CU at the Dance

NCAA Tournament Bracket

Tweet of the Tournament … from RedditCFB … “North Texas joins the ranks of 232 other D1 teams to win their first NCAA Tournament game in program history before Nebraska” …

McKinley Wright – By the Numbers

McKinley Wright ended his career with an assault on the CU record book like no other, and he joined Richard Roby and Donnie Boyce as the only players in CU history ranked in the top 20 in scoring, rebounds, assists and steals.

 Scoring (6th): 1,857 points
 Rebounds (t-20th): 644
 Assists (1st): 683
 Steals (t-10th): 140
 Minutes (2nd): 4,339
 Field Goals Made (6th): 668
 Field Goals Attempted (6th): 1,427
 3-Point Field Goals Made (10th): 133
 3-Point Field Goals Attempted (10th): 405
 Free Throws Made (9th): 388
 Free Throws Percentage (10th): .803
 Games Played (t-5th): 131
 Games Started (t-2nd): 130

Roby tied for first in scoring, sixth in steals, 17th in assists and 18th in rebounds; Boyce was third in scoring, second in steals, tied for seventh in assists and tied for 20th in rebounds. Wright finished his career as the sixth player in the NCAA Division I to score 1,800, with 600 or rebounds and assists, and the only Pac-12 player to achieve those numbers …

 

School records set in CU’s 96-73 win over Georgetown 

Individual … 

Best Field Goal Percentage, Individual —90.0 (9-ot-10), Jabari Walker vs. Georgetown

Most 3-Point Field Goals Made—Old … 4, Askia Booker vs. Illinois at Austin, 3/22/2013 (10 att.)
New: 5, D’Shawn Schwartz and Jabari Walker vs. Georgetown at Indianapolis, 3/20/21.

Best 3-Point Field Goal Percentage—100.0 (5-ot-5), Jabari Walker vs. Georgetown

Most AssistsOld … 5, Howard Frier vs. North Carolina at Winston-Salem, 3/15/1997
New: 13, McKinley Wright vs. Georgetown

Team … 

Best Field Goal PercentageOld … 56.9 (41-of-72), vs. Texas A&M at Manhattan, Kan., 3/15/1969
New: 60.7 (34-of-56) vs. Georgetown at Indianapolis, 3/20/21

Most 3-Point Field Goals MadeOld … 7, on two occasions (vs. Indiana ’97; vs. UNLV ’12)
New: 16 vs. Georgetown at Indianapolis, 3/20/21 (25 attempts)

Most 3-Point Field Goals AttemptedOld … 18, vs. N. Carolina at Winston-Salem, 3/15/1997 (3M)
New: 25 vs. Georgetown at Indianapolis, 3/20/21 (made 16)

Best Free Throw PercentageOld … 81.8 (9-of-11), vs. Stanford at Kansas City, 3/21/42
New: 85.7 (12-of-14) vs. Georgetown at Indianapolis, 3/20/21

Most AssistsOld … 12, on two occasions (vs. Indiana ’97; vs. UNLV ’12)
New: 27 vs. Georgetown at Indianapolis, 3/20/21

Largest LeadOld … 24 (74-48 last of four times), vs. Indiana at Winston-Salem, 3/13/1997
New: 32 (84-52) vs. Georgetown at Indianapolis, 3/20/21

Largest Lead At HalfOld … 20 (51-31) vs. Texas A&M at Manhattan, Kan., 3/15/1969 (W, 97-82)
New: 24 (47-23) vs. Georgetown at Indianapolis, 3/20/21

Colorado 96, Georgetown 73 – Post-game Notes 

— Colorado had season-highs for points (96), field goals made (34), 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 became the 10th team to make 16 3-pointers in a first round game (tied for the fourth-most);

— 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);

— CU is now 23-8, tying the 2020-21 team for the third-most wins in school history …

  • 24-12 … 2010-11 (3-1 in NIT)
  • 24-14 … 2011-12 (1-1 in NCAA)
  • 23-12 … 2013-14 (0-1 in NCAA)
  • 23-13 … 2018-19 (2-1 in NIT)
  • 23-8 … 2020-21 (1-0 in NCAA) 

— 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, was 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 Buffaloes were 12-of-14 from the free throw line, and are now 431-of-524 for the season (82.25); CU entered today second in the nation in FT shooting (82.16), behind Oral Roberts (82.17)

Individual Notes … 

McKINLEY WRIGHT (12 PTS, 5 REB, 13 AST, 0 TO) He had one more assist than the Georgetown team … The 13 assists marked the 10th double-figure assist game of his career … He has now scored 1,847 points in his career, sixth all-time;

Assist-to-Turnover Ratio: On the season, Wright now owns a 2:87-1 (181assists/63 turnovers). He is the first player since 2008 in an NCAA game to have at least 13 assists and no turnovers (Jason Richards, Davidson);

JABARI WALKER (24 PTS, 3 REB, 2 BLK; 9-10 FGA, 5-5 3 PT) He made a career-high five three-pointers (old best was 3-for-3 when he scored his previous career-high before today, 23 points on Jan. 13 in a win over Cal);

D’SHAWN SCHWARTZ (18 PTS, 3 REB, 4 AST) He became the 37th player in school history to score 1,000 career points (hitting the mark with his second three of the game); finishing the game with 1,013 (passing Andre Roberson into 36th—Roberson had 1,012).
He is the third member of the 2017 recruiting class to hit 1,000 (joining McKinley Wright and Tyler Bey);

TAD BOYLE … now 2-4 in NCAA tournament games. Boyle is 25-18 overall in post-season tournament games. As a school, Colorado is 53-71. So, yes, Tad Boyle has 25 of CU’s 53 all-time post-season victories (if you need help with the math, that means that all of other coaches in CU history are 28-53 in post-season games).

