POSTED: March 30, 2021

Colorado Basketball – March, 2021


Colorado Basketball – March, 2021

March 30th

… CU in the Arena … 

Jeriah Horne bids CU a fond farewell 

From Horne’s tweet, joining all of the other seniors who have decided not to return for the 2021-22 season … 

CU picks up first commit from the Class of 2022; 6’10”, 225-pound four-star 220-pound center Joe Hurlburt

Rivals bio247 Sports bio … Hurlburt is considered to be a four-star prospect by both recruiting services. Rivals has Hurlburt rated as the No. 15 center in the nation, and the No. 101 overall player in the nation, while 247 Sports has Hurlburt as the No. 11 center, and the No. 86 overall prospect …

From 247 SportsJoe Hurlburt, the No. 86 overall prospect in the 2022 Top150, has committed to Colorado, he tells 247Sports.

“I will be going to the University of Colorado,” Hurlburt told 247Sports.

The 6-foot-10, 220-pound center prospect out of Enderlin (N.D.) Area committed to the Buffaloes over offers from Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oregon State and Wisconsin among others.

“I have had a really good relationship with all of the coaches for quite some time now,” he said of why he chose Colorado. “I went out there for an elite camp my freshman year and I wasn’t being heavily recruited, I had like no offers and coach [Tad] Boyle sat me down in his office and explained everything in depth to me for like well over an hour and that gave me a really good impression of coach Boyle and the whole coaching staff.”

“Coach [Mike] Rohn then flew to see me workout and that also played a factor that he knows where I am from and he’s put in that effort,” he added. “A lot of people don’t know this but I have always been drawn to the Pac 12. I told people when I was in the sixth grade that I wanted to play in the Pac 12 and it ended up becoming a reality for me.”

Continue reading story here

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March 29th 

… CU in the Arena … 

Seniors D’Shawn Schwartz and Dallas Walton enter transfer portal

From the Daily Camera … Native Coloradoans D’Shawn Schwartz and Dallas Walton have suited up for their home state Buffaloes for the final time.

Yet that doesn’t mean the duo is quite done with college basketball just yet.

On Monday, Schwartz and Walton entered the NCAA transfer portal, intending to take advantage of the eligibility relief granted for the 2020-21 pandemic season to play an extra season elsewhere.

One potential landing spot for both players is George Mason University, which named well-liked former CU assistant Kim English as its head coach last week. According to gmuhoops.com, English expects to hire as an assistant former Buffs player and CU’s Director of Player Development, Nate Tomlinson.

The turn of events doesn’t change the spring plans for CU head coach Tad Boyle. Even if any of the 2020-21 seniors had opted to stay, the extra year does not count against the scholarship limit in 2021-22. The Buffs have two open scholarships to use this spring to bolster a 2021 recruiting class ranked 12th in the nation by 247Sports.com.

UPDATE … Alexander Strating and Isaac Jessup both entered the portal Monday, as well. Jessup was a walk-on but Strating’s departure will open up another scholarship for CU.

Jeriah Horne and Maddox Daniels are the two remaining scholarship seniors whose intentions ahead of this upcoming season are unknown.

If neither of them opt to return, Colorado has two open scholarships to use on the transfer market in competing a 13-man roster for the 2021-2022 campaign. The Buffs currently have 11 players on scholarship for next year.

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March 27th

… CU in the Arena …

Larry Scott: Pac-12’s performance “will have a multiplier effect … people will have a deeper respect for the conference”

From 247 Sports … Prior to the start of the 2021 NCAA Tournament, the Pac-12 was not the conference people thought would have the most success in March. Now, with the Sweet 16 beginning on Saturday, the league still has four teams remaining in the field.

Now, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott hopes that the conference will get some more respect going forward. Speaking with ESPN, Scott admitted that he thinks a slight East Coast bias exists in the college basketball media. That might have been why so many people overlooked the depth that the Pac-12 boasted in college basketball this year.

“It will help for sure. I think there is subtle bias for West Coast teams because of the time zone and given the concentration of media on the East Coast,” Scott said. “But the performance this year will have a multiplier effect in future years. I think our teams will get the benefit of the doubt and more people will have a deeper respect for the depth and competitiveness in the conference.”

 

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March 24th 

… CU in the Arena … 

Tad Boyle already working on CU’s off-season to-do list

From the Daily Camera … The facelift on the way for the roster of the Colorado men’s basketball team is inevitable.

What direction that roster overhaul might take could come into clearer focus by the end of the week.

After returning to Boulder on Tuesday following Monday’s season-ending loss against Florida State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, there was little time to regroup for head coach Tad Boyle and his staff. Boyle told BuffZone on Wednesday the process of holding his annual, postseason one-on-one meetings with his players already has begun, and he might have a better grasp of what unexpected twists might hit the Buffaloes’ roster by the weekend.

“The (player meetings) start today and they end on Friday,” Boyle said. “So Friday at five o’clock, I’ll have a hell of a better feel for it. Any discussions we’ve had so far in the season have been pretty mundane. Players are smart. They know what their options are. To me, at this stage of the game where we are today, it is all about what’s best for the player. A week ago today, it was what’s best for Colorado basketball. That switch flips as well as soon as the season is over.

“That’s why we have to sit down and discuss where they are, where they’ve been, and where they’re going. They have those conversations with their families and they have them with me, and that’s where we are now.”

Continue reading story here

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March 23rd

… CU in the Arena … 

Future bright for CU basketball – Tad Boyle: “The bar has been set pretty high. We didn’t get to the Sweet 16 this year. We’re going to get there”

From the Daily Camera … It has been an impressive run for the Colorado men’s basketball team since McKinley Wright IV and D’Shawn Schwartz first set foot on campus.

Over the past four seasons that duo has been part of 84 wins. Wright has rewritten the Buffaloes’ record book, and Schwartz joined the 1,000-point club during the NCAA Tournament. They helped lead the Buffs back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016 and would have enjoyed two appearances if not for the COVID-19 pandemic that forced the cancellation of the 2020 tournament.

This postseason the Buffs achieved two things that hadn’t happened since 2012 — reaching the Pac-12 Conference title game and winning a game in the NCAA Tournament.

Alas, in college basketball, nothing lasts forever. And when the Buffs and their fans turn the page on a memorable 2020-21 season, they will see coach Tad Boyle’s program is well-positioned to remain competitive within the Pac-12 and for berths in the NCAA tourney.

“The example (the seniors) set is they got better every single year,” Boyle said. “They took some lumps as freshmen and sophomores. But D’Shawn Schwartz got better. He became a 1,000-point scorer in this tournament. We’re going to have four 1,000-point scorers in that (2017) class before it’s all said and done, because Evan (Battey) was a piece of that class but he redshirted his freshman year.

“The example they set this year was a very high bar, and the leadership that they showed through tough times. They’ve given us so much. And if our young guys can learn one thing from this class, it’s constant improvement and leadership. Because that’s what it’s going to take as this program moves forward.”

… “It’s in good shape,” Boyle said of his program. “We’ve got good young players and we’ll add a piece or two to the mix. We’ve got a good class coming in next year. But the bar has been set pretty high. We didn’t get to the Sweet 16 this year. We’re going to get there. And hopefully beyond. That’s something I’m committed to as long as I’m the coach at Colorado.”

Read full story here

McKinley Wright: “This hurts. I’m trying to hold back my tears again right now. I gave this university everything I had for four years” 

From CUBuffs.com … A career that began with a call from a coach McKinley Wright IV had never met came to a poignant end Monday night with a long, heartfelt hug between the two.

Wright, who rewrote the Colorado record books in his four years in Boulder, played his final game in a Buffaloes uniform in a 71-53 loss to Florida State in the NCAA Tournament second round.

CU coach Tad Boyle, whose last-minute recruitment of Wright four years ago changed the course of Colorado basketball, removed his star player from the game in the waning minutes. The two then shared a long embrace on the sidelines, a moment captured by television cameras for the nation.

After the game, an emotional Boyle couldn’t contain the tears.

“I told him I loved him, because I do,” Boyle said. ” The kid’s special. What he’s been through to get to the University of Colorado and what he’s given to the program the last four years … the player is supposed to be crying, not the coach, but there were tears in my eyes like there are now. He’s a special young man. All seven of our seniors are special. But he’s given so much to this program from the time he stepped on campus, and I really, really appreciate him. He knows that and I told him that.”

Wright’s last game as a Buff certainly didn’t end the way he envisioned. Surrounded by FSU defenders every time he touched the ball, he finished with 10 points, just one assist and an uncharacteristic five turnovers.

But the only numbers that mattered — the only numbers that have ever mattered to Wright — were those on the scoreboard.

“This hurts,” Wright said. “I’m trying to hold back my tears again right now. I gave this university everything I had for four years. I tried my best to win as many games as possible. That’s all I care about is winning. I don’t care about stats. You know, my recruiting class, we didn’t care about stats. We just wanted to come in and win, and we created that bond, that love for each other.”

Wright was part of a recruiting class that also included Tyler Bey (now with the Dallas Mavericks), D’Shawn Schwartz and Evan Battey. They appeared in one NCAA Tournament — it would have been two last year had the covid pandemic not canceled the postseason — and won 23, 21 and 23 games their last three years.

Monday was the last time they would suit up on the same team.

“It hurts,” Wright said. “Not necessarily the loss we took tonight, just the fact that I’m done. I just played my last game here at CU. I’ll never get to play with this group of guys again, and especially my recruiting class. We created so many memories over my four years … I’m sorry. I gave Colorado everything I had in me. It hurts to go out like this.”

Continue reading story here

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March 22nd – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena …

Tad Boyle post-game press conference

Buffs fall to Florida State in NCAA second round, 71-53

Related … “Sweet 16 dreams end for CU Buffs in second-round loss against Florida State” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado struggled on the offensive end Monday and the Buffaloes fell short in their bid for a Sweet 16 appearance, dropping a 71-53 decision to Florida State in the NCAA Tournament second round.

The fifth-seeded Buffs finished their season at 23-9 — tied for the third-most wins in program history — while No. 4 FSU improved to 18-6 and earned a Sweet 16 matchup with Michigan.

D’Shawn Schwartz led the Buffs with 13 points, Evan Battey added 11 and McKinley Wright IV scored 10.

Anthony Polite led Florida State with 22 points.

The Buffs couldn’t repeat their blistering shooting effort in their first-round win over Georgetown. CU shot just 36 percent from the floor against FSU, including 6-for-25 from 3-point range, and also committed 19 turnovers.

HOW IT HAPPENED: After a tough first half on the offensive end, Colorado trailed by four, 24-20, at intermission.

But the Buffs slowly chipped away at the deficit and finally pulled to within one, 36-35, on a Schwartz 3-pointer with 11:51 remaining.

That, though, was as close as Colorado could come, as the Seminoles slowly rebuilt their lead. CU came within six, 47-41, on another Schwartz trey at the 7:36 mark, but the Seminoles then ran off an 8-0 run to take command for good.

The run came on two Seminoles 3-pointers and two free throws, one after a technical foul on CU coach Tad Boyle.

Florida State then extended the margin to 16 with just under four minutes to play and Colorado never threatened again.

Colorado struggled to establish anything resembling offensive rhythm in the first half. The Buffs committed 11 turnovers and shot just 9-for-29 from the floor and trailed, 24-20, at the half.

The 20 points was the fewest in a half this season for CU and the fewest since scoring just 15 against Wyoming in late November 2019.

CU actually led, 11-9, at the 11:27 mark of the period after a 6-0 run on baskets from Tristan da SilvaMaddox Daniels and Wright.

But Colorado then went on a 7-minute scoring drought that saw CU commit seven turnovers in that stretch. FSU then slowly built its biggest lead of the half, taking a 20-13 edge with just more than two minutes left in the half.

The Buffs, though, came back to score seven points in the final two minutes. Daniels hit a 3-pointer, Schwartz scored on a drive and Wright tipped in a Schwartz miss just before the buzzer to pull Colorado to within 24-20 at intermission.

While the Buffs struggled on the offensive end in the first half, they stayed within range by playing solid defense and commanding the boards. Colorado held FSU to 9-22 shooting and held a 21-13 rebound edge.

SEASON WRAP: The Buffs ended their season with a 23-9 record, tied for the third-most wins in program history.

Buffs prepared for Florida State: “They are long and athletic. You know they’re going to be well-schooled defensively” (5:45 p.m., TBS)

Related … Writer from Tallahassee Democrat picks Buffs to defeat Seminoles … Read story here

Related … “Historic opportunity at hand as CU Buffs face Florida State in NCAA Tournament second round” … from the Daily Camera

Related … CBS slate of experts are unanimous: Florida State to win … from CBS Sports

From CUBuffs.comTad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes have already accomplished something only a handful of teams in CU history have managed.

Monday, they have the chance to join even more select company in program annals when they face Florida State in their 5:45 p.m. (MT) second-round NCAA Tournament game at Indiana Farmers Coliseum (TBS).

Colorado’s 96-73 win Saturday over Georgetown in their NCAA opener was just the third opening-round win for CU since 1963, joining the 1997 Buffs (over Indiana) and the 2012 Buffs, when Boyle’s Pac-12 tourney champs beat UNLV.

But winning two NCAA tourney games?

Hasn’t happened since the 1955 Colorado team advanced to the Final Four — 66 years, to be exact.

Thus, while this is CU’s fifth trip to the NCAA tourney in Boyle’s 11 years, there’s no doubt he’d like to extend the team’s stay in Indianapolis as long as possible.

“To have a team like we have this year that I think is built for tournament play is exciting to me,” Boyle told the media Sunday afternoon. “We have to go out and prove it and play well (Monday). Heck of an opportunity and we don’t know the next time it will come around. Hopefully more often — (but) hopefully we can knock the door down tomorrow.”

The Buffs were glad to see an evening tipoff time for Monday’s game. The extra time Monday will give 23-8 CU a chance to get in a morning shootaround and also take one more look at the scouting report Colorado’s coaches prepared for Leonard Hamilton’s 17-6 Seminoles.

“It’s going to be a different animal than Georgetown,” Boyle said of the Buffs’ first-ever meeting with Florida State. “A whole different set of personnel … You know (Hamilton’s) teams are going to be long and athletic. You know they’re going to be well-schooled defensively.”

Hamilton, whose first head coaching job came at Oklahoma State in the late 1980s, then spent 10 years at Miami before coaching in the NBA for one year. He then moved back to the college ranks to take the reins at FSU, where he’s been for the last 19 seasons.

There, he’s built a consistent winner, taking the Seminoles to eight NCAA Tournaments, with this being their fourth in a row. FSU’s last two appearances produced Elite Eight and Sweet 16 appearances.

“He’s done an unbelievable job at Florida State,” Boyle said. “Florida State is one of the better teams year in and year out that really nobody talks about on a national level unless they get to a Sweet 16 or Elite Eight. Well schooled, hard to score on and this year’s team can really score the ball and shoot the ball from the perimeter at a very good rate.”

While the Seminoles haven’t been overly consistent of late — they’ve won just three of their last six, including Saturday’s 64-54 victory over UNC Greensboro — they finished second in the ACC regular season this year, then lost to Georgia Tech in the ACC tournament finals. Their victories this season include two over North Carolina, as well as wins over Florida and Georgia Tech.

“They’re a long, aggressive team,” said CU wing D’Shawn Schwartz, who had five 3-pointers against Georgetown. “They like to get out in the lanes so we have to make sure we take care of the ball.”

Continue reading story here

Game Notes … Colorado is making its 15th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first since 2016. The Buffaloes have two Final Four appearances in 1942 and 1955. It is the fifth trip to the Big Dance in head coach Tad Boyle’s 11 seasons, which included three-straight appearances from 2012-14.

