregon

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado played well enough to win for 35 minutes Thursday, but couldn’t hold the lead down the stretch as Oregon rallied for a 68-60 win over the Buffaloes at Matthew Knight Arena.

The loss allowed the Ducks to pull into a tie with Colorado for the Pac-12 lead, as CU dropped to 19-6 overall and 8-4 in Pac-12 play while Oregon improved to 19-6, 8-4.

The loss now makes CU’s Saturday game at Oregon State even more critical in the Buffs conference title pursuit.

Colorado led by as much as 14 in the first half, thanks to a 20-0 run, and still had a nine-point cushion at intermission. But the Ducks whittled away at the lead in the second half by taking advantage of some costly CU turnovers, and outscored Colorado 15-2 over the last five minutes of the game for the win.

Evan Battey finished with a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double for the Buffs, his fourth of the year. D’Shawn Schwartz added 14 points and five rebounds, Shane Gatling chipped in 11 points and McKinley Wright IV had eight points, five assists and four rebounds.

Will Richardson led Oregon with 21 points and nine rebounds and Peyton Pritchard had a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double for the Ducks.

The big difference in the game was turnovers. Colorado committed 18 miscues in the game — CU’s most in Pac-12 play this year — including nine in the second half. The Ducks had just 10 turnovers and only two in the second half, leading to a 16-5 edge in points off turnovers.

Both teams shot just under 40 percent for the game, with CU shooting 23-for-59 and the Ducks 24-for-61. But Colorado was just 9-for-30 from the floor in the second half while Oregon was 14-for-30, with five 3-pointers after intermission.

CU won the rebound battle, 38-35, but the Ducks were better at making their offensive rebounds count, collecting a 20-14 edge in second-chance points.

Colorado also shot just six free throws — a season low — and connected on four while the Ducks were 12-for-16 from the line.

“Sick to my stomach,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “Down the stretch we couldn’t execute. We knew turnovers would be an issue. The execution down the stretch was part of it. I thought we played hard enough, I thought we played tough enough, but we didn’t play smart enough.”

Continue reading story here

No. 16 Buffs taking on No. 17 Ducks: “It should be a heck of a challenge and an opportunity”

Related … “Oregon rematch a pivotal showdown for No. 16 CU Buffs” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com …  Tad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes have won big games at home and big games on the road this season. They have, in fact, won more games after 24 contests than any team in CU history and they currently sit atop the Pac-12 standings.

But the stage and stakes get bigger this week when the No. 16/15 Buffs (19-5 overall, 8-3 Pac-12) head to the Pacific Northwest for a pair of Pac-12 games, beginning with Thursday night’s showdown with No. 17/18 Oregon (18-6, 7-4).

Tipoff for the nationally televised affair (ESPN) at Matthew Knight Arena is set for 7 p.m. (MT).

“We’re confident on the road and we’ve proven we can win on the road,” Boyle said Wednesday afternoon. “We’ve won seven games away from the (CU) Events Center … This is a team that competes. The hardest thing to do in college basketball is win on the road and this team has proven they can do it.”

Dana Altman’s Ducks, however, have proven to be particularly formidable on their home court this season, where they are 12-0 thus far.

“We’re playing a team that is undefeated at home, a team that’s well-coached and a team that’s a game behind us in the standings,” Boyle said. “It should be a heck of a challenge and an opportunity.”

The Buffs won the first game between the two teams this year, 74-65, in their Pac-12 opener in early January. Colorado accomplished the feat against then-No. 4 Oregon by limiting turnovers (eight) and forcing the Ducks into a 3-for-18 night from 3-point range — their worst night from beyond the arc in Pac-12 play this season.

Continue reading story here

Keeping turnovers down “critical” to defeating No. 17 Oregon 

From CUBuffs.com … When 16th-ranked Colorado (No. 15 coaches poll) heads to Oregon on Thursday for a matchup with the No. 17 Ducks, the Buffaloes know they will see a raucous Matthew Knight Arena crowd.

What the Buffs (19-5, 8-3) don’t want to do is allow that crowd to help the Ducks (18-6, 7-4) build a head of steam. That means taking care of the ball and playing solid defense — two things Colorado did quite well in their first meeting of the year, a 74-65 win in Boulder in early January.

In that game, the Buffs held Oregon to 44.6 percent shooting for the game, including a 3-for-18 night from 3-point range.

But perhaps most importantly, Colorado committed just eight turnovers in the contest, the fewest by the Buffs in Pac-12 play this season and second-lowest total overall. CU also forced 13 Oregon miscues in the game, which helped the Buffs to a 13-6 edge in points off turnovers.

Limiting those turnovers is something Colorado needs to do again Thursday if the Buffs plan on remaining in sole possession of the conference lead.

“It’s critical,” CU coach Tad Boyle said after Tuesday’s practice. “If you have one, it’s critical, especially a live ball turnover that turns into a dunk. You can’t have a second one in a row. You can’t have multiple ones that allow them to go on a run and allow their crowd to get going because that’s what Oregon feeds off of. It’s those multiple turnovers in a row. If (one turnover) happens, we have to come down and have a great offensive possession. Get a bucket and silence the crowd and kind of get the momentum back in our favor.”

Continue reading story here

GAME PREVIEW 

From CUBuffs.com … No. 16 (AP)/15 (Coaches) ranked Colorado is 19-5 overall and in first place in the Pac-12 Conference at 8-3, one game ahead of Thursday night’s opponent, Oregon. The Buffaloes have won three straight, five of six and 12 of their last 15.

Colorado is 31-9 over its last 40 games.

Colorado’s 19-5 mark is the best in program history after 24 games the 1954-55, ’61-62, ’62-63, ’68-69 teams were all 18-6 through 24 (all won their 25th game to get to 19-6). The last time CU was in first place after 11 conference games was in 1968-69, the season the Buffaloes last one a regular season league title. CU and Kansas were atop the Big Eight at 8-3, with Kansas State in third at 7-4. CU would go on and with the league with a 10-4 mark, while KU & KSU ended up 9-5.

During the Pac-12 schedule, Colorado leads the conference in scoring (73.4 ppg), field goal percentage (.467), assists (14.3 apg) and scoring margin (+8.4) while ranking second in free throw percentage (.745), 3-point percentage (.376), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.2) and rebound margin (+3.7).

ABOUT THE DUCKS: Oregon is 18-6 overall and in second place in the Pac-12 at 7-4. The Ducks are ranked No. 17 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll and No. 18 in the USA Today/Coaches Poll.

Oregon is averaging 75.8 points per game while shooting 46.7 percent from the field; both marks ranking second in the Pac-12. The Ducks own the top 3-point shooting mark in the conference at 38.3 percent. Defensively, Oregon allows 67.5 points while opponents shoot 40 percent. The Ducks rank second in the Pac-12 in steals at 7.9 per game. Oregon has dropped its last two, but the Ducks are a perfect 12-0 at home this season.

Senior guard Payton Pritchard leads the Pac-12 at 19.5 points and 6.0 assists per game. Junior guard Chris Duarte is second on the team in scoring at 14.2 points per game while pulling down 5.6 rebounds per contest. Will Richardson leads the Pac-12 in 3-point shooting at 47 percent while averaging 10.0 points per game. Senior forward Shakur Juiston tops the Ducks in rebounding average (6.6 rpg) while pitching in 7.6 points per contest.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 21st meeting between Colorado and Oregon with the Buffaloes holding an 12-8 series lead. The Buffaloes have won the last two, including this season’s first meeting, a 74-65 decision on Jan. 2, at the CU Events Center. Oregon holds a 7-2 edge in Eugene and has won the last four. Colorado holds a 9-6 lead since joining the Pac-12 for the 2011-12 season.