Prior to 2012, Colorado had advanced to just two NCAA Tournaments in 42 years (1997 and 2003). Colorado’s No. 5 seed in the bracket is its highest since the NCAA began seeding the entire field in 1979. The Buffaloes previous best was a No. 8 seed, achieved in their last two tournaments in 2014 and ’16.

Against Georgetown, Colorado had season-highs for points (96), field goals made (35), field goal percentage (60.7), three-point percentage (.640) and assists (27, the most in a game since Dec. 22, 2009 (27 in a 92-58 win over CSU-Northridge).

Colorado is now 11-16 in the NCAA Tournament (3-6 since seeding began in 1979 when the tournament expanded from 32 to 40 teams, 1-2 as the higher seed (8, 8 & 5), 3-4 in first round games and 2-4 in those decided in double figures).

THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 23-8 overall and finished in third place in the Pac-12 Conference at 14-6. The Buffaloes were the runner up at the 2021 Pac-12 Tournament. As the No. 3 seed, Colorado knocked off No. 11 California (61-58) and No. 2 USC (72-70) before falling to No. 5 Oregon State (70-68) in the championship game. The Buffaloes have won seven of eight, 10 of 13 and 16 of their last 21.

With the win, CU on a neutral court this season is now 6-1; that ties the most ever a neutral site; the ‘11-12 Buffs, in Tad Boyle’s second year, were 6-3.

The 12 wins away from home are the most in CU history; topping 10 in each of the 1941-42, 1954-55 and 2011-12 seasons (the 11 in the regular season tied for the seventh-most in the NCAA).

ABOUT THE SEMINOLES: No. 4 seed Florida State is 17-6 overall after defeating No. 13 UNC-Greensboro, 64-54 in a first round game on Mar. 20. The Seminoles, ranked 14th in the latest AP/USA Today Coaches Polls, finished second in the ACC at 11-4 and was the conference tournament runner up. Florida State is the top scoring and 3-point shooting team in the ACC, averaging 78.3 points per game while shooting 38 percent from 3-point range. The Seminoles top the ACC in field goal defense, allowing just under 40 percent from the floor.

Senior guard M.J. Walker leads Florida State at 12.5 points per game with a team-best 44 3-point field goals. Junior forward RaiQuan Gray tops the Seminoles in rebounding at 6.6 per game while ranking second in scoring at 12.2 per contest. Freshman guard Scottie Barnes leads FSU in assists at 4.1 per game and averages 10.6 points on 51 percent shooting. Junior guard Anthony Polite averages 9.5 points and is second on the team in 3-pointers made with 29.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the first meeting between Colorado and Florida State. The Buffaloes are 5-8 against current members of the ACC: 1-0 vs. Clemson, Miami, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest; 1-1 vs. Duke; 0-1 vs. Louisville and Notre Dame; 0-2 vs. Pittsburgh and 0-3 vs. North Carolina. Florida State will be the 10th school in the league to line up against CU.

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March 21st 

… CU in the Arena … 

How Florida State matches up with CU (From the FSU perspective)

From wctv.com … Florida State survived against UNC Greensboro in its opening game of the NCAA Tournament with a 64-54 win Saturday.

The Seminoles failed to make a single three-pointer in the game, becoming the first team since Kentucky in 2018 to not make a shot beyond the arc in an NCAA Tournament game. However, they compensated by outscoring UNCG 44-16 in the paint.

The Seminoles won, but it wasn’t the prettiest performance, continuing a stretch of uneven play over the past three weeks. The road will only get more difficult from here.

Next up for the Seminoles is fifth-seeded Colorado, who defeated 12th-seeded Georgetown, 96-73, Saturday in an impressive performance.

The Buffaloes made 16 three’s against the red-hot Big East champion Hoyas, an NCAA Tournament record for a Pac-12 team.

Similar to Florida State, the Buffaloes have a rotation of nine or ten players with multiple guys capable of taking over a game on any given day.

Colorado is an excellent offensive team, ranking 11th in the nation in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency. That’s just ahead of Florida State, which ranks 12th in that category.

First-Team All-Pac-12 senior guard McKinley Wright leads the way for the Buffaloes. He averages 15.5 points per game with a near three-to-one assist-to-turnover ratio. He also averages 1.1 steals per game.

He will be a tough matchup for Florida State’s backcourt duo of RayQuan Evans and M.J. Walker.

The Buffaloes have two other double-digit scorers in Jeriah Horne (11.4 PPG) and Evan Battey (10.2 PPG). Horne is a terrific shooter, making 42.1% of his shots from 3-point range and 90.6% of his free throws. Battey, on the other hand, is a skilled big man at 6-foot-8. He draws fouls at a high rate and converts on 83.2% of his free throws.

Horne is also Colorado’s most versatile defender at 6-foot-7. He’ll likely be tasked with trying to slow down RaiQuan Gray and Scottie Barnes throughout Monday.

Monday’s game will also feature a matchup between two excellent freshmen. Barnes is a future lottery pick for Florida State and has been its best passer this season, but the Buffaloes have a solid freshman of their own in Jabari Walker.

Walker made the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team after averaging 7.3 points per game and shooting 48.6% from beyond the arc. Walker had an outstanding game off the bench in Colorado’s opening round game against Georgetown, scoring a game-high 24 points on 9-of-10 shooting and 5-of-5 from distance.

Junior guard Eli Parquet is Colorado’s best perimeter defender and was named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team. It will be fun to watch the backcourt matchup between him and Walker, who is FSU’s leading scorer.

Colorado ranks 28th in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency, 14 spots ahead of Florida State at 42nd.

As always, the challenge for Florida State will be to take care of the ball. Florida State ranks 248th nationally in turnovers per game, and it’s been a growing problem over the last several weeks. The Seminoles are averaging 17.7 turnovers per game in their last six contests after committing 15 more against UNCG Saturday.

The Seminoles also can’t rely on making zero 3-point shots again, in order to beat Colorado. That formula worked against a UNCG team that ranked 311th nationally in 3-point shooting. The Buffaloes, on the contrary, are a top-50 team from beyond the arc and are capable of filling it up from deep, as they showed against Georgetown on Saturday.

Colorado has a lot more size and athleticism throughout its lineup than UNCG, so Florida State probably won’t be able to replicate its 44-16 points in the paint margin.

The Seminoles led the ACC in 3-point percentage this season, but they’ve struggled to shoot the ball in their 10 games outside of the Tucker Center. In such contests, they’ve made just 31.5% of their 3s. They’ll need to be better on Monday.

Pat Rooney: Tad Boyle has CU Buffs reaching new plateaus

Related:Floors and Ceilings (similar idea … just different terms) …

... Related … CU a 1.5-point underdog to Florida State … from Vegas Insider

From the Daily Camera … With a wave to the loud and jubilant Colorado faithful, Buffaloes men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle sauntered off to the locker room and left the partying to everyone else.

While his players celebrated, waiting for team leader McKinley Wright IV to complete his network TV interview while getting serenaded with chants of “M-V-P! M-V-P!” from those same giddy Buffs fans at Hinkle Fieldhouse, Boyle looked as if CU had just posted a ho-hum early nonconference win instead of one that should shut the mouths of his most fervent critics permanently.

Eleven seasons into a tenure that eventually will be remembered as the greatest era in the history of Colorado basketball, Boyle collected arguably the most important win of the 233 he has earned on the Buffs’ sideline with CU’s thorough 96-73 dismantling of Georgetown on Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

In Boyle’s fifth NCAA Tournament appearance as CU’s leader, the Buffs are in the second round for the second time, and the first time since the initial tourney appearance of 2012. They are one win from the program’s first appearance in the Sweet 16. And if they play anywhere close to how they played against Georgetown — even assuming Florida State won’t provide D’Shawn Schwartz and Jabari Walker looks from the arc like a Hoyas defense content to let the Buffs fire away as if it was a shoot-around — CU’s long road trip that began when they set out for Las Vegas for the Pac-12 tournament will be extended at least another week.

In six seasons covering this program, I’ve noticed one consistent theme. Judging by my Twitter feed and email inbox, there hasn’t been a single loss during that span that can be attributed to anything else but the coaching of Boyle. News flash: Sometimes you lose to better teams. Sometimes shots don’t go down. And sometimes, like during Saturday’s thumping of Georgetown, everything just clicks.

Recently I was asked on a local radio show if this Buffs program had reached a plateau under Boyle. It’s been the common debate in recent seasons as that most recent tourney season of 2016 fades further into the background. For all the 20-win seasons and NCAA appearances recorded at an unprecedented pace under Boyle, critics point to the lack of a top-four finish in the Pac-12 and the accompanying bye in the league tournament. That drought ended this year. Critics point to three first-round NCAA Tournament losses as if Colorado is Duke or Kansas. Never mind how the 2014 team went into the tournament without its best player, Spencer Dinwiddie. Or how the 2016 team simply didn’t have the guard play of this year’s Buffs. Yet that drought ended Saturday.

Continue reading story here

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March 20th – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs on a roll: CU women advance to Elite Eight of WNIT

From CUBuffs.com … A fast start and a strong fourth-quarter performance by the Colorado women’s basketball team helped propel the Buffaloes into the quarterfinals of the WNIT on Saturday. Freshman Frida Formann scored a team-high 18 points, helping CU to a 75-71 win over old-time rival Nebraska.

Colorado (12-10) had four players score in double figures. Charlotte Whittaker matched her career-high with 15 points, nine coming in the second half. She also snagged a season-best seven rebounds. Junior Peanut Tuitele put in 14 points for the second consecutive night and led CU with eight rebounds, going along with a career-high six assists. Junior Lesila Finau scored 10 of her 12 points in the fourth quarter, helping the Buffs put away the Huskers.

Nebraska (13-13) had five players in double figures, led by Sam Haiby’s 20-point effort.

Colorado will next play on Monday, March 22, facing the winner of Mississippi and Tulane.

No. 5 Colorado routs No. 12 Georgetown, 96-73

Related … “Hoyas history; Colorado uses 3s to dismiss Georgetown 96-73” … from ESPN

Related … “Showtime: CU Buffs light up Georgetown to advance in NCAA Tournament” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.comTad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes issued a national statement Saturday.

The Buffs unleashed a barrage of 3-pointers, played stifling defense and rolled to a 96-73 win over Big East champion Georgetown in their NCAA Tournament opener at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

The fifth-seeded Buffs improved to 23-8 while the No. 12 Hoyas ended their season at 13-13.

The Buffs drained 16 3-pointers in the win, their best ever in an NCAA Tournament game, and finished with 27 assists on 34 baskets.

Freshman Jabari Walker led CU with a career-high 24 points that included a 5-for-5 day from 3-point range (9-for-10 overall). D’Shawn Schwartz added 18 points and also had five 3-pointers on 6-for-8 shooting, McKinley Wright IV recorded a 12-point, 13-assist double-double and Eli Parquet chipped in 10 points.

Qudus Wahab led the Hoyas with 20 points.

Both Walker and Schwartz surpassed CU’s previous NCAA record of four 3-pointers, while Wright — who did not have a turnover — recorded his fourth double-double of the season and 15th of his career. Wright also led the Buffs with five rebounds.

Defensively, the Buffs were equally dominant, holding Georgetown under 35 percent shooting for much of the game.

Colorado took control with a 10-0 run early in the first half to take a 17-7 lead, then continued to pour it on to take a 47-23 lead into intermission. The Buffs built their lead to as much as 30 early in the second half before Georgetown briefly cut the margin to 18. CU, though, rebuilt the lead to 30 with under five minutes to play and cruised to the win down the stretch.

The victory, coming in Colorado’s fifth NCAA appearance under Boyle, was CU’s first NCAA win since 2012.

“Great first game,” Boyle said. “We lost our poise a couple of times in that second half, but we regained it, and credit to our seniors and our players for playing with poise because we talked about that the second half. Play with confidence, play with poise and play with aggressiveness, and I thought we did that for the most part for 40 minutes.”

The Buffs no doubt were aware of the storyline surrounding Georgetown and Hoyas coach Patrick Ewing. Despite CU being a No. 5 seed, many national media pundits had picked the Hoyas to win.

The Buffs believed they had something to prove.

“Everybody had us losing this game,” Walker said. “We met yesterday as a team and talked about how there was really no pressure. We’re the underdog, nobody has us winning. It was just going in with the underdog mindset and trying to prove everybody wrong. It’s us versus everybody.”

Continue reading story here

Georgetown: A game CU has been building towards for four years (Sat., 10:15 a.m., CBS)

From CUBuffs.com … Reaching the NCAA Tournament hasn’t exactly become an annual event for the Colorado Buffaloes under head coach Tad Boyle. But it has occurred at a rate unlike any other era in program history.

Claiming March glory, however, has proven far more elusive. On Saturday, the Buffs plan to change that.

In a marquee opportunity the Buffs have been building toward since the 2017 recruiting class arrived to help hit the reset button on the program, fifth-seeded Colorado returns to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016 in a first-round battle against 12th-seeded Georgetown at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

It is the fifth tournament appearance in Boyle’s 11 seasons — not including the one denied CU last year then the coronavirus pandemic canceled the tournament — but the Buffs have notched just one first-round victory during that span. That was in 2012, in the first tourney appearance for the Boyle-era Buffs. Since then, the Buffs’ shooting touch went cold in a first-round loss against Illinois in 2013. They were routed by Pitt in 2014 without Spencer Dinwiddie, and CU wasted a nine-point halftime lead in a first-round collapse against UConn in 2016.

Yet the Buffs go into Saturday’s showdown with their best seed position in the modern history of the tournament. And Boyle believes that if his club simply plays its game, and holds its seed line, the rest will take care of itself.

“The fact that this is the highest seed that we’ve ever had, we want to take advantage of that,” Boyle said. “We’re a number five seed for a reason. Now, we’ve got to play like a five seed. If we do that, we’ll be OK. But nothing’s given.

“The longer you do this, it’s something we talked to our team about this year, is you’re playing regular season games and your expectation is to be an NCAA Tournament team at the end of the year, you’re playing in November, December…you’re playing for seeding. We’ve now put ourselves in position to have a good seed. Now we’ve got to go out and take advantage of that seed and play well.”

Continue reading story here

Game Notes … Colorado is making its 15th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first since 2016. The Buffaloes are 10-16 all-time in the championship which includes Final Four appearances in 1942 and 1955.

It is the fifth trip to the Big Dance in head coach Tad Boyle’s 11 seasons, which included three-straight appearances from 2012-14. Prior to 2012, Colorado had advanced to just two NCAA Tournaments in 42 years (1997 and 2003).

Colorado’s No. 5 seed in the bracket is its highest since the NCAA began seeding the entire field in 1979. The Buffaloes previous best was a No. 8 seed, achieved in their last two tournaments in 2014 and ’16.

THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 22-8 overall and finished in third place in the Pac-12 Conference at 14-6. The Buffaloes were the runner up at the 2021 Pac-12 Tournament. As the No. 3 seed, Colorado knocked of No. 11 California (61-58) and No. 2 USC (72-70) before falling to No. 5 Oregon State (70-68) in the championship game. The loss snapped a season-high six-game win streak, but the Buffaloes have still won six of seven, nine of 12 and 15 of their last 20.

ABOUT THE HOYAS: No. 12 seed Georgetown is 13-12 overall, earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by winning the Big East Conference Tournament. Along with winning four games in four days at the Big East Tourney, the Hoyas have won six of seven and eight of 10 overall. The Hoyas were eighth in the Big East regular season standings at 7-9. Georgetown averages 71.4 points while shooting 42.4 percent from the field. Defensively, the Hoyas allow 70.7 points on 41.5 percent shooting. Georgetown tops the Big East in rebounding (40.2 rpg) and rebound margin (+5.1).