—–

February 11th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs trying to ignore increasing attention: “It’s crunch time. We’ve got to block out everybody except for us”

From the Daily Camera … As the Colorado Buffaloes began preseason practice in October, it was a hot topic of conversation. How would a Buffaloes team harboring legitimate NCAA Tournament expectations, and one that soon would be picked second in the Pac-12 Conference preseason poll, handle the noisy buzz surrounding the program?

For the most part, the Buffs have handled those outside pressures just fine. Yet with four weeks remaining in the regular season, and the program perched at a position it hasn’t enjoyed in more than 50 years, blocking out the noise will be a trait far more crucial to the Buffs in February and March than it was in October.

… “It’s crunch time,” CU point guard McKinley Wright said. “We’ve got to block out everybody except for us. That might include family, some of our closest friends. Whoever it may be. It’s about us right now. We know there’s a lot of noise out there. A lot of people talking. Sixteenth in the country, but right now what’s most important is getting better today, get better tomorrow, Wednesday, and try to compete on Thursday for a championship game.”

Continue reading story here

Bracketology: CU up to a No. 4 seed at CBS; up to a No. 5 at ESPN

Bracketology by Jerry Palm at CBS Sports … CU moved up to a No. 4 seed from a No. 5 seed (after a home sweep of the Bay Area schools)

The Pac-12 (five teams in bracket) … Colorado: No. 4 seed (up one spot from last week); Oregon: No. 5 seed (same as last week); Arizona: No. 6 seed (up one spot from last week); USC: No. 7 seed (same as last week);  Stanford: No. 10 seed (down two from last week)

CU’s first round opponent … v. No. 13 seed Yale (game to be played in Spokane)

Bracketology by Joe Lunardi at ESPN … CU up a No. 5 seed (up one from a No. 6 seed last week)

The Pac-12 (five teams in bracket) … Oregon: No. 5 seed (down two from last week); Colorado: No. 5 seed (up one from last week); Arizona: No. 6 seed (up one from last week): USC: No. 10 seed (down two from last week); Stanford: No. 11 seed (down one from last week)

CU’s first round opponent … v. No. 12 seed Vermont (game to be played in Spokane)

CU has moved all the way up to No. 13 in the CBS Top 25 and 1 … Tyler Bey finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds in Saturday’s 81-74 victory over Stanford. The Buffaloes are 10-5 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities with zero losses coming outside of the first two quadrants.

Team Rankings.com … CU chances of making NCAA tournament: 99.8% (up from 99.3% last week) … Most likely seed: No. 4 (same as last week) … 36.4% chance of making the Sweet Sixteen … 6.2% chance of making the Final Four …

Poll Tracker – Who voted for CU in the poll

From College Poll Tracker …

— Highest ranking13th … Jack Ebling (WSYM – Lansing, Michigan)

— Notables … Dick Vitale (ESPN) – 14th … Seth Davis (CBS) – 16th … John Feinstein (NPR) – 18th … Jon Wilner (San Jose Mercury News) –  19th

— Totals … 63 voters put CU in their rankings (most this season) … 2 voters did not place CU in their rankings, Bob Sutton (The Times News – Burlington, North Carolina; and Dave Preston (WTOP Radio – Washington D.C.)

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February 10th

… CU in the Arena … 

The last time CU was in first place this late into the season? Richard Nixon had just been sworn in for his first term

From CUBuffs.com … The Buffs got some help around the conference (this past weekend). Oregon State pulled off an upset at home over rival Oregon while UCLA might have recorded the biggest upset of the weekend on the West Coast — a 65-52 win at Arizona.

The OSU win, coupled with the Buffs’ victory over Stanford, gave Colorado (19-5 overall, 8-3 Pac-12) sole possession of first place in the conference standings. It also improved CU’s early conference loss to the Beavers to a Quadrant 2 loss instead of a Quadrant 3 (trust us, that’s a good thing).

UCLA’s win, meanwhile, handed Arizona its fourth conference loss, something that could be critical as the league race heads down the home stretch.

It all adds up to the Buffs being in first place after 11 games of conference play, setting the stage for Thursday night’s CU-Oregon (18-6, 7-4) matchup in Eugene — the current No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the Pac-12 (7 p.m., ESPN).

As for being in first place after 11 games, that’s something that hasn’t happened to Colorado for more than half a century.

The last time CU was atop the league standings at this point in the league season came in 1968-69, when the Buffs and Kansas were tied for the Big 8 lead with 8-3 records. That year, Sox Walseth’s Buffs went on to win the Big 8 title with a 10-4 record and earn an NCAA Tournament berth.

But the Buffs have been 8-3 in conference play since then. Just eight years ago, Colorado was also 8-3 in the Buffaloes’ first year in the Pac-12, good enough for second place in the standings at that point. CU then went 4-4 down the stretch to finish fifth in the Pac-12 with an 11-7 mark — but followed that with a memorable four-game run through the conference tournament to earn an NCAA berth.

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CU makes a huge jump (to No. 16) in AP poll 

From CBS Sports … A Michigan State team that was ranked No. 1 in the preseason has dropped out of the AP Top 25 for the first time since the 2016-17 season. The Spartans (16-8, 8-5 Big Ten) fell from No. 16 in the poll to unranked following an 0-2 week that included losses to Penn State and Michigan.

The Spartans landed at No. 16 in the NCAA Tournament selection committee’s reveal of its top 16 seeds on Saturday. But that was before they lost to Michigan for their third loss in a row. The Spartans are still ranked No. 11 in the NET. That’s likely because both of their losses last week were of the Quadrant 1 variety.

But it’s just the second time since 1968 that a preseason No. 1 team has dropped out of the AP poll. The Spartans received 124 votes, making them the 26th team in this week’s edition.

The top 10 remained unchanged except for at No. 10, where Seton Hall replaced Villanova after beating Villanova on the road.

Elsewhere, Marquette cracked the AP Top 25 at No. 18 on Monday for the first time since this season after the Golden Eagles completed a 2-0 week that included a win over Butler.

Texas Tech (15-8, 6-4 Big 12) re-entered the poll after a two-week absence at No. 24 following victories over Oklahoma and Texas. Colorado jumped eight spots to No. 16 — it’s highest ranking in the poll since the 2013-14 season — after victories over Cal and Stanford improved the Buffaloes to 19-5 (8-3 Pac-12).

The Associated Press poll (2/10): 

1. Baylor
2. Gonzaga
3. Kansas
4. San Diego State
5. Louisville
6. Dayton
7. Duke
8. Florida State
9. Maryland
10. Seton Hall
11. Auburn
12. Kentucky
13. Penn State
14. West Virginia
15. Villanova
16. Colorado
17. Oregon
18. Marquette
19. Butler
20. Houston
21. Iowa
22. Illinois
23. Creighton
24. Texas Tech
25. LSU

Others receiving votes: Michigan State 124, Rhode Island 57, Northern Iowa 44, BYU 43, Arizona 34, Purdue 27, Ohio State 14, Cincinnati 6, Stephen F. Austin 6, Michigan 3, Rutgers 2, Virginia 2, East Tennessee State 2, Wright State 1, Winthrop 1

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February 9th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU rises in ESPN and CBS Power Rankings

From ESPN … A season marked by top-10 upsets seemingly every week and a rotating cast of No. 1 teams has seen the craziness slow down over the past few weeks, with a clear top tier of teams separating itself at the top of the polls. But we’re also about to enter a week that could force a massive reshuffle in the College Basketball Power Rankings come next Sunday, with five games pitting two teams in the top 16 or in the “waiting room” against one another (and Creighton at Seton Hall on Saturday just missing the cut).

Colorado at Oregon (Thursday): Tad Boyle’s team could really get a stranglehold on the Pac-12 regular-season race with a road win in Eugene. The Buffaloes won the first meeting on Jan. 2, and Oregon is now on a two-game losing streak to fall one game back in the standings. The winner likely will find itself in next week’s rankings; the loser, not so much.