Senior guard Jahvon Blair leads Georgetown at 15.8 points and 3.7 assists per game while hitting a team-best 65 3-point field goals. Sophomore center Qudus Wahab tops the Hoyas in rebounding (8.0 rpg) and blocks (1.6 bpg) while averaging 12.4 points an outing. Senior forward Jamorko Pickett averages 12.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the first meeting between Colorado and Georgetown.

—–

March 19th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU women open WNIT play with rout of Louisiana; Nebraska next

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado’s first postseason appearance since the 2017 WNIT did not disappoint on Friday. The Buffaloes led by 11 at halftime and cruised past Louisiana in the second half, opening its run in the WNIT with a 68-45 win.

The Buffaloes finished with three players in double figures. CU was led by junior Peanut Tuitele and freshman Frida Formann. Tuitele recorded her first double-double of the season, totaling 14 points and 10 rebounds. Formann got a late start but finished with 14 points. Mya Hollinsghed, who was held scoreless in the first half, finished with 10 points.

“All three of those guys including Mya, who was struggling early, are capable of picking up the slack,” head coach JR Payne commented. “A lot of different people on this team are capable of picking up the slack. The best thing is that nobody really cares. Mya was struggling early and she was frustrated with the way that her game was going, but she didn’t allow her frustration to deter anybody else and I love that. It’s a pretty selfless group. I think Peanut’s effort on the glass was incredible. I think a lot of her scores came from offensive rebounds or second chances. Frida just kind of got going, so then we tried to run a couple of things for her and she was able to knock those down, but I do love that everybody was able to step up tonight.”

Colorado (11-10) remains perfect in the first round of the tournament, improving to 7-0. The win sets up a matchup with former Big 12 rival Nebraska on Saturday (4 p.m. MT).

“I learned very early in my tenure at Colorado that I cannot wear red, no matter what day of the week or no matter where I’m going,” Payne said about the matchup with Nebraska. “When I know that, I know it’s pretty serious. I just think it’s two really good basketball teams. The coaching staff was able to sit and watch the game. We know some of the players on their team that we recruited. We know that team well. It’s a little bit personal I think for a couple of their players and our staff. They are a really good basketball team and very well-coached.”

Louisiana (16-7) had two players score in double figures. Brandi Williams led the Ragin Cajuns with 12 points, while Ty’Reona Doucet was limited to 10 points on the day.

Continue reading story here

CU/Georgetown Matchups To Watch For on Saturday

From CUBuffs.com … From the day he took the reins at Colorado some 11 years ago, Buffaloes coach Tad Boyle has always insisted that his program be constructed on the foundational tenets of defense and rebounding.

The 22-8 Buffaloes will need to be at their best in both areas Saturday when they square off with 13-12 Georgetown at 10:15 a.m. in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse (CBS).

The Hoyas hit the boards in a big way, averaging 40.2 per game (13th in the nation), while out-rebounding opponents by an average of 5.1 per game (38th in the nation).

Offensively, Georgetown averages a middle-of-the-road 71.4 points per game — but Hoyas have four players averaging double figures, meaning containing one big scorer likely won’t be enough. As Boyle has stressed this week, the Hoyas can score inside and out, and they average more than eight 3-pointers per game.

Limiting those 3-pointers will be a key for the Buffs. While the Hoyas are dangerous from long distance, one of their weaknesses may be their short and mid-range game. Georgetown shot just 46 percent from 2-point range this year, 295th in the nation.

But there are plenty of other statistics in the Buffs’ favor. As The Athletic’s Peter Keating and Jordan Brenner pointed out earlier this week, the Buffs are one of just a handful of teams in the country this year who were above average in offensive and defensive rebounding, along with forcing and avoiding turnovers.

The Hoyas, meanwhile, saw more than one in every five possessions end in a turnover.

But, as the old axiom goes, the NCAA Tournament is usually about matchups — and there should be some good ones to watch Saturday:

Continue reading story here

—–

March 18th

… CU in the Arena … 

In appreciation: McKinley Wright’s record-setting career at CU 

From the Daily Camera … Regardless of how the NCAA Tournament unfolds, Colorado senior point guard McKinley Wright IV will leave a legacy with the Buffaloes program that will not be forgotten. A look at the records, accolades, and milestones compiled by Wright heading into the Buffs’ first-round date against Georgetown.

CU BUFFS ALL-TIME LISTS

Points: 1,835 (6th)

Assists: 669 (1st)

Assists per game: 5.2 (T-2nd)

Rebounds: 634 (21st)

Steals: 138 (11th)

Games played: 129 (T-7th)

Games started: 128 (3rd)

Minutes played: 4,282 (2nd)

Double-doubles: 14 (16th)

Games with double-digit points: 107 (1st)

Games with double-digit assists: 9 (1st)

HONORS

—Three-time first team All-Pac-12 selection (2019-2021). Wright is just the third Buffs player to collect three first team all-league honors following two CU stars from long-ago eras in Wilky Gilmore (1959, 1960, 1962) and Cliff Meely (1969-71).

—Honorable mention AP All-American (2021)

—Two-time USBWA All-District VIII (2020-21)

—Two-time NABC First Team All-District 19 (2020-21)

—Honorable mention All-Pac-12 (2018)

—First team Pac-12 All-Defense (2020)

—Three-time honorable mention Pac-12 All-Defense (2018-19, 2021)

—Six-time Pac-12 Player of the Week honoree (CU record, as is his four Player of the Week honors in 2020-21 season).

—Two-time top 10 finalist for Bob Cousy Award (2020, 2021).

NOTABLE

—Wright became the first Pac-12 men’s basketball player to collect at least 1,600 points, 600 assists, and 600 rebounds in his career. He is one of just six Division I players since 1985-86 to record at least 1,800 points, 600 rebounds, and 600 assists.

—Wright owns four of the top nine single-season assist totals in team history: 175 in 2017-18 (second), 168 in 2020-21 (sixth), 167 in 2018-19 (seventh), and 159 in 2019-20 (ninth).

—Wright’s 14 assists against USC on Feb. 25 tied for the second-best single-game total in CU history.

—Wright has missed just one game in his four-year career, sitting out a game at Utah on Jan. 20, 2019, due to a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He didn’t miss another game that season before undergoing surgery to repair the shoulder immediately after the season.

—Among his 14 career double-doubles, nine arrived via points-assists, the other five as points-rebounds.

Read full story here

—–

March 17th

… CU in the Arena … 

Rooney: A win Saturday and the CU Recruiting Class of 2017 will be CU’s best ever

From the Daily Camera … The 2017 recruiting class has been much more than just McKinley Wright IV.

It has been a program-changing group, and one that could go down as the greatest ever in Buffaloes men’s basketball history. Suffer yet another first-round exit in the NCAA Tournament, and their case for the greatest ever will remain in the debate.

Win against Georgetown, and the debate is over.

Whenever they remove those black-and-gold jerseys for the final time — and there still is at least one more season ahead for 2017 big man Evan Battey — the mark left by the 2017 class won’t soon be forgotten.

It hasn’t been a perfect run. No Pac-12 titles, either in the regular season or conference tournament. No NCAA Tournament appearances, though that drought is partly due to a technicality, that being the COVID-19 pandemic that erased last year’s expected bid. Enough bad losses, from the maddening season-ending five-game losing streak last year to blowing a 19-point second-half lead at home this season, to always wonder if the lofty ceiling set by the 2017 recruiting class should have been higher.

But there have plenty of big wins, too. Eighty-three in total, and the numbers don’t lie.

Continue reading story here

**Video: Tad Boyle’s pre-NCAA Tournament Press Conference**

From BuffsTV …

 

McKinley Wright something special: “He’s a class act guy”

From the Daily Camera … The Buffs signed Wright in late April of 2017, just a few months shy of his high school graduation. Boyle was in need of a point guard after one season of having first-round NBA draft pick Derrick White running the show. Wright was in need of a new home after he was released from the letter of intent at Dayton in the wake of coach Archie Miller leaving for Indiana.

Boyle handed the keys to the offense to Wright immediately, yet even as he turned 19 during that first preseason, Wright displayed a knack for leadership beyond his experience. Earlier this year, Boyle recounted a story of how Wright came to his office during that preseason to express his willingness to accept his role if Boyle instead wanted to start then-senior Dom Collier at point guard.

On the floor, it took all of three games for Wright to show Buffs Nation his will to win. Playing Quinnipiac in the third game of the season and the opening game of the Paradise Jam in Virginia, the Buffs were trailing by two points in the waning seconds when Wright collected the defensive rebound off a missed Quinnipiac free throw, brought the ball up the floor, and calmly knocked down a game-winning 3-pointer.

That shot caromed up over the front of the rim, hanging in midair as the buzzer sounded before falling through. These days barely surviving for a win against Quinnipiac would be cause for concern, not jubilation. Yet in retrospect, the celebration that swarmed Wright on that floor at Liberty University might have been as much about securing a dramatic win as saying hello to a new era of Buffs basketball.

“I think the first big game of his was at the (Paradise Jam) tournament. That’s when I first noticed that McKinley Wright is the real deal,” said senior center Dallas Walton. “Ever since then, as everybody has seen, he’s improved and he’s gotten so much better. Playing alongside a guy like that, who can get points himself but also looks to get his teammates involved and make them better. It’s rare you get to play with guys like that.

“Spending so much time with him on and off the court I’ve gotten to know him really well. He’s a class act guy. I can’t say enough positive things about him. Not only does he help guys on the court, but off the court, when we’re talking basketball or after a game, he’ll tell you ‘Hey you can finish that,’ or tell you you’re a good player and you have to have confidence. He’ll build confidence. It gives you confidence to step up and hit a big shot when he’s diming guys out. He’s just a special, special player.”

And with that shot against Quinnipiac, the legend of McKinley Wright IV began.

Continue reading story here

—–

March 16th 

… CU in the Arena … 

McKinley Wright: All-American! (honorable mention)

From CUBuffs.com … University of Colorado senior guard McKinley Wright IV has earned honorable mention to the 2020-21 Associated Press All-America Team, highlighting a banner awards day for national organizations on Tuesday.

In addition, Wright earned All-District honors from both the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).

Wright is Colorado’s ninth player to be given honorable mention to either a coaches or basketball writers All-America team and first since Alec Burks was awarded by the AP in 2010-11. The NABC and USBWA All-America teams will be released at a later date.

Wright was one of five players on the NABC All-District 19 First Team and is Colorado’s first back-to-back NABC first team honoree. Chauncey Billups earned consecutive second team honors in 1995-96 and ’96-97 while Richard Roby picked up first team honors after his sophomore (2005-06) and senior (2007-08) seasons. A total of 10 individuals were honored on the two five-player All-District 19 teams which encompasses the Pac-12 Conference.

Wright was one of 10 individuals selected to the USBWA District VIII team which includes NCAA Division I players from the states of Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada and Montana. It’s Wright’s second-straight USBWA All-District honor and he’s the first Buffalo to land consecutive spots on this team since Cory Higgins did three years in a row from 2008-11.

A three-time All-Pac-12 First Team selection, Wright leads Colorado at 15.5 points, 5.6 assists and 1.1 steals per game. He tops Pac-12 in assists and ranks third in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.7), sixth in free throw percentage (.838) and 10th in scoring.

Wright was a four-time Pac-12 Player of the Week in 2020-21 and one of only seven players in conference history with six or more conference weekly honors in a career. He is the only Pac-12 player in conference history with 1,800 points, 600 assists and 600 rebounds.

Wright was a Top 10 finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation’s top point guard, for the second-straight year. He was named to the Pac-12 All-Tournament Team and earned honorable mention to the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team.

Colorado, 22-8 overall, is the No. 5 seed in the East Region at the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and is preparing to face No. 12 Georgetown on Saturday, March 20, at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis (10:15 a.m. MT, CBS, Colorado Basketball Network).

Buffs looking to avoid jitters: “Coach just wants us to play free and have fun”

From the Daily Camera … The fifth-seeded Buffs will face 12th-seeded Georgetown in the opening game of Saturday’s first round play at Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse (10:15 a.m. MT, CBS). Though the AP Top 25 is rather inconsequential at this point, on Monday the Buffs moved up one spot to No. 22 in this week’s poll.

“Coach talked to us (Sunday). He wants to deal with us as a team and figure out what kind of jitters there were in the championship game,” CU point guard McKinley Wright IV said. “He just wants us to play free and have fun. (Against OSU) I don’t feel like we were having too much fun. We were so uptight and we wanted to win so bad, we were frustrated with every little mistake. We have to understand that mistakes are a part of the game. We have to tighten up our defense the way we’re capable of doing and just be ourselves. When we’re having fun and getting stops and getting on the run, that’s when we’re at our best.”

CU didn’t play entirely poorly against OSU, but the Buffs certainly made a number of uncharacteristic mistakes. The Buffs committed five of their 10 turnovers within the game’s first nine minutes. Three of those giveaways occurred on offensive fouls and another on a shot-clock violation.

The Buffs also crashed back to Earth at the free throw line, going 12-for-20 in their worst showing of the season. As Wright alluded to, there is no such thing as a perfect game, and the Buffs are certain to make a few mistakes against the surging Hoyas. The Buffs generally have done well at putting lessons from losses into action, as evidenced by losing back-to-back games only once this season. Taking the ones from the OSU defeat, and letting the inevitable mistakes against Georgetown to slide off their collective backs, could prove to be the key to the Buffs advancing.

Continue reading story here

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March 15th 

… CU in the Arena … 

CU women’s basketball team earns a WNIT berth

WNIT Bracket

From CUBuffs.com … For the first time since the 2016-17 season, the Colorado women’s basketball team is headed back to the postseason. The Buffaloes were invited to the shrunk-down 32 field WNIT.

The Buffs will square off with Louisiana (16-6) in game two of the Memphis Regional on March 19. Tip is set for 1 p.m. MT. The winner of the first-round game will take on either UT Martin (20-5) or Nebraska (12-12).

“There is nothing that can replicate postseason experience, ” head coach JR Payne stated. “You get a little taste of it in the Pac-12 Tournament, but if you’ve done relatively well through the Pac-12 season, even if you don’t win the Pac-12, you think you’re going to continue to play. This will be the first time where it truly is do or die. Although this WNIT setup is a little different, I think just that experience of having your back against the wall against some really good teams is good for us.”

The 2021 WNIT features 32 teams this season, down from the regular 64-team format. New to this event, teams will get a minimum of two games in Rounds 1-3 with championship and consolation brackets at each site. All four regional champions will then advance to one location for Rounds 4-5.

There will be eight teams at each of the WNIT regional sites; Round 1 play is March 19, and the Round 2 winners and consolation bracket games at each regional are on March 20.

Round 3 games (the regional finals and consolation finals) are set for March 22. The WNIT will facilitate COVID testing for teams and staff throughout the event and follow local health and safety protocols.

Colorado, who finished 10-10, on the season, thrust themselves into the national spotlight this season with a 77-72 overtime win over then-No. 1 Stanford in Boulder. CU almost completed the Stanford sweep, falling a tight game to the then-No. 6 Cardinal, 62-54. CU entered the Pac-12 Tournament on a four-game winning streak, its longest streak in the conference since the 2012-13 season.

Boyle: “There’s absolutely no tomorrow … We have to relish that opportunity and enjoy the experience”

From CUBuffs.comTad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes were named a No. 5 seed Sunday in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships and will play No. 12 seed Georgetown in an East Region first-round game Saturday, March 20, at 10:15 a.m. (MT) at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

The game will be the first-ever meeting between the Buffs and Hoyas and will be televised on CBS. The winner will face either No. 4 Florida State or No. 13 UNC-Greensboro on Monday, March 22, in the second round.

The tournament tips off Thursday with the First Four, and all rounds will be played in the greater Indianapolis metropolitan area.  All games will be broadcast on either CBS, TNT, TBS or TruTV, as well as the Colorado Basketball Network.

“We’re excited to be part of the tournament,” said Boyle, whose team flew from Las Vegas to Indianapolis on Sunday evening. “These guys have worked extremely hard all season long to put themselves in this position to have this opportunity.”

Colorado’s seed is its highest since the NCAA began seeding the entire field in 1979. The Buffaloes’ previous best was a No. 8 seed, achieved in their last two appearances (2014 and ’16).

The 22-8 Buffs, who finished third in the Pac-12 regular season with a 14-6 conference mark, are coming off a 70-68 loss to Oregon State in Saturday’s Pac-12 tournament championship game. Colorado won six of its last seven and nine of 12 overall and Colorado’s 22 wins are tied for the fifth best in program history. Boyle-coached teams now own six of the top seven win totals in program history.

Georgetown (13-12) is coached by Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing. The Hoyas finished in eighth place in the Big East regular season with a 7-9 record, but won four straight games in the Big East tournament, including wins over Villanova and Creighton, to capture the tourney title and the league’s automatic bid.

Continue reading story here

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March 14th – Selection Sunday!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs a No. 5 seed – to take on No. 12 Georgetown

… Game Time set … Saturday, 10:15 a.m., MT … with the game to be played at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse (where the finale for “Hoosiers” was filmed) … 

The highest seed in school history, but even with that, the Buffs couldn’t enjoy their Selection Sunday moment. As soon as the opponent, No. 12 Georgetown, was announced, the CBS crew went after the Buffs:

— Clark Kellogg: “If you want to grab hold of a 12 over a 5, the way the Hoyas rolled through the Big East tournament in New York, they are certainly playing at a high level. This is a comfortable matchup, going against Colorado”.

— Seth Greenberg: “I like Georgetown in that game, too”.

Okay, Buffs, it’s up to you to prove the pundits wrong … again.

If the Buffs win Saturday, they will take on the winner of the game between No. 4 Florida State and No. 13 UNC-Greensboro.

Press release from CUBuffs.comTad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes were named a No. 5 seed Sunday in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships and will play No. 12 seed Georgetown in a first-round game Saturday, March 20.

The winner will face either No. 4 Florida State or No. 13 UNC-Greensboro on Monday, March 22, in the second round.

The tournament tips off Thursday with the First Four, and all rounds will be played in the greater Indianapolis metropolitan area. Times and television are still to be determined. All games will be broadcast on either CBS, TNT, TBS or TruTV, as well as the Colorado Basketball Network.

Colorado’s seed is its highest since the NCAA began seeding the entire field in 1979. The Buffaloes’ previous best was a No. 8 seed, achieved in their last two appearances (2014 and ’16). The game will be the first-ever meeting between Colorado and Georgetown.

The 22-8 Buffs, who finished third in the Pac-12 regular season with a 14-6 conference mark, are coming off a 70-68 loss to Oregon State in Saturday’s Pac-12 tournament championship game. Colorado won six of its last seven and nine of 12 overall. Colorado’s 22 wins are tied for the fifth best in program history and Boyle-coached teams now own six of the top seven win totals in program history.

Georgetown (13-12) is coached by Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing. The Hoyas finished in eighth place in the Big East regular season with a 7-9 record, but won four straight games in the Big East tournament, including wins over Villanova and Creighton, to capture the tourney title and the league’s automatic bid.

It will be the fifth NCAA appearance for the Buffs in Boyle’s 11 years in Boulder and 15th overall in program history. It is also the ninth postseason appearance under Boyle in 10 years of postseason opportunities (the 2020 postseason was canceled by the Covid-19 pandemic).

Prior to 2012, Colorado had advanced to just two NCAA Tournaments in 42 years (1997 and 2003).

Colorado has an all-time 10-16 record in the NCAA Tournament, and has won just two NCAA openers in the last 58 years — 1997 vs. Indiana and 2012 vs. UNLV.

Michigan is the top seed in Colorado’s region followed by No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Texas and No. 4 Florida State. The Sweet 16 and Elite 8 are scheduled for Mar. 27-30 with the Final Four set for April 3 & 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Colorado was one of five teams to earn an NCAA berth. USC is a No. 6 seed, Oregon is a No. 7, UCLA is a No. 11 (and will play in the First Four) and conference tourney champ Oregon State earned a No. 12 seed.

—–

March 13th – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs fall to Oregon State, 70-68, in Pac-12 title game

Related … “Oregon State beats No. 23 Colorado 70-68 for first title” … from ESPN

Related … “Pac-12 title dreams for CU Buffs end against Oregon State in championship game” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado’s bid for a Pac-12 tournament title came up heartbreakingly short Saturday, as the Buffaloes dropped a 70-68 decision to Oregon State at T-Mobile Arena.

Colorado saw its six-game win streak come to an end and fell to 22-8 on the season. OSU improved to 17-12 and earned the Pac-12’s automatic NCAA Tournament bid.

The Buffs are still considered to be a lock for an NCAA at-large berth. They will now wait for Sunday’s bracket announcement to find out where they will be seeded, then head to Indianapolis if they do hear their names called.

McKinley Wright IV led Colorado with 18 points and seven assists, and also had six rebounds. Evan Battey added 16 points and eight rebounds and D’Shawn Schwartz chipped in 11 points.

Maurice Calloo had 15 points for the Beavers and Ethan Thompson added 14.

The Buffaloes trailed for most of the game but stayed within striking range down the stretch, closing to within three with two minutes still to play. Oregon State, however, hit key buckets and free throws in the final minutes for the win while the Buffs missed two free throws in the final 45 seconds.

The Buffs hurt themselves all night at the free throw line. The nation’s leading free throw shooting team endured its worst night of the year from the stripe, hitting just 12 of 20 attempts. \CU also gave up nine Oregon State 3-pointers, nearly matching the total (10) that OSU had against Colorado in their two previous matchups this season.

“I’m extremely disappointed and heartbroken for our players,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “We came here to win a championship and we came up short. Credit to Oregon State. They deserved to win this game. They played better than we did tonight. We just weren’t good enough. We didn’t make enough shots on offense and then we didn’t rebound the ball the way we’re capable and we needed to rebound the ball, especially defensively. I just thought they were the tougher team tonight.”

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Oregon State presents a unique set of challenges

From CUBuffs.com … Conference tournament title game appearances have been a rarity for the Colorado Buffaloes. Conference tourney titles have been even more rare.

But Tad Boyle‘s Buffs (22-7) will add one more appearance to the list Saturday at T-Mobile Arena — and hopefully one more title as well — in the 8:30 p.m. (MT) Pac-12 championship game against Oregon State (16-12).

Saturday’s game will be only the third time the CU men have ever played in a conference tourney title game, with Boyle’s teams accounting for two of them.

The first came in 1990, when Tom Miller’s CU squad fell to Oklahoma, 92-80, in the Big Eight championship game. The second came nine years ago, when Boyle’s team ran off four straight wins to capture the first-ever Pac-12 tourney title, capped by a 53-51 win over Arizona.

Saturday’s game is not what the prognosticators expected, at least not when the season began. The Buffs were picked in the preseason media poll to finish seventh in the league. Wayne Tinkle’s Beavers were picked to finish last.

But Colorado finished third in the league standings and beat Cal and USC to reach the finals. OSU earned the fifth seed and defeated UCLA and top-seeded Oregon to earn a shot at the title.

At stake is the conference’s automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament, which begins next week in the Indianapolis area.

The Buffs are considered a lock for an at-large bid; a win Saturday would simply improve their seeding.

But the Beavers are considered to be outside looking in and need a victory to continue playing in March.

Colorado swept the season series with Oregon State, rolling to a 78-49 win in Boulder in early February, then grinding out a 61-57 victory in Corvallis two weeks later.

But the first win came at the tail end of a stretch that saw the Beavers play three games in six days. OSU was a much-improved team in the second contest — and since then, the Beavers have rattled off five victories in six games.

“Wayne Tinkle’s done an unbelievable job with that team from November, December, to where they are now,” Boyle said after the Buffaloes’ narrow 72-70 win over USC on Friday. “He deserves a lot of credit and their players have gotten better and their team’s gotten better. We have our hands full. They’re playing good basketball right now.”

The Beavers are led by guard Ethan Thompson, who is averaging 15.6 points per game, while fellow guard Jarod Lucas is scoring at a 12.9 clip. Thompson can score from anywhere on the court; Lucas is a dangerous 3-point shooter, averaging 2.3 treys per game — third best in the Pac-12.

The Beavers are also talented up front, led by athletic forward Warith Alatishe, who is averaging 9.9 points and 8.6 rebounds. Alatishe was a key in the 75–64 win over Oregon, collecting 12 points and 12 rebounds.

“They have got multiple guys that are playing well,” Boyle said. “They’re playing for their NCAA tournament lives and a championship. We’re playing for a championship. So we better be ready to strap it up.”

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Game Notes … Colorado is in its 10th Pac-12 Tournament, holding an overall record of 15-8 in the championship. The Buffaloes are the No. 3 seed, their highest at the Pac-12 Tournament. It also marks Colorado’s first, first round bye; the Buffaloes had never been higher than No. 5 the previous nine years.

Colorado is in its second Pac-12 championship game and third conference final in program history. The Buffaloes won inaugural Pac-12 Tournament title in 2012, winning four games in four days in Los Angeles. Colorado’s other conference final came in 1990, when the Buffaloes were the No. 8 seed in the Big Eight and pulled off upsets over Missouri and Kansas State before falling to Oklahoma in the championship game.

Colorado advanced to the Pac-12 semifinal round for the fourth time and second time in three seasons. It was the Buffaloes’ sixth conference semifinal in program history, five of them coming under the watch of Tad Boyle. The Buffaloes advanced to the Big 12 semifinals in 2011. Prior to Boyle’s tenure, the only other semifinal appearance was during the Big Eight run in 1990.

Colorado is 8-1 in the championship as the higher seeded team, 7-7 as the lower seed. Five of Colorado’s eight Pac-12 Tournament losses have come to the top two seeds.

ABOUT THE BEAVERS: Oregon State is 16-12 overall and tied with Stanford for sixth in the final Pac-12 standings at 10-10. Oregon State averages 70.7 points while shooting 43.3 percent from the field. Defensively, OSU allows 68.3 points while opponents shoot 43.8 percent overall. Oregon State leads the Pac-12 in 3-point defense (.307).

Senior guard Ethan Thompson leads Oregon State at 15.6 points and 3.9 assists per game. Sophomore guard Jarod Lucas leads Oregon State with 65 3-point field goals made while ranking second on the team in scoring at 12.9 points per game. Lucas is second in the Pac-12 in free throw percentage (.910) and is third in 3-pointers made (2.3 3mpg). Junior forward Warith Alatishe leads the Beavers and ranks second in the Pac-12 in rebounding at 8.6 per game while pitching in 9.9 points an outing. Senior guard Zach Reichle averages 7.6 points and is second on the team in assists (3.0 apg).

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 28th meeting between Colorado and Oregon State with the Buffaloes holding an 18-9 series edge. Colorado swept the regular season series and has won four of the last five. This will be the fourth Pac-12 Tournament meeting between the two teams. Colorado has won the previous three including the 2019 quarterfinals.

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March 12th – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena … 

D’Shawn Schwartz follow-up dunk with 3.3 seconds remaining gives CU 72-70 win over No. 24 USC

Post-game celebration …

Related … “No. 23 Colorado holds off No. 24 USC 72-70 in Pac-12 semis” … from ESPN

Related … “Buffs prevail in another memorable rivalry showdown against USC” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado’s D’Shawn Schwartz dunked a McKinley Wright IV miss with 3.3 seconds remaining Friday to lift the Buffaloes to a dramatic 72-70 win over USC in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals at T-Mobile Arena.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs will meet Oregon State, a surprise 75-64 winner over top-seeded Oregon in the other semifinal, in Saturday’s 8:30 p.m. (MT) championship game (ESPN). Colorado swept Oregon State in the regular season, taking an easy 78-49 win in Boulder before scratching out a 61-57 victory in Corvallis.

Friday’s win, CU’s fifth in a row, improved the third-seeded Buffs to 22-7 while second-seeded USC fell to 22-7.

Wright came back from a first-half injury — a wicked elbow to the head — to finish with 24 points and Jeriah Horne added 19 for Colorado, 14 in the second half.

Evan Mobley led USC with 26 points.

The Buffs used a 17-0 first half run to build a 15-point lead midway through the period before USC cut the margin to nine by halftime, 39-30. The Trojans then slowly narrowed the margin throughout the second half and finally tied the game at 70-70 on a Tajh Eaddy three-point play with 35 seconds on the clock.

That led to CU’s final possession, with Wright getting a good look at the bucket but coming up just short. Schwartz then crashed the boards and rammed home the one-handed jam to give the Buffs the win.

The Buffs shot just 42 percent for the game (26-for-61), but hit 12 of their 24 3-point tries, with Wright and Horne each collecting four.

The Trojans shot 52 percent for the game, including 60 percent in the second half to fuel their comeback. But the Buffs had a 37-29 edge on the boards and a 31-12 edge in points off the bench.

“Tonight was a high-level basketball game by two really good teams, a lot of good players on that floor,” Boyle said. “It was two really good teams with good players. Evan Mobley would make a play, Mckinley Wright would make a play, Evan Mobley would make a play, McKinley would make a play, then one of their guys would make a play … This was an NCAA Tournament-level game, a second round or even a Sweet 16-type game. That’s what tonight was.”

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado used a 17-0 run early in the first half to take control, pushing the lead to as much as 15 points at the midway point of the half. Schwartz hit a pair of 3-pointers to start the surge and Evan Battey and Wright scored inside to make it a 10-0 run.

But soon after his bucket, Wright took a vicious elbow to the head from USC’s Chevez Goodwin under the USC basket. Wright crashed to the floor and after several minutes had to be helped to the locker room while Goodwin was assessed a technical foul.

“It hurt,” Wright said. “He’s a big strong dude. Luckily I have a big head or else I would have been out for probably longer …  But it’s a part of basketball. I ain’t mad at him. He got an offensive rebound and was swinging through trying to create space to get a shot up but he caught me. It hurt, but I’ll be alright.”

With Wright in the locker room, CU backup guard Keeshawn Barthelemy stepped up, knocking down a pair of 3-pointers to continue the 17-0 run. A Horne basket at the 9:35 mark gave CU a 22-7 lead and the Buffs appeared to be in total control.

Wright, who left the game at the 13:50 mark, returned roughly seven minutes later and hit two more 3-pointers over the final minutes of the half.

“I knew this much, I knew if McKinley Wright could come back, he would come back,” Boyle said. “So when I saw him walk through the tunnel it was kind of a Willis Reed moment for those of you that remember the ’69 (NBA) championship. Our fans saw it and they started cheering him and I think it gave our team a lift.”

But USC, behind 17 points from Mobley, slowly chipped away at CU’s lead and a Trojan 3-pointer just before the buzzer shaved Colorado’s cushion to 39-30 at intermission.

“It  was kind of a heavyweight fight with them making shots, us making shots, and we went some stretches where we could not stop them and had no answer for them,” Boyle said. “We’re a pretty good defensive team, but USC played extremely well offensively.”

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NEXT UP: The Buffs face Oregon State, a surprise winner over Oregon in Friday’s other semifinal, in Saturday night’s 8:30 p.m. (MT) championship game (ESPN).

Keys to trying to defeat USC for the third time this season

From CUBuffs.com … Some notes and observations as the Buffs head into Friday night’s semifinal:

— In both games against the Trojans, the Buffs managed to do what few other teams have done — contain USC freshman big man Evan Mobley. In the two games combined, the Pac-12’s Player of the Year averaged just 12.5 points, four under his season average. But even more importantly, Mobley shot just 11-for-27 in the two games (41.7 percent), well under his season average of 57.8 percent. The Buffs will need big men Evan Battey and Dallas Walton to continue that trend Friday.