16. Colorado Buffaloes (19-5)
Previous ranking: Unranked
This week: at Oregon (Thursday), at Oregon State (Saturday)

There have been a couple of hiccups along the way, but Colorado now sits atop the Pac-12 standings heading into the final seven games. It’s going to be a difficult stretch for the Buffaloes, with five of those remaining seven coming on the road, including games at Oregon and Stanford. While Colorado’s defense has been more consistent than its offense over the entire season, the Buffs’ offense has been by far the best during Pac-12 play and is operating at a high level right now. The Buffaloes are making shots, both inside and outside the arc, they’re getting to the free throw line and they’re taking care of the ball. It is an experienced, balanced unit with two of the best players in the league in McKinley Wright and Tyler Bey.

Dropped out: Oregon (14), Iowa (15), Creighton (16)

From CBS Sports

No. 14 – Colorado … Up 5 … Tyler Bey finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds in Saturday’s 81-74 victory over Stanford. The Buffaloes are 10-5 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities with zero losses coming outside of the first two quadrants.

No. 21 – Oregon … Down 7 … Payton Pritchard missed seven of the eight 3-pointers he attempted in Saturday’s 63-53 loss at Oregon State. The Ducks will take a two-game losing streak into Thursday’s game with Colorado.

Dropped out … OUT: Arizona, Michigan State

Saturday results leave CU alone in first place in the Pac-12 standings

From the Daily Camera … Sunday morning had to be a rather fulfilling one for the Colorado men’s basketball team.

Not only were the Buffaloes coming off a memorable win Saturday afternoon against Stanford, surviving an emotional scene following a head injury to Cardinal star Oscar da Silva before putting together one of the biggest comeback victories in program history, but CU received plenty of help later Saturday evening from its rivals across the Pac-12 Conference.

First, UCLA held Arizona to its lowest shooting percentage in the 47-year history of the Wildcats’ McKale Center, with UA shooting just .254 in a loss that nudged the Wildcats further behind Pac-12 front-runners CU and Oregon.

Then, the same Oregon State team that stunned CU at home a month ago did the Buffs a huge favor, upsetting the 14th-ranked Ducks on Saturday night. That left the Buffs (19-4, 8-3) all alone atop the Pac-12 standings heading into their trip to Oregon, which begins Thursday against the Ducks in a showdown likely to be the first of several contests down the stretch that could be billed as the biggest game of the season for the Buffs.

Continue reading story here

Video highlights from CU/Stanford game

From BuffsTV …

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February 8th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs overcome 16-point second half deficit to defeat Stanford, 81-74

Related … “Second-half rally leads to emotional win as No. 24 CU Buffs surge past Stanford” … from the Daily Camera

Related … “Stanford loses Oscar da Silva to injury, blows 16-point lead in loss at Colorado” … from the San Jose Mercury News

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado erased a dismal first half Saturday with a huge second-half comeback to collect an 81-74 win over Stanford at the CU Events Center, guaranteeing the Buffaloes at least a share of the Pac-12 lead.

CU’s third straight win improved the Buffs to 19-5 overall — the best start in CU history after 24 games — and 8-3 in Pac-12 play. Stanford dropped to 16-7, 5-5.

Colorado trailed 33-22 at the half and by 16 early in the second half, but outscored Stanford 59-41 after intermission for the win in front of 10,930. It was the second sellout of the season and the largest Events Center crowd since a February 2016 win over Arizona.

The game was halted for several minutes in the second half after a violent collision between CU’s Evan Battey and Stanford’s Oscar da Silva when Battey was driving to the basket. After a brief time on the floor, Battey walked to the bench under his own power, but da Silva’s head crashed hard into the floor and he was motionless for several minutes. Da Silva was finally helped to the locker room and the Stanford Twitter account later said he had suffered a head laceration.

The Cardinal was not the same team without its star big man. Soon after his departure, the Buffs — who had trailed by as much as 16 early in the half — put together a 16-2 run to take their first lead since early in the game.

Stanford came back to momentarily take the lead again, but Colorado then broke away from a 56-56 tie with a decisive 7-0 run for a 63-56 lead with 6:28 remaining. The Buffs then slowly gained control down the stretch, finally pushing the lead into double digits in the last two minutes before Stanford closed the gap in the final minute.

The comeback from a 16-point deficit tied the 10th-largest in school history and tied the third-largest rally from a second-half deficit.

“A great win for Colorado basketball today,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “More importantly, our hearts go out to Oscar da Silva and his injury. I hope he’s OK. I have great respect for Coach (Jerod) Haase and how he handled that and his team handled that and I’m proud of how our guys handled that. It was unfortunate, but injuries are part of the game. It was certainly nothing we tried to do.”

Colorado was 14-for-20 from the floor in the second half, including 8-for-8 from 3-point range after going just 3-for-13 from beyond the arc in the first half. The Buffs also hit their last two 3-pointers of the first half, giving them 10 straight treys, a school record.

CU’s McKinley Wright IV led all scorers with 21 points (15 in the second half), along with four assists, and D’Shawn Schwartz added 20 points — also 15 in the second half — and seven rebounds. Battey had 13 points and four assists and Tyler Bey recorded his second-straight double-double for the Buffs, his ninth of the season and 28th of his career, with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Bey had three rebounds and no points in the first half.

Jaiden Delaire led Stanford with 19 points.

Continue reading story here

Buffs prepare for Stanford: “For us to compete for a league championship, this is a must win”

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado coach Tad Boyle has stressed time and again that consistency will be imperative down the home stretch of Pac-12 play.

Thus far, Boyle’s 24th-ranked Buffaloes (18-5 overall, 7-3 Pac-12) haven’t exactly hit the mark in that department. While CU is currently tied with Oregon for the Pac-12 lead, Colorado has yet to win three conference games in a row, something they’ll need to do if they want to make a strong stretch run.

The Buffs have a chance to do just that Saturday when they host Stanford (16-6, 5-4) in a 4 p.m. game at the CU Events Center (Pac-12 Network).

Boyle, however, has never been one to be too worried about streaks. He is far more concerned with simply making sure the Buffs protect their home floor.

“My thing is I just want to win the next game,” he said. “If we win the next game, we’ll win three in a row at some point. I don’t worry about streaks. Every game’s a new game. I just know for us to compete for a league championship, this is a must win.”

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GAME PREVIEW 

From CUBuffs.com … No. 24 (AP & Coaches) ranked Colorado is 18-5 overall and tied with Oregon for first place in the Pac-12 Conference a 7-3. The Buffaloes began the week with a 71-65 home win over California on Feb. 6.

The Buffaloes have won six of eight and 11 of their last 14. Colorado is 30-9 over its last 39 games.

Colorado’s 18-5 mark ties for the best 24-game start in team history, joining the 1954-55 and 1968-69 squads. The Buffaloes’ 7-3 league record ties their best Pac-12 start, last achieved by the 2011-12 team – CU’s first in the conference.

ABOUT THE CARDINAL: Stanford is 16-6 overall and 5-4 in the Pac-12 Conference after dropping a 64-56 overtime decision at Utah on Feb. 6. The Cardinal have lost four of five since starting the season 15-2. The one win was a big one, taking a 70-60 win over then No. 11 ranked Oregon on Feb. 1. Stanford averages 70.4 points while shooting 47.4 percent from the field. The Cardinal entered the week leading the conference in field goal percentage and scoring defense.

Stanford has allowed opponents 59.9 points per game while shooting just 38.3 percent. Stanford’s field goal defense ranked second on
the league charts at the start of the week. Junior forward Oscar da Silva leads Stanford at 16.4 points and 6.5 rebounds per game while shooting 60.2 percent from the field.