— USC is the Pac-12’s second-leading scoring team, averaging nearly 75 points per game. But the Buffs held USC to 62 in both contests, the Trojans’ second-lowest season totals of the season. Overall, the Buffs held USC to 38.3 percent shooting in both contests (46-for-120).

— The Buffs utilized their long-range shooting in both games. In the first contest, they were 8-for-22 from beyond the 3-point line. In the second meeting, they shot 12-for-22 from 3-point range, including a blistering 6-for-9 night from senior Jeriah Horne, who finished with 24 points.

— Senior point guard McKinley Wright IV scored 19 in the first game and 15 in the second game. He shot just 4-for-14 in the second game, but hit all seven free throw attempts and finished with a career-best 14 assists.

— The Buffs also won the rebound battle in both games, albeit by a slim margin (38-35 and 35-34), and committed just 11 turnovers in each contest. CU also had four players in double-figure scoring in both contests and shot 28-for-31 from the free throw line in the two games combined.

— Speaking of free throws, the Buffs had a rare “off” night Thursday against Cal. The nation’s leading free throw shooting team — and a team still on pace to set the all-time NCAA record — shot a respectable 18-for-23 from the stripe (78.3 percent), but missed five of their last nine after hitting 14 in a row. The misses led to some tense moments down the stretch. The Buff have shot at least 80 percent from the line in 19 games this year and Thursday’s game was only the fourth time this season CU has missed at least five free throws.

— Colorado entered Friday at No. 12 in the NCAA’s NET ratings, with USC right behind at No. 14. In the Kenpom rankings, Colorado was No. 18 while USC was No. 16. The Buffs are currently being projected as a No. 5 or No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but a win Friday — and another Saturday in the conference title game — would no doubt bump them up.

— Friday’s first semifinal matches No. 1 seed Oregon against No. 5 Oregon State at 6:30 p.m. Saturday’s title game is set to tip off at 8:30 p.m. (ESPN).

— And finally, this will be CU’s fifth conference tournament semifinal appearance in Boyle’s 11 years in Boulder — four in the Pac-12 and one in the Big 12. Thursday’s win gave CU 21 victories for the 10th time in school history, with Boyle’s teams accounting for eight of those.

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—–

March 11th – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs hold on for a 61-58 win over Cal

Related: “Survival: No. 23 CU Buffs outlast Cal to advance to Pac-12 semifinals” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … Third-seeded Colorado survived a slow start, then held off a late Cal rally Thursday to collect a 61-58 win in the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals at T-Mobile Arena.

The 23rd-ranked Buffaloes won their fifth straight game to improve to 21-7 and earn a berth in Friday’s semifinals against No. 2 tourney seed Southern California. Colorado swept the Trojans in their two regular season meetings and will try to make it three in a row in Friday’s 9:30 p.m. (MT) semifinal (ESPN).

Evan Battey led the Buffs with 15 points, McKinley Wright IV added 10 and D’Shawn Schwartz and Dallas Walton each scored nine.

Grant Anticevich led the Bears with 11 points while CU defensive specialist Eli Parquet held Cal’s leading scorer, Matt Bradley, to just 10 points on 3-for-11 shooting.

Colorado trailed for much of the first half but rallied to take a 24-20 lead at intermission. CU then built as much as a 13-point cushion in the second half and still led by nine with just under two minutes to play.

The Bears, though, rallied in the final minutes to close the gap to three and a CU turnover with 11 seconds remaining gave Cal a last chance to tie the game.  But a Cal 3-pointer just before the buzzer drew iron and Battey grabbed the rebound to seal the Colorado win.

Both teams shot just 38 percent from the field, but CU hit 18 of 23 free throws, held a 34-30 rebound edge and converted 14 Cal turnovers into 19 points.

“March is all about surviving and advancing, tournament basketball,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “We survived tonight and we’re advancing. But we didn’t play our best basketball and Cal had a lot to do with that … You have to figure out a way to win when you don’t play your best, we did that tonight, and we weren’t at our best.  Now, we have a quick turnaround tomorrow to play the Trojans.”

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado led by four at the half, 24-20, and appeared ready to take control for good with an 11-2 run early in the second half.

Battey started the surge with an offensive rebound and putback, then got a steal on the defensive end that led to a Jeriah Horne bucket inside. Wright, who endured a tough 4-for-14 night from the floor, followed with a driving layup, Schwartz hit two free throws and Jabari Walker capped the run with a 3-pointer from the top of the key.

That gave Colorado a 41-30 lead, a margin they built to 52-39 with seven minutes to play.

The inside duo of Battey and Walton proved to be big for the Buffs. Walton had all nine of his points in the first half to help fuel a CU comeback before Battey scored 11 of his 15 in the second half.

“I thought Dallas was terrific in that first half,” Boyle said. “He kind of kept us in the game … Evan got going emotionally in the second half, and he plays so hard and he’s got such a passion for the game. Those guys are important to us.”

But just when the Buffs appeared to be ready to pull away, the Bears rallied to cut the deficit to four when Bradley scored seven quick points in a 10-1 Cal run.

CU, though, answered again to build a nine-point lead with under two minutes to play on a Battey basket, then withstood one more Cal rally in the final minutes for the win.

“Nothing easy is going to come in March,” Battey said. “I feel like we did what we needed to do to win this game. Obviously we can play better on the offensive end, but we guarded and that’s what our program is founded off of, and it gives us a chance to win every night, defend and rebound. So you take your wins anywhere you can get them.”

NEXT UP: The Buffs face No. 2 seed USC, which beat Utah in double-overtime Thursday, in Friday’s 9:30 p.m. (MT) semifinal at T-Mobile on ESPN. Colorado swept the Trojans in their regular season series.

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Buffs prepare for re-match with Cal after Bears maul Stanford in first round (9:30 p.m., MT, ESPN)

Related … “Cal thumps Stanford by 18 in Pac-12 tourney’s opening round” … from CBS Sports

Related … “CU Buffs men’s basketball ready for anything at Pac-12 tournament” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … Here’s one guarantee concerning the Colorado Buffaloes’ Pac-12 tournament opener Thursday night at T-Mobile Arena:

Colorado won’t be overconfident.

When the No. 23 and third-seeded Buffs (20-7) square off against 11th-seeded Cal (9-19) at 9:30 p.m. (MT), they will no doubt remember the 71-62 loss they suffered on the Bears’ home floor in mid-February. The loss proved to be one of the bigger upsets of the Pac-12 season — Cal finished with a 3-17 conference mark — and came on the front end of Colorado’s only two-game losing streak of the year.

Since that two-game skid, the Buffs have won four in a row to earn their highest conference tournament seed in the Pac-12 era. The Bears, meanwhile, closed their regular season with four straight losses — before knocking off sixth-seeded Stanford on Wednesday, 76-58, to earn a spot in the quarterfinals.

It’s the kind of matchup that can give the Buffaloes fits.

The two teams split their season series, with Colorado easily winning the first game in Boulder, 89-60, behind a 23-point, 11-rebound effort from freshman Jabari Walker.

But the Bears were without star Matt Bradley in the first game. With Bradley in the lineup for round two, Cal controlled the game for much of the second half as Bradley finished with 29 points and eight rebounds to lead the Bears to the win.

“Cal’s a team that we overlooked and they beat us at their place,” Colorado senior point guard McKinley Wright said earlier this week. “I think we have that mindset now that we can’t overlook anybody.”

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Game Notes … Colorado is in its 10th Pac-12 Tournament, holding an overall record of 13-8 in the championship. The Buffaloes are the No. 3 seed, their highest at the Pac-12 Tournament. It also marks Colorado’s first, first round bye; the Buffaloes had never been higher than No. 5 the previous nine years.

Colorado is 7-1 in the championship as the higher seeded team, 6-7 as the lower seed. Five of Colorado’s eight Pac-12 Tournament losses have come to the top two seeds.

The Buffaloes were the last Pac-12 team to walk away from the annual event without a win. Colorado had won eight-straight first round games before falling to Washington State in 2020, just hours before the rest of the Pac-12 Tournament, and NCAA Tournament, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Colorado is 26-43 all-time in conference tournaments. The Buffaloes were 4-20 in the Big Eight Tournament between 1977-96 and 9-15 in the Big 12 Championship between 1997-2011.

Head coach Tad Boyle owns more than half of Colorado’s all-time conference tournament wins. He is 15-9 in conference tournament action, including a 2-1 mark in Colorado’s final year of the Big 12.

THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 20-7 overall and finished in third place in the Pac-12 Conference at 14-6. The Buffaloes have won four straight, seven of nine and 13 of their last 17.

CU’s 14 conference wins are the most in program history, surpassing the 13 by the 1961-62 Big Eight Conference championship team (13-1). The previous Pac-12 high was in 2011-12. The Buffaloes finished 11-7 and would go on to win the inaugural Pac-12 Tournament. The win at Oregon State gave Colorado five road conference wins,
the program’s most since the 1961-62 team had six (6-1). The Buffaloes’ 6-6 overall road record is their best since the 2000-01 team also finished 6-6. CU’s six overall road wins are its most since 2003-04 (6-7 road record). The Buffaloes won at least once on all four two-game Pac-12 road trips this season.

ABOUT THE GOLDEN BEARS: California is 9-19 overall and finished 11th in the Pac-12 at 3-17. The Bears had lost four straight before defeating Stanford Wednesday night, and have just two win in their last 13 games, but that one was a 71-62 decision over Colorado at Haas Pavilion. Cal averages 65.3 points while shooting 42.8 percent from the field. Defensively, California allows its opponents 70.0 points per game on 47.0 percent shooting, that number ranking last in the Pac-12. Matt Bradley leads the Bears at 18.4 points per game, shooting 46 percent from the field.

SERIES RECORDS: This is the 37th meeting between Colorado and California with the Buffaloes holding a 19-17 advantage. Despite a season-split, the Buffaloes have won seven of the last 10 overall in the series including an 89-60 decision on Jan. 14 in Boulder. The teams have met three times in the Pac-12 Tournament (2012, ‘14 and ‘19) with the Buffaloes winning all three.

MORE FREE THROW NUMBERS: Colorado’s 83.4 percent figure from the free throw line is ahead of the NCAA Division I, Pac-12 and Colorado single-season record pace:

Single Season Free Throw Records:
NCAA I: Harvard, .822 (535-651), 1983-84
Pac-12: Arizona, .786 (511-650), 2003-04
Colorado: .778 (679-873), 2010-11

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March 10th

… CU in the Arena … 

Wilner: CU will knock off Cal, USC and Oregon to win Pac-12 title 

From the San Jose Mercury News … The 2019 winner is, technically, the defending champion. Five teams, not four, have opening-round byes. Only 11 teams are participating, and each tipoff will be in doubt until the ball gets tossed.

The Pac-12 tournament starts Wednesday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas against the backdrop of a persistent pandemic, nervous head coaches and empty seats (save for the players’ families).

One thing remains as it was in the times before COVID: The majority of participants must win the championship to advance to the NCAA tournament.

Oregon, USC, Colorado and UCLA have at-large bids locked up, and Arizona is ineligible.

The other teams are playing for their March Madness lives, in need of the automatic bid that accompanies the Pac-12 trophy.

Washington, Washington State, Stanford, Cal, Arizona State and Utah must win four games in four days.

Oregon State must win three in three.

History is not on their bench.

Our projections are below … 

Quarterfinals …

No. 3 Colorado vs. No. 11 Cal (9:30 p.m.): The tournament becomes a success for the Bears the moment they dispatch Stanford, but Colorado has a trophy in its sights and just the right balance (inside/outside, offense/defense) to win the thing. The Buffaloes might need a half to locate their rhythm, but the final 20 minutes should be a clinic — and a sign of what’s to come. Winner: Colorado

Semi-finals …

No. 3 Colorado vs. No. 11 Cal (9:30 p.m.): The tournament becomes a success for the Bears the moment they dispatch Stanford, but Colorado has a trophy in its sights and just the right balance (inside/outside, offense/defense) to win the thing. The Buffaloes might need a half to locate their rhythm, but the final 20 minutes should be a clinic — and a sign of what’s to come. Winner: Colorado

Final …

No. 2 USC vs. No. 3 Colorado (9:30 p.m.): His name is Dallas Walton. He’s a 7-foot senior who averages a few baskets per game and rarely plays more than 15 minutes. But against the Mobley brothers, Evan and Isaiah, Walton will make an immense impact. Together with star point guard McKinley Wright and CU’s veteran cast, the Buffaloes eliminate the second seed. Winner: Colorado.

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ESPN: CU one of “magic” eight teams which could win the national championship

From ESPN … Every March, the pressure grows stronger on what everyone at ESPN headquarters now refers to as simply The Streak. We are speaking, of course, of the 349 teams that won’t win the men’s basketball national title.

Yes, yes, it’s true. This venerable feature that selects eight teams of the 357 in Division I that could win the title has successfully included the eventual national champion every time. It’s not like we’ve been doing this since the 1950s — we started in 2016, actually — but still, a streak is a streak.

Here are the 349 teams that won’t win the 2021 national title, broken into three groups: ineligible (12 teams, which includes Arizona), near misses (15 teams, with no Pac-12 teams) and no clear path (322 teams, which includes the other ten Pac-12 teams).

Right, so by my count, that right there sums to 349 teams. If you’re a fan of a team that hasn’t shown up yet, congratulations! Your team is among the magic eight, which, as a simple matter of deduction, must consist of the following: Alabama, Baylor, Colorado, Gonzaga, Houston, Illinois, Iowa and Michigan.

Go out and make this feature look good, magic eight. There’s a streak on the line.

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March 9th 

… CU in the Arena …

CU women’s team practicing in anticipation of WNIT bid

From the Daily Camera … Last weekend, Colorado women’s basketball coach JR Payne got away from the game.

She spent time with her family, enjoyed the warm spring weather and tried to avoid thinking about the Buffaloes’ last game.

“I spent three days with my kids and we played at the park and we did all kinds of things that we never get to do, and I think that was good for everyone,” Payne said.

CU (10-10) was upset by 11th-seeded Washington, 68-54, in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament on March 3 in Las Vegas. The Buffs went into Vegas on the NCAA Tournament bubble and knew a win or two could possibly get them in.

Now at No. 54 in the NET rankings, the Buffs are almost surely out of the NCAA Tournament picture, but are practicing this week in anticipation of being invited to the Women’s NIT.

The NCAA and WNIT brackets will be announced on Monday.

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McKinley Wright First-Team All-Pac-12 (passed over for Player of the Year); three other Buffs honored

From the Pac-12 …  In a vote of the 12 Conference coaches, USC’s Evan Mobley has been chosen the 2020-21 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Player, Defensive Player and Freshman of the Year; STANFORD’s Jaiden Delaire was tabbed the Pac-12 Most Improved Player of the Year; ARIZONA’s Jordan Brown earned the Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year; and USC’s Andy Enfield claimed the John R. Wooden Pac-12 Coach of the Year honor, Commissioner Larry Scott announced today along with the league’s All-Conference Teams.

The 2021 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament is set to take place March 10-13 in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena. Fans can follow coverage of the event all week long at pac-12.com/menstourney.