Freshman guard Tyrell Terry averages 15.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.6 steals per game, ranking second on the team in all four categories. Freshman forward Spencer Jones averages 9.2 points and leads the Cardinal in 3-pointers made (57) and 3-point percentage (.432). Junior guard Daejon Davis leads Stanford in assists (79) and steals (39) while averaging 8.8 points per game.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 23rd meeting between Colorado and Stanford with the Buffaloes holding a 12-10 series edge. The Cardinal won the only meeting last season, a 75-62 decision on Jan. 26, 2019, at Maples Pavilion. That loss for the Buffaloes snapped a nine-game winning streak in the series.

Continue reading story here

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February 6th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs pull away late for a 71-65 win over Cal: “Not the prettiest win”

Related … “No. 24 CU Buffs pull away late to diffuse Cal upset bid” … from the Daily Camera

Related … “Cal Basketball: Free Throw Woes Doom Bears in Narrow Loss at No. 24 Colorado” … from Sports Illustrated

From CUBuffs.com … It may not have been pretty, but the end result for the Colorado Buffaloes here Thursday was what they needed — a 71-65 win over Cal at the CU Events Center.

The victory, sparked by Tyler Bey’s 21-point, 10-rebound double-double, improved the 24th ranked Buffs to 18-5 overall and 7-3 in Pac-12 play, while the Bears — who have yet to win away from home this year — fell to 10-12, 4-5.

The win also lifted the Buffs into a tie with Oregon atop the Pac-12 standings.

The Buffs led for more than half the game, but could never put the Bears away until the end. Colorado actually trailed by one, 46-45, with 8:04 to play before finally taking the lead for good down the stretch, thanks to 3-pointers from Bey, Shane Gatling and McKinley Wright IV.

Along with Bey’s eighth double-double of the season (27th career), the Buffs also got 17 points, six rebounds and four assists from Wright, and 14 points, four assists and three rebounds from Schwartz. Gatling added eight points and four assists.

Matt Bradley led the Bears with 17 points.

Cal finished the game shooting 55.6 percent from the floor (25-for-45) — the best shooting percentage by a CU opponent this season. The Buffs were 24-for-50, including 13-for-22 in the second half. CU held a comfortable 32-23 edge on the boards and hit 16 of 24 free throws while the Bears were 8-for-17 from the line.

“Not the prettiest win,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “It reminded me of wins we had in November and December, when we weren’t very good but we found a way to win the game. We’ve certainly gotten better since then. The sign of a somber locker room after a league win tells us that we have pretty high expectations of ourselves.”

Continue reading story here

Game highlights, from BuffsTV:

Tyler Bey named finalist for Karl Malone Award 

From CUBuffs.com … University of Colorado junior Tyler Bey has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2020 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Thursday.

A 2018-19 All-Pac-12 Conference First Team selection, Bey leads Colorado at 8.9 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.3 blocks per game while ranking second in scoring (13.3 ppg) and field goal percentage (.524). He has double-doubles in seven games this season and his 26 career double-doubles are 11th on Colorado’s all-time list.

Last month, Bey was one of 15 players named to the 2020 Midseason Team for the Naismith Men’s Defensive Player of the Year. He leads the Pac-12 in defensive boards while ranking third in overall rebounding, fourth in steals (1.7 spg) and fifth in blocks (1.3 bpg). He’s the only player in the Pac-12 ranking in the top five of all four categories.

Named after Class of 2010 Hall of Famer and two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Karl Malone, the annual honor in its sixth year and recognizes the top power forwards in Division I men’s college basketball. A national committee comprising top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates in October, which has now been narrowed to just 10. Bey wasn’t on the original watch in October, but has played his way on to the finalist list

In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Malone and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. Starting Five Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies will go live Friday, February 7 via www.hoophallawards.com.

CU v. Cal – “We want to get the pace going, there’s no doubt about it” (6:00 p.m., MT. Pac-12 Networks) 

From the Daily Camera … The Pac-12 Conference generally is considered a more competitive basketball league overall than during the past few seasons. The reasons for that aren’t necessarily the most obvious ones.

It’s not that Oregon has been a mainstay in the national top 15, or that Arizona’s trio of talented freshmen make the Wildcats the sort of team one wants to avoid in March, or even the Colorado Buffaloes’ return to NCAA Tournament contention.

For the overall strength of a league, it’s often more enlightening to look at how the bottom half lives. And the three teams picked in the bottom three spots in the league’s preseason media poll — Stanford, Washington State, and Cal — have hit the midway point of the Pac-12 calendar with a combined .500 mark in league play.

Two of those teams, Cal and Stanford, visit the 24th-ranked Buffs this weekend, beginning with a Thursday night date against the Golden Bears at the CU Events Center. After going 3-15 in the Pac-12 last year, first-year head coach Mark Fox has Cal at 4-4 heading into Thursday’s battle.

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GAME PREVIEW

From CUBuffs.com … No. 24 (AP & Coaches) ranked Colorado is 17-5 overall and 6-3 in the Pac-12 Conference splitting on the road at the Southern California schools last week. The Buffaloes rebounded from a tough 72-68 loss at UCLA on Jan. 31 with a convincing 78-57 win at USC on Feb. 1.

The Buffaloes have won five of seven and 10 of their last 13. Colorado is 29-9 over its last 38 games. Colorado’s 17-5 mark ties for the second-best 22-game start in team history, joining the 1954-55, 1996-97 and 2005-06 squads, the first two of those making the NCAA Tournament. Colorado’s best 22-game start was 18-4 by the 1968-69 Big Eight champion and NCAA Tournament team. The 17 wins guarantees the Buffaloes will have a record above .500 this season.

The Buffaloes’ 6-3 league record at the mid-point of the Pac-12 season ties their best start, last achieved by the 2011-12 team – CU’s first in the conference.

ABOUT THE GOLDEN BEARS: California is 10-11 overall and tied for seventh in the Pac-12 Conference at 4-4. The Golden Bears have won two of their last three but have yet to win away from Haas Pavilion this season (0-8). California averages 63.4 points per game while shooting 42.7 percent from the field. The Bears have only reached 70 points twice in eight league games. Defensively, California allows 68.1 points while opponents are shooting 41.8 percent. The Bears are the fifth best free throw shooting team in the Pac-12 at 72.8 percent.

Sophomore guard Matt Bradley leads California and ranks sixth in the Pac-12 in scoring at 17.9 points per game. Bradley is the only Bear averaging in double figures and accounts for 28 percent of Cal’s scoring. Bradley has a team-best 41 3-point field goals and ranks fourth in the Pac-12 in free throw shooting at 85.2 percent. Senior
guard Kareem South is second on the team in scoring (9.7 ppg) and 3-pointers (26). Junior forward Grant Anticevich tops California in rebounding at 5.8 per game while averaging 8.2 points an outing. Senior guard Paris Austin paces the Bears in assists (45) while averaging 7.8 points per game.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 33rd meeting between Colorado and California with the Buffaloes holding a 17-15 edge. Colorado has won four straight and five of six from the Bears. Last season, the Buffaloes won for just the second time in Berkeley, 68-59, on Jan. 24, and followed that up with a win in the first round of the 2019 Pac-12 Tournament, 56-51, on Mar. 13, in Las Vegas. Colorado has won 11 of 13 meetings in Boulder, including the last three.

Continue reading story here

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February 5th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs preparing for Cal Bears: “They play hard. They believe that they can win and that’s half the battle”

From CUBuffs.com … Way back in early October, the Pac-12 media picked the Cal Bears to finish dead last in the conference men’s basketball race.

So much for preseason prognostications. When Tad Boyle‘s No. 24 Colorado Buffaloes (17-5 overall, 6-3 Pac-12) play host to the Bears (10-11, 4-4) on Thursday, they will see a team that is just one game away in the loss column from the league leaders.

The Buffs and Bears will tip it off at 6 p.m. at the CU Events Center (Pac-12 Network).

“Coach (Mark) Fox has them ready, has them competing,” Boyle said after Wednesday’s practice. “They play hard. They believe that they can win and that’s half the battle.”