PAC-12 PLAYER, DEFENSIVE PLAYER & FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR, PRESENTED BY NEXTIVA
Evan Mobley, Fr., F, USC

PAC-12 MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR, PRESENTED BY NEXTIVA
Jaiden Delaire, Jr., F, STANFORD

PAC-12 SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR, PRESENTED BY NEXTIVA
Jordan Brown, R-So., F, ARIZONA

JOHN R. WOODEN PAC-12 COACH OF THE YEAR
Andy Enfield, USC

The complete All-Conference Teams:

PLAYER OF THE YEAR, PRESENTED BY NEXTIVA: Evan Mobley, Fr., F, USC
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR, PRESENTED BY NEXTIVA: Evan Mobley, Fr., F, USC
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR, PRESENTED BY NEXTIVA: Evan Mobley, F, USC
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR, PRESENTED BY NEXTIVA: Jaiden Delaire, Jr., F, STANFORD
SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR, PRESENTED BY NEXTIVA: Jordan Brown, R-So., F, ARIZONA
JOHN R. WOODEN COACH OF THE YEAR: Andy Enfield, USC

ALL-PAC-12 TEAM
FIRST TEAM

NameSchoolPos.Yr.Hometown
James AkinjoArizonaGJr.Oakland, Calif.
Timmy AllenUtahFJr.Mesa, Ariz.
Tyger CampbellUCLAGR-So.Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Oscar da Silva**StanfordFSr.Munich, Germany
Chris DuarteOregonGSr.Puerto Plata, D.R.
Remy Martin**Arizona StateGSr.Chatsworth, Calif.
Evan MobleyUSCFFr.Murietta, Calif.
Eugene OmoruyiOregonFR-Sr.Rexdale, Ontario
Ethan ThompsonOregon StateGSr.Los Angeles, Calif.
McKinley Wright IV***ColoradoGSr.North Robbinsdale, Minn.

SECOND TEAM

NameSchoolPos.Yr.Hometown
Isaac BontonWashington StateGSr.Portland, Ore.
Matt BradleyCaliforniaGJr.San Bernardino, Calif.
Tahj EaddyUSCGR-Sr.West Haven, Conn.
Jaime Jaquez Jr.UCLAG/FSo.Camarillo, Calif.
Johnny JuzangUCLAGSo.Tarzana, Calif.

HONORABLE MENTION (receiving at least three votes): Evan Battey, COLO; Jaiden Delaire, STAN; Quade Green, WASH; Azuolas Tubelis, ARIZ; Noah Williams, WSU.

*** three-time All-Pac-12 First Team honoree; ** two-time All-Pac-12 First Team honoree

PAC-12 ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
NameSchoolPos.Hometown
Efe AbogidiWashington StateCDelta State, Nigeria
Bennedict MathurinArizonaG/FMontreal, Quebec
Evan MobleyUSCFMurietta, Calif.
Azuolas TubelisArizonaFVilnius, Lithuania
Jabari WalkerColoradoFInglewood, Calif.

HONORABLE MENTION (receiving at least three votes): Marcus Bagley, ASU; Josh Christopher, ASU; Dishon Jackson, WSU; Ziaire Williams, STAN.

PAC-12 ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM
NameSchoolPos.Yr.Hometown
Oscar da SilvaStanfordFSr.Munich, Germany
Chris DuarteOregonGSr.Puerto Plata, D.R.
Jaime Jaquez Jr.UCLAG/FSo.Camarillo, Calif.
Evan MobleyUSCFFr.Murietta, Calif.
Eli ParquetColoradoGJr.Beaumont, Texas

HONORABLE MENTION (receiving at least three votes): Warith Alatishe, OSU; Bryce Wills, STAN; McKinley Wright IV, COLO.

Buffs will stay in Vegas before heading to Indianapolis

… If things go well, Buffs won’t be back in Boulder until April … 

From the Daily Camera … When the Colorado Buffaloes set out for Las Vegas, they still won’t know who they will play first at the Pac-12 Conference tournament. That won’t happen until the winner is decided late Wednesday night after a first-round matchup between Cal and Stanford.

If everything goes the Buffs’ way in the upcoming months, they won’t return to Boulder until April.

CU head coach Tad Boyle told BuffZone on Monday the plan for his squad is to remain in Las Vegas, regardless of the outcome of the conference tournament, until next week, when the Buffs will travel to Indiana for the all-Hoosier State NCAA Tournament.

As part of the NCAA Tournament COVID-19 testing protocols, all members of each team’s traveling party will be required to document seven consecutive negative tests before arriving in Indianapolis.

“We’ll be doing the same thing in Las Vegas that we’d be doing in Boulder. Which is resting, practicing, study hall, going to class,” Boyle said. “So the routine doesn’t change. It’s just a matter of where you are in your routine. For the (players), it’s no different. For the coaches, probably a little different because we’re away from our families.

“With all the testing protocols that we’re going to have to go through before we get to Indianapolis, in addition to once we get there, I think there’s more risk getting on a plane an additional time. There’s more risk in coming home and being around friends and family than there is staying together in Vegas.”

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—–

March 8th

… CU in the Arena … 

McKinley Wright could have walked away from his father, but didn’t: “He’s everything I want to be”

From 9News.com …  A father watching his son play ball is special.

Remembering the moments when you taught him how to play the game, “I was like man, I ain’t winning no games,” said McKinley Wright III, father of CU Buffs star point guard McKinley Wright IV, as he recalled playing basketball in the driveway with his son. “How you learn how to shoot way over by the tree? I taught you right here!’

It means even more when that privilege is taken away.

“Just keep calling and calling. I talk to him, ‘Yeah dad. I’m doing this and doing that.’ Then I get the articles in the mail and stuff.”

Articles and phone calls were the only way McKinley Wright III could see just how much of a star his son was on the basketball court.

That’s because in 2008, his father was sentenced to 10 years in prison for trafficking in crack cocaine. Ten years of separation gave Wright IV a lot of time to think about his dad and ways to handle their relationship — he chose love instead of anger.

“I look up to my father,” said Wright IV, who is leading CU into NCAA Tournament contention after yet another stellar season in Boulder. “He’s done so much for my family. For my mom. The way he treats my family and everybody around me. He’s everything I want to be.”

Wright IV could have made the relationship with his father disappear, but he chose a different path. The Roman numeral ‘IV’ at the end of his name is everything, “He’s my role model. It means everything to me. Anytime I’m writing my name on a piece of paper…I always got the IV at the end. That’s just who I am.”

Continue reading story

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March 7th

… CU in the Arena … 

Pat Rooney: The case for naming McKinley Wright Pac-12 Player of the Year

From the Daily Camera … Minutes after topping Arizona State, a victory that essentially locked up the No. 3 seed for the Colorado Buffaloes at the Pac-12 Conference tournament and set a new program standard for conference wins in a season, McKinley Wright reiterated something Buffs fans already knew about him.

“I’m just happy with the win, man,” Wright said after putting up 24 points against the Sun Devils.

Still, Wright is the consummate competitor, and he admitted being overlooked simply has been part the deal throughout his basketball career. It happened in middle school. It happened in high school. It happened during recruiting, assuming the ceiling for the 6-foot Wright was at the mid-major level at best.

It has happened throughout his senior season with the Buffs, as Wright for some reason continues to be college basketball’s best-kept secret to everyone outside Boulder and Denver. But what shouldn’t be overlooked? Wright’s candidacy for the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year award.

Wright already is a lock to become just the third Buffs player to earn three first team all-conference honors, following the long-ago heroics of Wilky Gilmore (1959, 1960, 1962) and Cliff Meely (1969, 1970, 1971). He should become the second player in program history to win any conference of the year honor (Meely was the Big Eight Player of the Year in 1969 and 1971).

As usual, Wright probably isn’t the favorite. If the guy in this corner was a betting man, Oregon’s Chris Duarte is the likely winner. He’d be a deserving recipient. Wright would be too, only more so.

The other viable candidates are Arizona State’s Remy Martin, Stanford’s Oscar da Silva, and USC freshman Evan Mobley, but neither of them make the cut ahead of Wright and Duarte.

Continue reading story here

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March 6th

… CU in the Arena …

With USC/UCLA in the books, CU’s Pac-12 tournament opponent set

The only way that CU wouldn’t be the No. 3 seed in the upcoming Pac-12 tournament would be if the USC/UCLA game wasn’t played. USC’s 64-63 win on a last second three-pointer kept the Trojans’ hopes alive for a Pac-12 title, while bumping UCLA down to No. 4 in the seeding for the tournament.

Good news for CU fans … As the No. 3 seed, the Buffs will get the winner of the Stanford/Cal game, rather than play a red hot Oregon State team as the No. 4 seed (which is now UCLA’s problem). Stanford is the No. 6 seed, but has struggled of late without star Oscar de Silva (he may be back for the Pac-12 tournament), losing four in a row. Cal also comes into the Pac-12 tournament also on a four-game losing streak. CU swept Stanford this season, but went 1-1 v. Cal, suffering the most embarrassing losses of the season, falling 71-62 in Berkeley (CU’s last lost; Cal’s last win).

Bad news for CU fans … the Buffs’ first game of the Pac-12 tournament will tip-off at 9:30 p.m., MT, next Thursday.

With the Oregon at Oregon State game still to be played (if Oregon wins, the Ducks win the regular season title; otherwise USC is the champion), here are the Pac-12 standings …

TEAMCONFGBOVR
Oregon13-418-5
USC15-5+0.521-6
Colorado14-60.520-7
UCLA13-6117-8
Arizona11-93.517-9
Oregon State10-9414-11
Stanford10-104.514-12
Utah8-11611-12
Arizona State7-10610-13
Washington State7-12714-12
Washington4-1610.55-20
California3-1711.58-19

With Arizona ineligible to participate in the tournament, seeds 1-5 – which includes Oregon State and Stanford, receive byes.

Next weekend’s schedule … 

2021 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament presented by New York Life
T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.

Wednesday, March 10
Game 1: No. 8 seed vs. No. 9 seed, 1:00 p.m. PT – PAC12 … Arizona State v. Washington State
Game 2: No. 7 seed vs. No. 10 seed, 4:00 p.m. PT* – PAC12 … Utah v. Washington
Game 3: No. 6 seed vs. No. 11 seed, 7:00 p.m. PT* – PAC12 … Stanford v. Cal

Thursday, March 11
Game 4: No. 1 seed vs. Game 1 winner, 11:30 a.m. PT – PAC12 … Oregon/USC v. ASU/Washington State winner
Game 5: No. 4 seed vs. No. 5 seed, 2:30 p.m. PT* – PAC12 … UCLA v. Oregon State
Game 6: No. 2 seed vs. Game 2 winner, 5:30 p.m. PT* – PAC12 … Oregon/USC v. Utah/Washington winner
Game 7: No. 3 seed vs. Game 3 winner, 8:30 p.m. PT* – ESPN … Colorado v. Stanford/Cal winner

Friday, March 12
Game 8: Semifinal 1, 5:30 p.m. PT – PAC12
Game 9: Semifinal 2, 8:30 p.m. PT* – ESPN

Saturday, March 13
Game 10: Championship, 7:30 p.m. PT – ESPN

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March 4th – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs overcome shaky start to take down Arizona State, 75-61

Related … “Wright scores 24, No. 24 Colorado beats Arizona State 75-61” … from ESPN

Related … “McKinley Wright IV leads the way as CU Buffs pull away from Arizona State in regular season finale” … from the Daily Camera 

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado’s McKinley Wright IV scored 24 points in his final game at the CU Events Center and the Buffaloes survived a shaky start Thursday to pull away down the stretch for a 75-61 win over Arizona State.

The victory, which put Colorado in position for the third seed in next week’s Pac-12 tournament, improved the Buffs to 20-7 overall and 14-6 in Pac-12 play. ASU fell to 10-12, 7-9. The only way CU could lose the No. 3 seed is if Saturday’s USC-UCLA game is canceled.

Jeriah Horne added a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double for the Buffs and D’Shawn Schwartz chipped in 11 points.

Holland Woods led the Sun Devils with 15 points but the Buffs held ASU’s Remy Martin, the Pac-12’s leading scorer, to just six points on 1-for-9 shooting.

The Buffs started slowly, committing 10 turnovers in the first half and scoring just eight points in the first 10 minutes as ASU led by six midway through the period. But Colorado recovered enough to take a 31-30 lead at intermission, then dominated the Sun Devils in the second half to pull away down the stretch for the win. CU used an 8-0 run five minutes into the half to take the lead for good, then put the game away with a 10-1 surge with six minutes to play.

Colorado finished with a commanding 44-28 lead on the boards, including a 27-12 edge in the second half. The Buffs also shot 48 percent from the floor after intermission while holding ASU to just 30 percent shooting in the period, and CU had just three turnovers in the second half.

“It was a special win on a special night,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “I told the guys when they took the floor it was the last time this team’s ever going to play in this building together. You have to relish those moments … Our guys really responded in the second half. I’m really proud of them.”

Wright scored 17 of his 24 points in the second half, seemingly providing an impact moment every time the Buffs needed it.

“I’m going to miss that kid,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “I just told him how much I loved him and how much I’m going to miss coaching him. I’m going to miss coaching all seven of those seniors. But McKinley Wright is going to go down as one of the greatest players in Colorado history. What he’s done, from where he’s come from and what he’s overcome is really, really special.”

HOW IT HAPPENED: Early on, it looked like the Buffs might have trouble hitting double digits in the first half, as they scored just two points in the first eight minutes while committing six turnovers.

But CU slowly found its rhythm to take a 31-30 lead at intermission as the Buffs’ defense kept them in the game.

“The first half was really sloppy,” Wright said. “That’s me and Evan’s leadership and us not bringing enough energy. We let them hang around for too long.”

But the Buffs found their energy in the second half, and it was Wright providing the spark.

The senior point guard started an 8-0 run with a driving layup at the 16:22 mark to give Colorado a 41-39 lead and the Buffs never trailed again. Evan Battey followed with an offensive rebound and bucket before Wright scored again on a transition layup. A Maddox Daniels jumper then gave CU a 47-39 lead, forcing an ASU timeout.

Wright pushed his school-record number of games in double figures to 104.

“They really just turned it up in the second half,” ASU coach Bobby Hurley said. “We kind of just folded defensively and McKinley Wright had his fingerprints all over that.”

Colorado’s defense also turned up the heat in that stretch, forcing eight straight ASU misses in the run. Martin, who entered the game averaging a league-leading 21.3 points per game, had scored at least 23 points in his last eight games but finished with just six.

“We made it tough on Remy Martin all night,” Boyle said. “I thought Eli Parquet did a terrific job on him. A good team effort.”

The Sun Devils did manage to close the gap to four, 54-50, on a Jalen House 3-pointer, but the Buffs responded again with a 10-1 run to take a 64-51 lead with just more than six minutes to play.

Jabari Walker started the decisive run with a dunk off a nice feed from Wright before Wright followed with a left-handed drive to the hoop. D’Shawn Schwartz then added a tip-in, Wright hit a teardrop from the lane and Battey finished with a layup.

Colorado then held the Sun Devils at bay down the stretch, never allowing ASU to come closer than 10 again.

“The game is pretty simple when you defend,” Boyle said. “Hold’em to 30%, you rebound, you out-rebound by 15 in the second half, and you take care of the ball. We only had three turnovers in the second half rather than 10. The game kind of takes care of itself when you do those things.”

Boyle on Arizona State: “They’re a dangerous, dangerous basketball team”

From CUBuffs.com … With one regular season game remaining before the Pac-12 tournament and an expected NCAA Tournament berth, the Colorado Buffaloes’ goal is simple.

Finish.

Finish the regular season on a high note, then take that momentum into the conference tournament and postseason.

Tad Boyle‘s 24th-ranked Buffaloes (19-7 overall, 13-6 Pac-12) will have that opportunity Thursday when they play host to Arizona State (10-11, 7-8) in a 7 p.m. game at the CU Events Center (ESPN2).

“Finish has been a common theme for this team this year,” Boyle said Wednesday. “Whether it’s finishing defensive possessions with a rebound, finishing offensive possessions at the rim, putting the ball in the hole, getting to the free throw line, finishing games — now we have to finish our regular season.”

The Buffs have already clinched at least the fourth seed and a first-round bye in the conference tournament, their highest seed in the Pac-12 era. They still have an outside shot at the No. 2 or No. 3 spot, but a win may be more important simply to keep the momentum they have built with three straight wins, including victories last week over USC and UCLA.