Indeed, the Bears have been competitive — at least on their home court. While they are winless away from their home floor this year, they still own wins over Stanford, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State, and they have won two of their last three. It’s been enough to already surpass last year’s win totals, both overall and in league play.

“They’re trying to figure out how to keep it close to give themselves a chance at the end,” Boyle said. “They’ve been in a lot of close games and won some close games.”

Indeed, the Bears have won with defense, especially in Pac-12 play. While they are last in the league in scoring in conference games (59.38 points per game), they are sixth in scoring defense (65.5 ppg).

Continue reading story here

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February 3rd

… CU in the Arena … 

Bracketology: CU remains No. 5 seed at CBS; down to No. 6 at ESPN

Bracketology by Jerry Palm at CBS Sports … CU stayed at a No. 5 seed (after road split against L.A. schools)

The Pac-12 (five teams in bracket) … Oregon: No. 5 seed (down one from last week): Colorado: No. 5 seed (same); USC: No. 7 seed (down one from last week); Arizona: No. 7 seed (up one spot from last week); Stanford: No. 8 seed (same as last week);

CU’s first round opponent … No. 12 seed v. Stephen F. Austin (game to be played in Sacramento)

Bracketology by Joe Lunardi at ESPN … CU down to a No. 6 seed (down from a No. 5 seed last week)

The Pac-12 (five teams in bracket) … Oregon: No. 3 seed (same as last week); Colorado: No. 5 seed (down one from last week); Arizona: No. 7 seed (up one from last week): USC: No. 8 seed (same as last week);  Stanford: No. 10 seed (down one from last week)

CU’s first round opponent … No. 11 seed – winner of play-in game between Rhode Island and Memphis (game to be played in Cleveland)

In the CBS Top 25 and 1, CU is at No. 24 … Tyler Bey finished with 16 points and seven rebounds in Saturday’s 78-57 victory at USC. The Buffaloes are 9-4 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities with only one loss coming outside of the first two quadrants.

Team Rankings.com … CU chances of making NCAA tournament: 99.7% (up from 99.3% last week) … Most likely seed: No. 4 (same as last week) …

 

 

McKinley Wright named one of ten finalists for Bob Cousy Award

From CUBuffs.com … University of Colorado junior McKinley Wright IV has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2020 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Monday.

An All-Pac-12 Conference guard, Wright leads the No. 24 ranked Buffaloes at 13.4 points and 5.3 assists per game. He is second on the team in steals (26) and third in rebounding (5.3 rpg).

Wright is leading the Pac-12 in assists during conference games at 6.8 a contest – one and one-half better per game than the closest competitor. His league assist-to-turnover ratio is 2.1 during that span, ranking second on the league charts.

Wright is second in career assists at Colorado (458) and earlier this season became just the second player in school history to reach 1,000 points, 400 assists and 400 rebounds.

Named after Class of 1971 Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic and Holy Cross guard Bob Cousy, the annual honor now in its 17th year recognizes the top point guards in Division I men’s college basketball. A national committee comprising top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates in October, which has now been narrowed to just 10.

In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Cousy and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. Starting Five Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies will go live Friday, February 7 via www.hoophallawards.com.

The winner of the 2020 Bob Cousy Award will be presented at The College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s in Los Angeles on Friday, April 10, 2020, along with the other four members of the Men’s Starting Five.

For more information and the latest updates on the 2020 Bob Cousy Award, log onto www.hoophallawards.com and follow @hoophall and #CousyAward on Twitter and Instagram.

2020 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award Candidates 

Jared ButlerBaylor
McKinley Wright IVColorado
Tre JonesDuke
Tyrese HaliburtonIowa State
Devon DotsonKansas
Ashton HagansKentucky
Markus HowardMarquette
Cassius WinstonMichigan State
Payton PritchardOregon
Malachi FlynnSan Diego St.

Buffs remain in Associated Press poll, falling to No. 24

From CBS Sports … After a wild weekend in college hoops that saw 10 top 25 teams take losses, a shakeup in the AP’s rankings is afoot — but not at the top. For the third consecutive week it’s the Baylor Bears who find themselves atop the updated AP rankings, the same span Gonzaga has landed at No. 2. Kansas and San Diego State are Nos. 3 and 4, while Louisville sneaks its way up one spot to No. 5.

Dayton, Duke, Florida State, Maryland and Villanova round out this week’s top 10, with the Terrapins making the biggest leap, jumping six spots into the top 10. It’s the first time since December they’ve been inside the top 10.

New to the poll this week is Creighton and Arizona, which come in at Nos. 21 and 23, respectively. Dropping out to make room for the two is Rutgers and Wichita State.

The Associated Press Top 25 (2/3):

  1. Baylor
  2. Gonzaga
  3. Kansas
  4. San Diego State
  5. Louisville
  6. Dayton
  7. Duke
  8. Florida State
  9. Maryland
  10. Villanova
  11. Auburn
  12. Seton Hall
  13. West Virginia
  14. Oregon … down three from last week
  15. Kentucky
  16. Michigan State
  17. Iowa
  18. LSU
  19. Butler
  20. Illinois
  21. Creighton
  22. Penn State
  23. Arizona … up four from last week
  24. Colorado … down four from last week 
  25. Houston

Others receiving votes: Texas Tech 66, Marquette 31, Ohio State 19, Tulsa 19, Rhode Island 18, Northern Iowa 17, Wichita State 17, BYU 14, Rutgers 12, Stanford 7, Stephen F. Austin 3, Yale 1, Winthrop 1, Michigan 1, Virginia 1, Bowling Green 1

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February 2nd

… CU in the Arena …

At the midway point of the Pac-12 race, Buffs very much a factor

From CUBuffs.com … Halfway through the Pac-12 season, Tad Boyle‘s Buffaloes are still in good position to make a serious run at a conference title down the home stretch.

But so are at least a half-dozen other teams. If we learned anything over the first half of league play, it is that no one seems ready to seize control of the race.

Separation, evidently, is not easy.

Heading into Saturday’s games, it looked like Oregon might be ready to become that team — but then the Ducks lost at Stanford, as the Cardinal jumped back in contention by ending a three-game losing streak with the win.

The Buffs (17-5 overall, 6-3 Pac-12) also entered the weekend with thoughts of creating a little separation from the pack — but then came a loss at UCLA. Still, Colorado did manage to salvage a critical road trip split on Saturday with a big win at USC, a victory that also pulled the Trojans back into the logjam at the top.

Thus, at what is roughly the halfway point of the league schedule, there are five teams at the top with three losses — Oregon, Colorado, USC, Stanford and Arizona — and three more right behind with four (Arizona State, UCLA and Cal). That’s eight teams separated by just one game in the loss column.

What will it take to win the league? Some quick history:

Since Pac-12 expansion in 2011-12, seven of the eight regular season conference champs have won at least 14 conference games. A 14-4 record has been good enough to win the league three times, two teams won with 15-3 marks and three have been at the top with 16-2 marks (there was a tie in 2016-17).

The only exception to the 14-win rule was UCLA in 2012-13, which won the title with a 13-5 record.

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February 1st – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

No. 20 CU bounces back with a 78-57 rout of USC

Related … “No. 20 Colorado routs USC 78-57, salvages road split in L.A.” … from ESPN

Related … “No. 20 CU Buffs click on all cylinders in rout of USC” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com …  Colorado bounced back from a disappointing defeat in a big way Saturday, rolling to a 78-57 win over Southern California at the Galen Center.

On the heels of a lossThursday at UCLA, the win provided the 20th-ranked Buffaloes with a critical road trip split as they improved to 17-5 overall and 6-3 in Pac-12 play while USC fell to 17-5, 6-3.

The win pulled the Buffs back into a tie with the Trojans for second in the Pac-12 standings, just a half-game behind Oregon (18-5, 7-3), which lost to Stanford on Saturday. There are now five teams with three losses in a logjam at the top of the standings.