The Sun Devils post an interesting challenge. Picked to finish second in the Pac-12 preseason media poll — barely behind UCLA — and ranked 18th in the preseason AP poll, the Sun Devils have struggled for much of the season. Plagued by inconsistency but boasting a talented lineup, they may have finally found a groove over the last 10 days, compiling a three-game win streak — their longest of the season.

“Arizona State’s very explosive, they’re very talented,” Boyle said. “They’re a dangerous, dangerous basketball team.”

Bobby Hurley’s Sun Devils are led by senior point guard Remy Martin, who leads the Pac-12 in scoring, averaging 21.3 points per game. He is also fourth in the league in 3-pointers per game (2.2), and has averaged 25.4 points over the last 10 games.

“He’s going to get some,” Boyle said of the Buffs’ strategy. “You’re not going to shut Remy Martin out. We just have to do a good job of making him work for everything. It’s a team defensive effort against a guy like that. It’s not just a one-guy (job).”

But the Sun Devils are more than just Martin. Guard Alonze Verge, last year’s Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year, has stepped into a starting role and is averaging 12.9 points and 4.1 assists. Forwards Kimani Lawrence and Jalen Graham, meanwhile, are both averaging more than eight rebounds per game.

Continue reading story here

Game Notes … Colorado is 19-7 overall and in fourth place in the Pac-12 Conference at 13-6. The Buffaloes are coming off a home sweep of the Los Angeles schools with a convincing 80-62 win over No. 19/18 ranked USC on Feb. 25th followed by a 70-61 decision over UCLA on Feb. 27th. Both USC and UCLA were in first place at the time of each respective game. Colorado has won three straight, six of eight and 12 of its last 16.

The Buffaloes have clinched at least the No. 4 seed and a first round bye for the upcoming Pac-12 Tournament, March 10-13 in Las Vegas. Colorado still has an outside shot at either the No. 2 or No. 3 seed. Regardless, it will be Colorado’s highest seed in its Pac-12 Tournament history.

CU’s 13 conference wins tie for the most in program history, joining the 1961-62 Big Eight Conference championship team (13-1). The previous Pac-12 high was in 2011-12. The Buffaloes finished 11-7 and would go on to win the inaugural Pac-12 Tournament. The win at Oregon State gave Colorado five road conference wins, the program’s most since the 1961-62 team had six (6-1). The Buffaloes’ 6-6 overall road record is their best since the 2000-01 team also finished 6-6. CU’s six overall road wins are its most since 2003-04 (6-7 road record). The Buffaloes won at least once on all four two-game Pac-12 road trips this season.

20 WINS ON THE HORIZON … A win against Arizona State would give Colorado its 12th 20-win season in program history and the eighth under head coach Tad Boyle, including the last three. It would be the seventh time the Buffaloes would record 20 wins during the regular season (1968-69, ‘96-97, 2012-13, ‘13-14, ‘15-16, ‘19-20).

Colorado leads the nation in free throw shooting at 83.1 percent making 364 of 438 attempts. The Buffaloes were right on their season pace against UCLA making 15 of 18 (.833) and have hit 56 of 64 over the last four (.875). Colorado has shot 80 percent or better in 18 games and at least 90 percent in five.

ABOUT THE SUN DEVILS … Arizona State is 10-11 overall and in eighth place in the Pac-12 at 7-8. The Sun Devils have won their last three – all at home. ASU has only played six true road games this season, winning two. Arizona State averages a league-leading 76.2 points per game while shooting 44 percent from the field.

Defensively, the Sun Devils allow 76.4 points, the second-lowest mark in the Pac-12 while opponents shoot 45 percent. Arizona State leads the Pac-12 in fewest turnovers (10.8 topg) and turnover margin (+4.8). Senior guard Remy Martin leads the Pac-12 in scoring at 21.3 points per game and ranks fourth in 3-pointers made at 2.2 per game. Senior guard Alonzo Verge, Jr., averages 12.9 points while averaging 4.1 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Senior forward Kimani Lawrence averages 8.2 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 53.9 percent from the field. Sophomore forward Jalen Graham averages 8.1 points while shooting 62 percent from the floor.

SERIES RECORDS … This will be the 22nd meeting between Colorado and Arizona State with the Buffaloes holding a 12-9 series lead. The Buffaloes have won the last three and five of the last seven meetings. Colorado has won eight of nine all-time meetings in Boulder.

MORE FREE THROW NUMBERS … Colorado’s 83.1 percent figure from the free throw line is ahead of the NCAA Division I, Pac-12 and Colorado single-season record pace:

Single Season Free Throw Records:
NCAA I: Harvard, .822 (535-651), 1983-84
Pac-12: Arizona, .786 (511-650), 2003-04
Colorado: .778 (679-873), 2010-11

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March 3rd 

… CU in the Arena … 

Dallas Walton: “It’s been a long journey over the past five years … I wouldn’t trade it for the world”

From the Daily Camera … Few players have experienced the career arc quite like the one traveled by Dallas Walton.

The roller coaster ride endured by the 7-footer from Arvada has been well-documented. After two ACL surgeries on his left knee, Walton took a redshirt season as a true freshman in 2016-17. He emerged as a promising low-post force a year later, but then suffered a torn ACL in his right knee that cost Walton the 2018-19 season.

After battling back into the rotation via a sort of live-action redshirt season last year as he regained strength in his legs, Walton has, at long last, returned to the form that offered so much promise three years ago. Even Walton isn’t quite sure if this is his final run with CU, but just in case he is certain to savor the final home game of the season on Thursday night as the 24th-ranked Buffs host Arizona State.

“I knew what I was capable of and I knew could contribute on this team and get some Ws,” Walton said. “Being able to do that and produce in a variety of different ways has been very special to me. It’s been a long journey over the past five years I’ve been here, and even before I got here too, just to get to the level that I’m at right now. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s a very special season.”

… Given that his redshirt season was taken in part to get stronger after his injuries at Arvada West, and then he missed the 2018-19 season to injury, Walton previously indicated he planned to petition for a sixth season of eligibility. With that process no longer necessary after the NCAA granted eligibility relief for the 2020-21 season, Walton isn’t yet ready to address anything beyond what is immediately ahead of him — the Arizona State home finale, the Pac-12 tournament, and a likely date in the NCAA Tournament.

“I have no idea where I’m at with that right now,” Walton said. “I’m just kind of finishing out the season, and right now that’s all I can think about — just finishing out the season on a strong note.”

Continue reading story here

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March 2nd

… CU in the Arena … 

D’Shawn Schwartz: “I think playing in the NCAA tournament is going to be something special”

From the Daily Camera … D’Shawn Schwartz has played a key role in plenty of big wins, and he hit what could be pegged as Colorado’s biggest clutch shot in recent memory during his time with the Buffaloes.

Still, the buzz the Colorado Springs native felt during Senior Night this past weekend has been difficult to shake. And so, though he plans to be part of more big wins in the coming weeks, Schwartz doesn’t have to think too far back to recount one of his top memories at CU.

“This (UCLA win) was up there,” Schwartz said of the Buffs’ 70-61 win on Saturday against the Bruins. “It was just so much fun. It was an unforgettable moment. The way we guarded in that last eight or so minutes, it was special.

“It was certainly an emotional night. I was thinking about the seniors last year and how we couldn’t get it done on Senior Night against UCLA. But we handled business. Getting out there and playing with my guys on this court for one of the last times, it was definitely an emotional night. It kind of hit me.”

… Like his teammates, Schwartz is planning to share a few more celebrations with the Buffs before his senior year is complete. Denied a bid to last year’s NCAA Tournament when it was canceled in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Buffs are all but assured of a spot in the 68-team field this year. A win against ASU would allow CU to take a four-game winning streak into next week’s conference tournament in Las Vegas.

“It’s going to mean the world,” Schwartz said. “From the seniors all the way down to the freshmen, it’s going to be a big deal. Just learning what it takes to win and how that can carry over in our professional lives, on the basketball or the corporate office. I think playing in the NCAA Tournament is going to be something special. Something we’re going to remember forever.”

Continue reading story here

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March 1st 

… CU in the Arena … 

McKinley Wright named Pac-12 Player of the Week (for the fourth time this season)

Press Release from CUBuffs.com … University of Colorado senior guard McKinley Wright IV was named the Pac-12 Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week, for the fourth time this season, the league office announced on Monday.

Wright, who already owns Colorado school marks for conference Player of the Week honors in a season and career (six), joins a short list of all-time Pac-12 honorees. He is the seventh Pac-12 player to earn six Player of the Week honors joining Gary Payton (Oregon State – 9), Chris Mills (Arizona – 7), Harold Miner (USC – 7), Sean Elliott (Arizona – 6), Adam Keefe (Stanford – 6) and Don MacLean (UCLA – 6).

A native of North Robbinsdale, Minn., Wright averaged 20.5 points and 10.0 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals leading the Buffaloes to wins over No. 19/18 USC and UCLA last week; both of which resided atop the league standings at the respective game time.

Wright had 15 points, dished out a career-high 14 assists and added three steals in the win over USC. The 14 assists tie for the second-most in school history and most since Jose Winston’s school-record 15 in 2001. It was Wright’s ninth points-assists double-double and ninth game in double-figure assists; both are CU career records. Wright’s 14 assists are the most by any Pac-12 player this season, in fact he owns the top two marks, also having 12 against California on Jan. 14.

Against UCLA, Wright scored a team season-high 26 points with six assists and five rebounds. The 26 points rank as his third best single-game output as he hit the 20-point mark for the 23rd time in his career. Wright was 10 of 16 from the field, the 10 field goals tying a career high.

Colorado, 19-7 overall and 13-6 in the Pac-12, is scheduled to host Arizona State in its regular season finale on Thursday, Mar. 4th, at 7 p.m. at the CU Events Center.

ESPN Experts on Pac-12 tournament champ: Split between CU and USC

From ESPN … Thirty-one NCAA Division I men’s basketball conferences will crown champions over a nine-day stretch that begins with the Ohio Valley Conference tournament on Saturday, March 6, and comes to an end with five leagues — the Patriot League, Atlantic 10, SEC, American and Big Ten — all crowning their champions on Sunday, March 14.

Who will earn the automatic bid in each conference? ESPN.com’s college basketball experts — Myron Medcalf, Jeff Borzello, John Gasaway and Joe Lunardi — issued their picks below, with leagues listed in the order that tickets will be punched. Click here for updated Bracketology from ESPN’s Joe Lunardi and Bubble Watch analysis from John Gasaway. Follow this link for the 2021 NCAA tournament dates, venues and complete schedule for each round.

Pac-12 … 

Expert picks:

  • Myron Medcalf and Jeff Borzello … Colorado
  • John Gasaway and Joe Lunardi … USC

See all of the conference picks here

Neill Woelk: A Thank You to CU’s seven seniors

From CUBuffs.com … Late Saturday night, in front of a small group of family and friends at the CU Events Center, McKinley Wright IV and his fellow Buffs seniors delivered their Senior Night farewells.

Each was heartfelt and poignant.

The Buffs thanked their families, their coaches, team personnel and — of course — their teammates. They thanked fans, administrators and CU Athletic Department staffers, those folks behind the scenes who have helped the players achieve their goals, not only on the basketball court but in the classroom as well.

It is clear each and every Buff has cherished his time in Boulder.

The feeling is mutual. On behalf of Colorado fans, we would like to return those “thank yous.”

Thanks to each and every member of this senior class. Thanks for providing a memorable season in a time when every one of us desperately needed something good to cheer. Thanks for representing the University of Colorado, the community and the state in a manner that can make everyone who follows the program proud to support CU.

Most of all, thanks for leaving a legacy and continuing to build a foundation that will be firmly in place long after your last game, last practice, last basket, last dribble at the Events Center.

You received the opportunity to play the game you love and further your education in the process, something that will be with you forever.

In return, you gave us memories that will last us a lifetime as well.

Of course, the spotlight on this group has always shown most brightly on Wright — and for good reason. He has embodied everything that is good about college athletics. A great player who always puts his team first. A player who makes everyone around him better, a player whose passion and competitiveness is in high gear every night, a player who cares more about winning than individual numbers — and a player who will take with him a college degree by the time he leaves CU.

(Note: All seven of CU’s seniors will earn or have already earned their degrees, keeping intact one of coach Tad Boyle‘s most amazing streaks. Every player in his tenure who has completed his eligibility at Colorado has graduated.)

Clearly, Wright’s legacy is indelibly stamped on the program. He guided the team for four seasons, helping CU continue the transformation of becoming a nationally relevant program.

The Buffs are now expected to win. They are expected to be a factor in the conference race, expected to be competitive every season, expected to be in the mix for an NCAA Tournament berth.

These are expectations that did not exist in Boulder for generations.

Continue reading story here

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83 Replies to “Colorado Basketball – March, 2021”

  1. The Buffaloes are watching and wondering. They should have and could have but didn’t and normally don’t Buffaloes

      1. Stu, there are abbreviations and references below that you may feel unworthy of the stature this site maintains. Please feel free to delete this paragraph if you so deem.

        83Buff, the D’head DrivebyPoster (above) doesn’t have the slightest clue what our BUFFS were dealing with mentally in their game w/FSU. Their “Heart” was in the game but their “Head” was back in Boulder grieving with the victims’ families, the CU student body and the rest of Colorado and the nation.

        Let’s face it, some (especially Kornholes) have their head stuffed in the dark and they just expel mindless, clueless, S**t out of their mouth. They’re not worth the dirt they walk on.

        C’mon VK, join in and give that A-H some of your viatribe. YeeHaw. GO BUFFS

    1. DBP I know it’s rough since the nubs aren’t winning anymore and all that you have left is to watch the corn grow.

  2. Over the weekend, I was wondering if Tad was going to invite Schwartz, Walton, Daniels or Horne back for another season. I guess he feels that he has better players on the bench that need more playing time. Walker and Da Silva both showed flash of what they can do and every time O’Brien got a chance to play he didn’t disappoint.
    I can’t wait to see how Barthelemy develops as our new floor general. His ability to run the offense will only get better with more playing time.
    So……who will next years’ starters be ??? Barthelemy, Parquet, Battey, Walker and Da Silva. I sure hope Horne is invited back for the spark that he brings whenever entering the game. We definitely need more help in the middle. Who is going to step into Walton’s role of providing 12-18 minutes/game as a defensive force and occasional offensive spark? I would love to see O’Brien get more minutes. All in all, this should be a fun off season watching both the football and basketball teams planning their attack for next season!!

    1. this just in
      Schwartz and Walton are portal pals. I was hoping to see 2 7 footers n the floor at the same time.

      Oh well

      cant believe Tad would urge Horne to move on.

  3. If by chance the Buffs are looking to add another big man to go with Battey and incoming FR Lovering perhaps they should at least put in a call to Walker Kessler who last week announced he’s transferring out of Chapel Hill after his just completed FR season. An “All Everything” coming out of high school, it doesn’t hurt to put out a feeler to see if the southern kid is interested in the rarified air of Boulder.

  4. Don’t know what Dallas Walton is doing next year but – as a Jersey Buff – I follow Rutgers hoops pretty closely. RU’s center, Myles Johnson, who would be a graduate transfer, just put his name in the transfer portal. Tough as hell on the interior, strong rebounder, and defender.

  5. Offseason…what is Jabari? Right now he is a spot up 3-point shooter and good offensive rebounder. His game falls apart when he is trying to score outside of those two areas.
    If he is low post, then he needs to spend the entire offseason with back-to-basket moves.
    If he is a big wing he needs to spend that time dribbling, dribbling, dribbling.

    1. I think I saw some flashes of Jabari as a big wing with some slasher potential, which would work well with his outside threat. Will be interesting to see how he plays under pressure when he becomes a go to guy.