The Buffs put forth a balanced effort to collect the win, putting four players in double-digit scoring. Tyler Bey led CU with 16 points and seven rebounds while McKinley Wright IVD’Shawn Schwartz and Lucas Siewert all finished with 12 points. Wright also had eight assists, six rebounds and four steals; Schwartz had four rebounds and Evan Battey had nine points and four rebounds.

The Buffs also received excellent efforts off the bench from Dallas Walton (five points and three rebounds) and Eli Parquet (five points and five rebounds in a career-high 26 minutes), and starter Shane Gatling had seven points, three assists and just one turnover.

Isaiah Mobley led USC with 12 points.

CU finished with a 33-27 edge on the boards and held USC to just 37.9 percent shooting (22-for-58) while Colorado shot 27-for-52 (51.9 percent). The Buffs also limited USC to just 10 second-chance points and six fast break points — a far cry from the combined 40 they gave up to UCLA in those two categories just two nights earlier.

“Again, this team responds,” said Boyle, whose Buffs have lost two in a row only once this season. “This team has heart, determination — we just need to find more consistency … When we play with this kind of energy, enthusiasm, attentiveness and toughness, good things can happen.”

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Evan Battey: “I know we’re going to fix it, but for right now, I’m scared”

From the Daily Camera … At 6-foot-8 and a hefty 262 pounds, it isn’t easy to put a fright into Evan Battey. Particularly when he is in his native southern California, surrounded by friends and family.

And yet after a lackluster effort on the glass led to a defeat for No. 20 Colorado at UCLA on Thursday night, the Buffaloes’ third-year sophomore forward admitted to more than a little apprehension regarding the current state of the Buffs.

The loss against the Bruins was CU’s second consecutive on the road, and in three Pac-12 Conference games away from home, the Buffs have surrendered a whopping total of 43 offensive rebounds. For a team that typically has prided itself on its rebounding prowess throughout coach Tad Boyle’s 10-year tenure, it is a surprising shortcoming the Buffs will have to fix in a hurry before visiting a streaking USC team on Saturday night.

“I’m scared, actually,” Battey said. “I know we’re going to fix it, but for right now I’m scared because teams are going to watch this tape and go to the glass like UCLA did.

“Coach Boyle does the best he can to mostly emphasize on execution. You can lead to horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. We have to take that into account and really listen to coach and apply what coach is saying in the game and on the floor. Because it’s not working right now.”

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GAME PREVIEW

From CUBuffs.com … : No. 20 (AP)/21 (Coaches) ranked Colorado is 16-5 overall and 5-3 in the Pac-12 Conference after falling 72-68 at UCLA on Jan. 30. The Buffaloes have won four of six and nine of their last 12.

Colorado is 28-9 over its last 37 games. Colorado’s 16-5 mark ties for the third-best 21-game start in team history, joining the 2005-06 and 1996-97 squads, the latter making the NCAA Tournament. Two Colorado teams had 17-4 records: the 1968-69 Big Eight Conference titlists and the 1939-40 NIT champions.

ABOUT THE TROJANS: USC is 17-4 overall and second in the Pac-12 at 6-2. The Trojans have won two straight and four out of five, with the lone loss coming in double overtime at Oregon on Jan. 23. USC averages 73.0 points while shooting 44.2 percent from the field. The Trojans are second in the Pac-12 in assists at 15.0 per game. Defensively, USC allows 66.7 points while opponents shoot 38.8 percent. The Trojans are the top rebounding team in the Pac-12 overall (39.6 rpg) and defensively (28.3 drpg).

Freshman forward Onyeka Okongwu leads USC at 17.0 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.2 blocks while shooting 61.5 percent from the field. He is second in the Pac-12 in rebounding and third in field goal percentage. Senior guard Jonah Mathews averages 13.0 points per game and his 46 3-point field goals ranks third in the Pac-12 (2.23 mpg). Senior forward Nick Rakocevic averages 11.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Freshman guard Ethan Anderson tops the Trojans in assists (4.8 apg) while pitching in 5.5 points per game.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 19th meeting between Colorado and USC with the Buffaloes holding an 11-7 series lead. Colorado swept the series last season, winning 69-65 at the Galen Center on Feb. 9, and 78-67 in Boulder on Mar. 9. The series is even at 4-4 in Los Angeles.

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January 31st 

… CU in the Arena … 

Tad Boyle on USC: “I think the tougher team wins on Saturday. We just have to be that team”

From CUBuffs.com … When the Colorado Buffaloes left for Los Angeles earlier this week, they had eyes on a Pac-12 road trip sweep.

But after Thursday night’s disappointing loss at UCLA, the best the 20th-ranked Buffs (16-5, 5-3) can earn is a split, something they will try to salvage Saturday when they square off with rival USC (17-4, 6-2) in an 8:30 p.m. game (MT) at the Galen Center (FS1).

Thursday’s 72-68 defeat dropped the Buffs into third place in the Pac-12 standings, 1.5 games behind league-leading Oregon and a game behind USC. With Saturday’s game marking only the halfway point of the conference season, it means the Buffs are still in the hunt for a conference championship.

But after the loss to the Bruins, CU coach Tad Boyle was in no mood to talk title possibilities.

“We can’t even think about Pac-12 championships right now,” Boyle said. “We have to think about winning the next game.”

The Trojans present plenty to think about. After a confounding 72-40 loss at Washington in early January, USC has won five of its last six, with the only loss a narrow defeat at Oregon. Led by big men Nick Rakocevic and Onyeka Okongwu and guard Jonah Mathews, the Trojans are as talented as any team in the conference.

“USC is a better team than UCLA is,” Boyle said. “UCLA was good (Thursday). They deserved to win this game. The tougher team won this game … and I think the tougher team wins on Saturday. We just have to be that team, and we’d better find more toughness that we played with tonight.”

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January 30th – Game Day !

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs comeback falls short in 72-68 loss to UCLA

From CUBuffs.com …  The 20th-ranked Colorado Buffaloes dug themselves a big hole early Thursday, then saw a second-half comeback fall short as they dropped a 72-68 loss to UCLA at Pauley Pavilion.

CU fell to 16-5 overall and 5-3 in Pac-12 play while the Bruins improved to 11-10, 4-4.

Colorado trailed by 12 at intermission and by 15 early in the second half before rallying to cut the deficit to two with just more than seven minutes remaining. But the Buffs could never completely close the gap and UCLA held CU at bay down the stretch.

Evan Battey and McKinley Wright IV each scored 14 points for Colorado. Tyler Bey added 12 points and eight rebounds and Lucas Siewert had 11 points for the Buffs.

UCLA’s Chris Smith led all scorers with a career-high 30 points, including 13-for-15 from the free throw line. Smith also had a game-high nine rebounds.

While the Buffs actually shot a better percentage from the floor (42.2) than the Bruins (38.9), Colorado lost the rebound battle, 39-29. That included a 13-7 UCLA edge on the offensive boards, which led to an 18-10 edge in second-chance points. The Buffs also struggled in transition defense all night, giving up 22 fast break points.

The loss dropped CU into third place in the Pac-12 standings, 1.5 games behind league-leading Oregon and one game behind second-place USC.

“It was disheartening because that was a winnable game,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “We can’t even think about Pac-12 championship right now, we have to think about winning the next game.”

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56 Replies to “Colorado Basketball – February, 2020”

  1. I am still one to be of the thought that we are not and never will be a basketball school so 20 wins a year is a great year. But every once in a while I feel myself being sucked in (before UCLA) and then stabbed right in the heart. So GO BUFFS!!. I hope we get an NCAA invite and can make a decent showing (at least 1 win) if not then it has been a Great Season.

    1. My theory is, they just didn’t want to go into post-season play on too much of a high. They needed an edge. A chip on their shoulder.. Well? They got three.

      Of course, I’m kidding. But maybe, just maybe, it’ll play out that way. And maybe, just maybe, all the guys beyond the two seniors will be back next year. That could be a really good team. But, as in the Monty Python scene, “I’m not dead yet!”

      Go Buffs.

      1. ‘Bring out your dead, Bring out your dead” Ha ha great reference Eric. My favorite lines in that movie are — Speaker: ‘We are all individuals”. — Man in Audience: ” I’m not”
        Yet I digress. Go Buffs!!! Scalp the Utes.

          1. What floats on water? Little tiny rocks?

            We could do this all day.

            I told 95 he had the best post of the day. I may have spoken too soon.

            Go Buffs

  2. No matter how you cut it, CU is not a frontrunner on the court in the PAC-12…. or in the top 20% of the NCAA. The first year in the PAC-12 was a red herring. Year-in and year-out, CU is not consistent. We are either HOT or NOT.

    If by a stroke of luck (as in our first year in the PAC-12) we have superior talent, we can be very competitive. When we are GOOD, the Buffs are VERY GOOD….however, if the Buffs are bad, we are VERY BAD. To be a top-flite team, ya’ have to be able to win with your “B” game. The Buffs seem to not be able to….and it’s a shame.

    This scenario seems to repeat year after year. By the time we get down to tournament time, we have not progressed like 3 or 4 other teams in our conference. We now have 3 or 4 teams in the conference that can bombard us with improved talent.

    IT IS WHAT IT IS. Yeah, we may get into the dance with a waltz, however, that doesn’t get it when 3-4 other teams are doing the CHA, CHA, CHA.

    ‘Cmon TAD.

    1. Good post. As I have shared in other posts, I am not a basketball expert by any stretch but the inconsistency (rising expectations, good performances, followed by face plants) goes across the years. There is one common denominator: Boyle. If he can’t look in the mirror and figure it out, he needs to embrace a sports psychologist. This flows from the top. Is he good? Yes. Is he great? No. Fans certainly have a right to get irritated when they start to believe and then are let down time and time again because Boyle led teams cannot show consistency. Unfortunately, this feels like another season of one and done, at least in the tournament. The seeding there may drop significantly if the Buffs keep underachieving in the remaining games and the Pac 12 tournament is starting to look like a quick out. Boyle can create success but he cannot sustain it, game in, game out.

      1. CJ……I think we’re on the same train, “Boyle can create success but he cannot sustain it.”

        Q: ” What is the common factor in the seasons of failure in the PAC-12 ? You nailed it CJ.
        A: As much as I hate to say it, “Boyle.” I like the guy….. but, $$$$$ follows success on the court. Having a hope and prayer for the dance—- year in, year out —-gets pretty disgusting..
        Is it time for Boyle to go ?

  3. Like AZ said this is a veteran team which, now after 2 years should reaching their peak, especially at this time of year. So many questions. Inquiring minds want to know:
    Are the players complacent? Is Tad too nice a guy?
    Are too many players standing around on offense?
    Is there really a structured offense?
    Why are the players recruited as 3 point shooters horribly inconsistent?
    Is there enough depth on the bench?
    Is Tad recruiting players with not enough will to win?
    Once again…is Tad too nice a guy? Does he need an assistant/recruiter who can recognize a more competitive spirit? (Wright excepted of course)
    Is Dombek a bust?
    Is Walton a bust? Is he still hampered by health issues? Why do I believe Walton should have more minutes in match up situations?
    How do you fire the best hoops coach CU ever had? You cant, but will Tad ever address some of the consistently reoccurring deficiencies? We all appreciate the 20 win seasons, much better than the 5-7 ones from the football team, but the same ol same ceiling is still frustrating…..especially when you have 2 potential NBA stars on a team that has played “together” now for this long.

    1. Not much to argue with there, ep. only nit pick is the “future nba stars” part. NBA players? Yes. NBA Stars? They would be beating the odds, by a long shot.

      Either way, hoping they play like stars today.

      Go Buffs

  4. Well it is what it is and we are who we are. If I get a vote come tournament time we will be about the 30th best team out there. We should win one game but we don’t have the mental toughness to go any further.

  5. I think it is very discouraging that this veteran team cannot win games against so called inferior foes. It is doubly discouraging that they go on the road and perform and end up losing, looking like a team with a bunch of young guys that are totally overwhelmed at being away from Boulder. What the heck is wrong with this bunch? They should play better and with more confidence.

  6. Ouch.

    Fire tad.

    Kidding.

    It is hard to bring it every night. Looked to my untrained eye that they had plenty of good looks, but shots weren’t falling.

    It is about peaking at the right time. Maybe our Buffs have yet to find this hear’s Peak?

    Go Buffs.

  7. UCLA is a completely different team from the one that started the season. I didn’t make the trip to Boulder for this one and watched on tv. Looked like UCLA is very physical on defense from the looks of it. Cronin can coach. If he can recruit they will be a force. Cronin is also the guy who mentioned the 70 point mark. CU is 15-2 when hitting 70 and 6-5 when under (three of those wins they hit 69, 68, 68). Tough loss, but give UCLA credit. They came to the Can and earned it. Only 7 assists for the Buffs hurt also. .

  8. As good as this season is overall, the inconsistency is still there. A strong win followed by a loss to a lesser team. This tendency cuts across the years even though Boyle is a the best coach CU has had. Time is running out to determine how to snap this tendency or this team will have wiick exits from the Pac 12 tournament and the Big Dance.

      1. probably right. You gotta have ice in your veins when you dance. Lettinga lesser team blow you out at home is unforgivable. I dont even remember who the UCLA coach is but he made the adjustments and Tad didnt.

    1. Yes it’s super annoying because they have 3 home losses this year to Oregon state UCLA and northern Iowa there’s really no reason for that

  9. This team has really grown throughout the season and is playing with a lot of confidence. A rematch with the wildcats in the p12 tourney would be sweet.

  10. Love to see the balanced scoring but I wonder how much further this team could go with a more structured offense. I read somewhere that Tad lets the kids create their own offense. If True that sounds dangerous. Maybe thats why we have some of these turnover episodes.
    I shouldnt complain too much as Gonzaga, with their structured offense looked like they were going to get run out of their own gym last night in the first half but came back to win by 18. But that is Gonzaga.
    I wonder if these bad first halves are the result of a little bit of complacency. Buffs are going to have to play like they are already down by 10 at the tip off when it comes time to dance.

    1. I’m certainly not smart enough to be able to speak to Tad’s offense, whether it’s coaching, execution or both (but you know I tend to lean towards execution, we know Tad coaches; just saw that up close and personal, live). I certainly thought his style would engender a better response than OSU’s coach’s style.

      Regardless, here’s my hope. Everyone returns next year. That could really be sweet. Or maybe Elite. Or maybe, just maybe, even better? Would certainly be fun for them, and us fans.

      Go Buffs.

  11. So first place! Really?
    Buffs have 4 games left.
    Both az schools have 5
    All 3 win out?
    All have the same record at the end?

    AZ has the tie breaker dang nab it.

    Go Buffs. Gotta win em all

  12. I’m surprised that no one has commented about the coverage of OSU – CU game by Fox Sports 1. I thought it was great, although I wouldn’t want it on a regular basis but it certainly was entertaining, and I feel pretty informative.

    Maybe the reason that no one has commented is that it did show hopefully to many that Tad does know just a little bit more about coaching BB then a lot of the so called Tad detractors and second guessers. Also considering the current atmosphere in Buff Country it was great to see a coach that is committed to CU perform his job for all to see.

    1. Agree – it was very interesting.
      I found it a little distracting during the game, as much of the time both coaches were talking, but I went back and watched the game again, and focused on Tad’s teaching. I may be biased, but I think he did a much better job than Tinkle did at making in game adjustments. I also liked to see that McKinley Wright jumped in and helped coach, and Coach Boyle was fine with his input.