  6. TO THE RECRUITERS AND BASKETBALL ADMIN’ STAFF :
    Send CHET HOLMGREN of Minnesota TAD AND MCKINLEY’S VIDEO. and ask CHET to please visit the Boulder campus.

    ‘ENUFF SAID. DO IT.

      1. EP, that’s a damn good idea. 10 to 1, though, he’s going to be able to hold his own…. strength isn’t always dependent on weight….. but, I agree with you all the way.

        Have you seen any video on the kid ? My thought: he’s damn impressive. 2nd thought. Pistol Pete wasn’t a LeBron type, and Pistol Pete was – in my opinion – the best basketball player in history…. followed by Larry Bird. (Contested, I know).

        BUT………………GO BUFFS (Bright next few years)

  7. In the depths of my mind I seem to remember a tournament? game vs. UT Longhorns…FSU game played out exactly the same. The length of the team made it difficult to just execute simple passes.

    My one beef with the coaching…when teams are switching everything you need to get the switch than attack the mismatch in the post and play inside out. Buffs played on the perimeter the entire game. Walton out for defensive reasons when our offense was the problem.
    Beginning of the game we get the switch and we reverse the ball, and our post players weren’t aggressive in demanding the ball.
    All that being said, FSU defense is legit, some of the best I’ve seen in the tourney. Made us look very, very poor.

  8. Great season, thanks Buffs. Tournament is crazy. Season high last game. Season low tonight. Seen it before with other teams. Happy the other Pac12 teams are taking down 2-3-4 seeds. Bummed our Buffs cant be a part of it.

  9. Thank you BUFFS for a great season.. CU coaches: when you know u have made it, you won’t let a team (fsu) dictate the game for you… You will dictate and let your Seniors dictate the game .. Win or lose … get outta highschool Boyle.. Let the seniors play and maybe sweet 16… Go Buffs

    1. You might take a look at the Rooney article posted today.
      In six seasons covering this program, I’ve noticed one consistent theme. Judging by my Twitter feed and email inbox, there hasn’t been a single loss during that span that can be attributed to anything else but the coaching of Boyle. News flash: Sometimes you lose to better teams. Sometimes shots don’t go down.

      This was one of those nights. Tad will go down as the greatest coach in CU history … and his numbers over the past 11 years back that up.

      1. I agree with Stuart, with about 8 minutes to go, I watchek McKinley pass up a wide open 3, and then get rejected (probably fouled, tech called on Boyle). That was when I knew the Buffs had lost confidence and their fate was sealed. This was about execution and for whatever reason the team got rattled and didn’t recover. Basketball is make or miss and when you lose confidence you miss.

      2. Agreed.. I am a Boyle fan but sometimes to much adjustments not working out.. A few more shots go down and a different game.. Thanks for your coverage.. Go Buffs.. CU in September..

    2. It looked to me like our Buffs struggled with the length and athleticism of FSU. They touched or diverted a lot of shots and stole a lot of passes. They looked like a team of Evan batteys, but maybe quicker.

      The good news? The Buffs should be back next year. Solid core of talent returning supplemented by what may be tad’s best recruiting class ever. And Barthelemy may end up being as good as or better than McKinley at running the point.

      Go Buffs

      1. Is it just me or does Key look more like a SG than PG?
        Regardless team (guards esp.) need to work on ballhandling all offseason, best returning handles that I’ve seen in limited minutes is O’brien and not sure that is a good thing. If Eli could develop handles and run the point….

        1. I don’t know. Really didn’t see that much of him. From what I did see, he looked confident, decisive in shooting and passing, and very athletic.

          Jabari could be ridiculous.

          And the incoming crew is apparently/potentially even better.

          Kin killed it for CU. But more importantly, he may have helped set the stage for an even brighter future.

          Go Buffs

  10. Texas losing to Abilene, Illinois losing to Loyola in the NCAA Tournament =Buffaloes losing to Northern Colorado

  11. Good start for the (underrated) Pac12. Happy for all of em, but mostly for the buzzsaw buffs. Hoyas never had a chance.

    And the buckeyes laid a turd vs Moral Roberts. You know them little buckeyes look a lot like one. And the longhorns got gored by those pesky Abilene Christians. They swept Incarnate Word this year.

  12. Fire tad. Oh wait. Same coach. Different players (secret, better players) different result.

    Can they make the sweet sixteen? Hell yeah. Will they? We’ll find out Monday.

    Oh yeah. Note: anyone who did t pick the Buffs to win the natty in their bracket/s is a coward.

    Go Buffs

    1. Why do you conflate critique with termination? They are not the same. Not one frequent poster on this site I can recall has beat a steady drum of “fire Tad.” Maybe the occasional malcontent or the mental midgets at other forums, but not CUATG.

      Some (myself included) have been frustrated with Tad’s defensive/rebounding ethos as not being good enough in this era of basketball to allow the Buffs to make a deep run. Offensive efficiency matters and is just as important for your ethos. It’s no coincidence that this team is by far Tad’s best offensive team (efficiency, 3-point %, free-throw%, assist/turnover ratio, etc.). I haven’t posted much because this team has been very good in this area and at developing players (Eli Parquet, for one) which was a critique of Tad and staff. All due credit goes to Tad and staff. This is a very enjoyable team to watch.

      That woodshed beating on the Hoya’s was Tad’s best ever CU offensive game I can remember.
      Again, not coincidence, but fact that offense was a huge factor. Can they repeat that type of performance?-most likely not. Will CU win again with a strong defense/rebounding game in the tourney and in future games? Most definitely.

      Go Buffs.

      1. Mostly, because I crack myself up. Of course critiquing is not calling for a coach’s head. But there seem to be a couple guys who generally muse whether CU basketball could do better. And certainly with football coaches. They can. With better players.

        As to tad he seems to have built to a really solid core of both young and older guys with increasing talent coming in. If tad ever moves on, he will have turned cu basketball into a job another good coach may want. But in my mind, we take the good with the bad. Last year’s season ending skid included. As Stu wrote this morning, dude has lapped what was the ceiling and raised the floor to places few thought possible for CU hoops.

        Now? I just worry about the inverse relationship between CU football and basketball. That shit has been real for far too long. Hopefully Karl breaks that trend as well. I don’t count 2020’s abbreviated football schedule as having broken that trend. Although it did offer reason to hope.

        Go Buffs

        1. You crack me up too Eric. First its undying and unconditional loyalty to the coach and in the same breath you say its all about the players. Why then do you need Tad? In fact why dont you take up coaching. All you need is better players…..right? Maybe you can buy em in like Sweaty down in Arizona. Better yet make sure they all have famous players for fathers

          1. Hello elephant. CU football was at its best when players got “benefits”. Allegedly.

            I was amusing myself today wondering if the decline of the basketball blue bloods (at least the recent ones) has anything to do with a little less cash flowing around, since the ol fbi inquiry.

            Tad has built a solid program over his 11yrs and I don’t think he has hit his ceiling. This recruiting class may be his best yet.

            As to me coaching? Way too hard. Probably why you aren’t coaching either.

            Go Buffs

            Go Buffs

    2. And another thing—Tad Boyle completely out-coached Patrick Ewing. If you recorded the game watch how bad Georgetown’s defensive scheme was, no doubt exacerbated by CU’s three barrage.

      Georgetown had guys out of position and actually loafing on defense. And that’s on Ewing-not that you would have anyone from CBS pointing that out since they had their lips attached to Ewing/Georgetown’s ass pregame and threw any objectivity right out the window….the hangdog expression on Smith /Barkley/Katz at halftime was priceless.

      So yes, defense matters and Georgetown was bad. Outcoached.

      1. Agreed. And Jabari was en fuego. A buddy mentioned the NCAA tourney record for threes was 19. Buffs had what, 15? Nice shooting.

        Go Buffs

  13. So apparently on last Sunday night’s Selection Show, the CBS experts were right about a first round upset in a 5/12 game involving a Pac-12 school. They just had the wrong game – picking against #5 Buffs instead of picking #12 Oregon State. Oh well. Great win for the Buffs today.

  14. Hooo weee. PAC 12 is now 2-0. Somewhere Jerry Mathers is smiling. The beaves send the vols home after one in convincing style. Tennessee has always been over rated in football and now hoops too.
    (SEC? pffft)

  15. I keep quoting VK. This time its “holy crap” there must be a god. Oral Roberts sends Ohio State as one of the first ones home. Is no one safe? I guess I shouldn’t come down too hard on Tad if the Buffs hold to historical form.
    I will be rooting for Morehead. One of my cousins played there….many years ago of course.
    also
    go Buffs….cream the corn

  16. “Coach just wants us to play free and have fun,” said McKinley.

    That IS what lacked against OSU. One can’t do their best or even come close when they are stressed. You could see it in the way they shot the ball, the way their passes didn’t flow. It was evident that OSU came out determined, “Guns a-blazin’.”

    Their huddles revealed no smiles being exchanged, not looking at one another…..shoulders were sagging….heads down.

    Like all CU fans, I don’t want to see that again against G’town….. but, the team knows they are going up against a team with a “Decades-Long” national reputation and that could doom the BUFFS.

    It’s going to be a task for McKinley to keep his troops focused and relaxed. You know Tad will be strung as high as a kite going up against a team’s reputation and Patrick Ewing.

    We’ll see if our Buffs have the swagger and confidence they need to defeat G’town. If they think they will be beaten, they will. To our leaders, McKinley and his generals, don’t let that happen. Every last Buff will need to be dedicated with a unified, positive thought in place.

    C’Mon BUFFS

    1. Their huddles revealed no smiles being exchanged, not looking at one another…..shoulders were sagging….heads down.

      Yur right. Coach needs to chew their asses right then and there…..
      Feeling sorry for themselves.

      Coaching em up. sometimes ain’t easy for the players.

      Go Buffs

  17. Wow,
    If the Mighty Buffs WBB team wins the could face the girly kornhlers

    Assuming they both win

    and

    if they both lose they could still face them kornkobs of the female type.

    Too strong??

    Buffs

  18. FREE THROWS. I thought once we got into a bonus FT situation, the Beevs were done. WRONG

    Live by the sword………die by the sword.

    Go show Patrick E. that there is basketball played out west and we don’t suck hind T _ _ (Udder).

  19. The name game never gets tired with pundidiots. How many years has it been…or even decades…since Georgetown was nationally relevant.? They are barely 500 this year.
    Granted most of this bias is from NYC – CBS…which stands for complete bullsh**t sports.
    I cant believe this sludge oozing from the east coast wont light a fire under the Buffs.

    I googled hairy palm and it sounds like the closest he ever got to playing a real sport was a computer game. Bottom line is all these “guys” have been directed from administration to play the fan numbers game.

  20. Quoting NBA legend and Georgetown alum Allen Iverson… “We talking about practice. Not a game. Not the game. We talking about practice, man.” Which has me thinking about the logistical tangle it could be for teams to loosen up and get in some gym practice this week as nearly 6 dozen squads converge on the Indianapolis bubble. I think CU can beat trendy Georgetown in the opener. Go Buffs !!

  21. East coast frigging biggot arseholes. I could see it coming. Gushihg over the east coast teamsy like syracuse

    Screw them dickweeds

    Go Buffs kill em so i can text em everyday

    Buffs

  22. Get rid of the stupid color commintator Bill W. . He makes me want to turn off the audio and watch in silence. Sounds like he’s drunk and didn’t graduate from 1st grade.

    1. Whoever AZ Buff ain’t me, as I’m the seasoned old codger that has retired in AZ and can give VK a run for his money on any Windmill Course. I probably could out chug ep in a Bass Ale contest…….but I digress.

      I gotta feeling in my youngest artificial bones ( Hips & Knees) that things are on an uptick for the Buffs in the future. Even Stuart might be able to take some time off from his passion of lawyering and maybe even go fishing (good stuff up there in Montana) as we have been down so long, starting to look like up.

  23. I dislike SC’s coach almost as much as Tad Boyle does so I’m beyond ecstatic that the Buffs beat SC yet again. It’s been a decade since we last won the Pac-12 title, which is also the last year we won a game in the NCAA tournament. Here’s to getting the win tonight vs. Oregon State and repeating history when the Big Dance begins.

  24. Duck a l’orange
    is VK happy they lost or mad the Buffs dont get to beat them?
    and isnt Enfield the perfect coach for the spoiled children?

    1. I’m glad they lost. Lost to OSU. Their rival.

      I don’t like that whiner coach.

      I don’t like ducks.

      I shoot ducks

      Go Buffs beat the alter ducks

  25. Great defensive game plan and execution by the players. Trapping Bradley obviously frustrated him for the majority of the game. Expect to see opponents start to do the same (as some have done) w/Kin up high.

  26. Looks like the Buffs will always play to the level f the competition. Maybe from now on they will at least stay awake long enough against the dregs to avoid laying the proverbial egg.

    1. What? That game was a little late for you and especially the ol az.

      It was scary. Watching between “dozed-offs”

      Praying like heck for no overtime.

      Buffs.

      Damn OSU……………I would like the Buffs to play them again hint hint

      1. VK,
        Drop me an email – or post a comment – on Selection Sunday with the CU at the Game tournament challenge, and I’ll get the link posted.
        I checked the ESPN tournament challenge, and there is no CU at the Game group listed …

          1. Nice,

            Hope lots of your followers sign up.

            It seems complicated if you have not done this before. But it is pretty simple. really. Won’t give ya an earache.

            Go Buffs

    1. Well he got two out of three so we will see.

      Buffs.

      Note: All sorts of stuff really eh?
      Note: If yur Buff, ya gotta be tough.
      Note: Cause it ain’t easy…………….Easy like Sunday morning
      Major Note: Maybe this is the year of the 100 year storm and the storm is the Mighty Buffs Mens Basketball team. Stars aligned. Snubs here snubs there. Positives here positives there. Just enough to be the

      TSUNAMI NO ONE SAW COMING.

      nice

  27. Wow Wilner picking the Buffs in the Pac12 Tourney and ESPN as one of eight with a chance in the big dance? Let’s hope we can deliver at least a couple of wins.

    Really like Kin going after it offensively the last couple of games, really when he is going we are a very, very tough beat as it stresses the defense to open up things for others. Also want to keep the physical, tough defense up, make the refs make the call…foul calls tend to even themselves out and of course our depth and FT shooting are strengths, bang hard down low!

  28. Hopefully the WBB gets invited to the WNIT.

    They have a new format
    8 teams 4 regions
    4 winners of the first game go on to play for the championship of that region 2 more wins required to be crowned regional champion

    4 losers of the first game go on to play for the consolation championship
    2 more wins required to win the consolation championship

    So each team is guaranteed to play two games
    three if you win your first two

    And win something

    I like it

    Go Lady
    Buffs

  29. No headline for Remi this morning on ESPN. Still none for Wright either. Instead the head line is Duke NC conjecture on 2 teams that may not even make the dance. Thats ok. With those 2 exploring mediocrity, Kansas down and Kentucky waaaay down maybe some of the better players wont automatically accept their offers in the future.
    I was glad to see Tad using a little Bobby Knight in an effort to end the spazfest at the start of the game. On the other hand it looks like Bobby Hurley thinks he is Bobby Knight.
    I wasnt glad to see some of the officiating but the amazing thing was they didnt pick on Evan….not even once.

  30. Go Buffs

    “They’ve always picked other guards over me and Remy was one of them. Tonight just speaks for itself.”

    The ultimate “Buffs get no respect” line

    Note: If they play this “Buff-Like” they got maybe 6 more games to play

    1. Great idea – thanks!
      After the brackets are up next Sunday, I’ll post a link on top of the “Colorado Basketball” and “Colorado Daily” headings.
      Perhaps a CU at the Game hat to the best bracket!

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