      1. Stuart, I meant to put that same thought in my post. I too agree that at least to me, Tad came off as much better game coach then Tinkle. I also approved of the way Tad let McKinley and even Battey add their comments during the time outs.

    2. Good stuff, AZ. I thought that was a great show by fs1. Loved seeing tad coach and how the players and assistants chimed in.

      I bet we see a lot more of that style broadcast. I actually thought for pac 12 trying to cut production costs, it could be a boon. Too bad they didn’t think of it first. Here’s lookin at you, Larry.

      Go Buffs

  13. So 20 it is. Ye ha.
    5 is the number……………to go that is.
    Lots of dogs yapping at the Buffs. Couple with tie breakers………….

    Therefore:
    USC and UCLA must be beaten. Without these two wins, top 4 drops fast. Real fast.

    Cal and Stan……………minimum split…………….But win both and Holy Moly. The real Buffs can win two…………….the pretend ones…………..not so much.

    Utah…………everybody beats them……….except cal and stan………….so eh Buffs get the both for sure.

    Strong finish………………Roll Buffs.

  14. It’s hard to believe that such a talented and veteran team doesn’t know how to break a press or handle zone defences, but then again, one of Tad’s teams have.

  15. I am hoping the “revenge angle” gets them the win. Sheesh. A melt down against little o.

    So get #20 tonight.

    8 and 4
    6 to go
    win 2 at home have to eh?
    Win 3 on the road starting tonight. Hey it’s possible.
    13 and 5 will probably get em in the top 4 and a first round bye. How neat.

    Hhmmm o has 6 to go with 4 at home
    arizona has to go with 4 at home.

    Buffs gonna have to big road warriors.

    Go Buffs

  16. Those 20-24 point halves will continue to hurt the Buffs in big games and will be a big reason for an “L.” Did you note that CU out-rebounded the Yucks? It was 18 turnovers and 14 assists which cost CU the game. You want to try to be in the 2.0/1.0 ratio of assists to turnovers (most coaches will live with 1.5/1.0). Point guards with a 3.0/1.0 ratio are hard to find in college and valuable (John Stockton was usually around 13.5/3.0–incredible). Execution down the stretch plus not getting near 70 points cost the Buffs. On to the next one which is winnable to get the split.

  17. EP, I thought this was interesting, given our discussions on other threads. Mark Jackson, a reasonably successful basketball player and commentator, just said about his best coaches “you can learn the basketball stuff a lot of places. My best coaches taught me about life.”

    I can elaborate on my point, if needed.

    Good game so far.

    Go Buffs

  18. Let’s go Buffs. Beat Oregon. We could use some good news tonight after yesterdays debacle.
    ‘Sko Buffs – Shoulder to Shoulder

  19. Stanford game. First half was just terrible. What a come back in the second half: 59 points and 8-8 from the 3 point line. In one half. Let that sink in. BTW Stanford is really good. Gonna be a tough road the rest of the way though.

  20. Wow what a day in the Pac.

    Buffs beat Stanford
    UCLA beat Arizona
    OSU beat Oregon
    Utah beat Cal
    ASU beat USC

    How Sweet it is

    What a strange team this is.

    7 to go and only 2 at home. Mein Gott is this the end? Is this the set up? Is this where the rat hole opens up again……………oooh I am ready to dive in…………right now Please don’t let it be the rat hole…………….Many have just jumped down it due to “rumors form an undisclosed source” that HCMT was leaving………….

    The big test

    At OSU and OU………??? It’s why you play the game……….
    Home UCLA and USC …………Home court….Gotta have it no if and or but’s ………
    At Cal and Stanford………….Whoa I wish I new.
    At Utah…………..Yikes

    7 left
    win 2 hat home
    win 2 on the road
    12 and 6

    Would be enough to get that first round bye.
    Win 5 and it’s first place baby

    What a strange team this is.

    Go Buffs

    1. VK, those numbers you listed make sense. I have been picturing the same scenario. It would be really great if they did win 5, but split on the road and win hold court at home. Don’t know what to make of UCLA though, they get clobbered by ASU and come into Tucson and just beat the heck out of UofA.

  21. I attend almost all football games but not as many basketball games so am definitely not an expert on the latter. What I saw tonight did not vaguely resemble a Top 25 or Big Dance team. Air balls, bad foul line shooting, the bench was awful, particularly on 3 point attempts. Yes, it was a win but against a bad Cal team after a bad loss two games ago against a mediocre UCLA team. Sure hope this team pulls it together. 2 out of the last 3 games have been weak.

    1. Yeah I had all the same thoughts, but then I have to remind myself if I’m disappointed with a win it means our bb buffs have made it to another level this year.

    2. One could say the same about ANY college basketball team! Did AZ look like a Top 25-ranked team, shooting 25% for the ENTIRE game—AT HOME—against a talented, but mediocre UCLA team? Did Oregon look great losing to an Ore. St. team that had been tailing off of late? How about the pre-season #1 Michigan St. ? or #2 ranked Ohio St.? Or # 11 North Carolina? All have more losses than the Buffs—with OSU currently un-ranked and MSU falling badly. Even Stanford—they were ranked #1 in Pac-12 defense (and “defense travels”, remember?) and 27th in PET, yet couldn’t hold a 16 point lead with 18 mins. to go? Same with a 16-3 U$C team, getting curb-stomped by the Buffs at home???

      You whiners about the Buffs, have ZERO depth of knowledge about college basketball of late. It ain’t “good ol’ days” of 4-5 elite teams winning everywhere, every night out. Relax, enjoy the roller-coaster ride that is today’s college game…oh, and stop yer WHINING!

  22. Good for the squad…unfortunately I’ve seen enough, and have seen this same script play out over/over again. Hope they get hot in the Pac12 Tournament to bring home something.
    Cutting the cord until FB season.

    1. Oh man I think you should keep watching. While the UCLA game was a waste of my precious TV time, the USC game was a thing to behold. The inconsistency is frustrating to me too. Pretty much the whole conference is inconsistent this year. Heck, look at how many top-20 teams went down yesterday nationally?

  23. From a coach’s standpoint this has to be befuddling and frustrating. One night you choke on the worst team in the conference and 2 nights later you run one of the best teams in the conference out of the gym.
    The troubling thing about this Jekyll and Hyde act is that it wont get you very far in a conference tournament or the dance where you win or go home.

    1. I feel that some of this comes from the coach in looking back over the years. I mentioned in another post that I am not a Boyle detractor and he is the best coach that CU has had. But there needs to be some reflection on his part regarding what he brings to the table that might contribute to this phenomenon. I watch international hockey from time to time. One team I follow beat all the tough teams and overachieved and then lost to lower tier teams and underachieved a few years ago. They were heavily favored in the final round and exited in the first round after being beat by the weakest team in that round. It was a roller coaster ride. Their coach was replaced. The next year, they won the world championship with relatively inexperienced but highly talented players. I am not saying Boyle should be replaced. Not at all. But the trend of playing to the level of the competition is evident and it is his responsibility to figure it out and coach the players up and get them consistently ready for every single game. Otherwise, I agree with you that early exits loom coming up. The Daily Camera talked about the perplexing views on Tad Boyle. Well, the views are perplexing because his teams ups and downs are perplexing.

  24. Happy to see CU bounce back after being stung by UCLA. It was a great way to kick off February. This team will need the same kind of month it enjoyed last season when it entered Feb. floundering at 11-9 (2-6), only to reel off a 5-2 mark and resurrect their season. With one down in the win column and 7 to go this month I see a schedule that’s doable in regard to success.

  25. Nice bounce back win for the Buffs and given the relationship between Coach Boyle and SC’s coach, I’ve no doubt just how much he enjoyed seeing his guys take the Trojans out behind the woodshed – especially on their home floor.

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