 

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Pac-12 “Winners and Losers” from Selection Sunday

From the San Jose Mercury News … The Pac-12 began this pandemic season with two goals: Play as many regular-season games as possible as safely as possible; and send as many teams to the NCAA tournament as possible with the highest seeds possible.

On the former matter, the season was a resounding success: The conference played 126 of the 130 scheduled games, including all 10 in Las Vegas.

On the latter matter, the season was only a qualified success.

The Pac-12 received five bids to March Madness, although it was a nervous stretch for the fifth: UCLA, the conference’s only bubble sitter, didn’t hear its name called until the final region was unveiled.

The five bids marked the largest haul for the conference since the 2016 tournament, when it placed seven teams in the field, and provides a foundation from which to begin repairing its reputation nationally.

Winner: UCLA. Had the Bruins been left out of the at-large field after losing their last four games — and blowing that huge lead against Oregon State in the conference tournament — Year Two of the Mick Cronin era would have been a colossal disappointment.

Loser: UCLA. That said, the Bruins’ opponent, Michigan State, is assuredly the first team ever assigned to the First Four with two victories over No. 1 seeds. The Spartans handled Michigan and Illinois in recent weeks, along with No. 2 Ohio State. They opened as a 1-point favorite over UCLA.

Winner: USC. The Trojans should be solid favorites over their first-round opponent (Drake or Wichita State) and are slotted to face Kansas in the second. That might not be as daunting as it seems: The Jayhawks pulled out of the Big 12 tournament because of COVID issues and could have a depleted rotation.

Winner: Pac-12. Each game played in the NCAA tournament is worth approximately $1.8 million over a six-year period (split evenly among the 12 schools). With five teams in the field, the conference is guaranteed $9 million, even if it goes winless. Which it won’t, probably.

Winner: Oregon. The Ducks surely aren’t complaining about drawing Virginia Commonwealth as a first-round opponent. And their projected second-round foe, Iowa, is a far better matchup (despite the presence of big man Luka Garza) than two of the other No. 2s (Ohio State and Alabama).

Loser: Colorado. Sure, the Buffaloes received their highest seed ever — a No. 5 seed — but they are matched against one of the hottest teams in the country, Georgetown, which just won the Big East.

Loser: Oregon State. Of the potential No. 5 seeds, the Beavers drew the most difficult matchup (Tennessee). They would have been much better off with Villanova or Creighton.

Winner: Oregon State. At this point, it’s all house money.

Read full story here

Capsules for the Pac-12’s five tournament teams …

From SportsPac-12

Colorado … No. 5 seed 

Season Record: 22-8
Seed: 5 East (First time they have ever been higher than an 8 seed)
Record as Seed: First time as a 5 seed
Total Bids: 15th NCAA Appearance
All-Time NCAA Record: 10-16
Best NCAA Finish: Won 3rd place game in 1955
Final Fours: 2 (1942 & 1955)
First Game: Saturday vs Georgetown
Record vs Georgetown: First meeting between the teams.
Last appearance in NCAA Tournament: 2016
Record in Round of 64: 2-4
Current Streak: Four-game Tournament losing streak.

USC … No. 6 seed 

Season Record: 22-7
Seed: 6 in West Region
Record as a seed: 3-2 (3-1 with 2008 Vacated)
Total Bids: 19th NCAA Appearance (18th Officially 2008 vacated)
All-Time NCAA Record: 14-20 (14-19 with 2008 loss vacated)
Best NCAA Finish: Final 4 (Lost 3rd place game in 1954, no 3rd place game in 1940)
Final Fours: 2 (1940 & 1954)
First Game: Saturday vs Wichita St/Drake winner
All-time record vs: Drake 0-1 (3/13/1975 in National Commissioners Tournament), Wichita State 2-1 (Last meeting: November 2015 72-69 W in Orlando)
Last appearance in NCAA Tournament: 2017
Record in Round of 64: 5-6 (5-5 with 2008 vacated)
Current Streak: One-game Tournament losing streak.

Oregon … No. 7 seed 

Season Record: 20-6
Seed: 7 in West Region
Record as Seed: 1-2 (0-1 in 2000, 1-1 in 2014)
Total Bids: 17th appearance in NCAA Tournament
All-time NCAA Record: 25-15
Best NCAA Finish: 1939 NCAA Champs
Final Fours: 2 (1939 & 2017)
First Game: Saturday vs VCU
Record vs VCU: 0-1 (The Rams were 77-63 winners in November 2014 in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn)
Record in Round of 64: 8-4
Last Appearance in Tournament: 2019
Current Streak: One-game Tournament losing streak.

UCLA … No. 11 seed

Season Record: 17-9
Seed: 11 East (Play-in)
Record as a seed: 2-3 (Lost in First Four in 2018, Went 2-1 in 2015 and 0-1 in 2005)
Total Bids: 50th NCAA appearance (48th officially—if Bruins win their 2021 play-in—with 1980 & 1999 vacated)
All-time NCAA record: 106-42 (100-41 with 1980 & 1999)
Best NCAA finish: 11-time NCAA Champion most recently 1995
Final Fours: 18 most recently 2008 (17 with 1980 vacated)
First Game: Michigan State on Thursday
Record vs Michigan State: 6-4 (Most recently a 75-62 Spartans win in the 2019 Maui Classic)
Last Appearance in NCAA Tournament: 2018
Record in Round of 64: 20-5 (20-4 with 1999 vacated)
Record in First Four Game: 0-1
Current Streak: Two-game Tournament losing streak.

Oregon State … No. 12 seed 

Season Record: 17-12
Seed: 12 Midwest
Record as a seed: 0-1 (Lost 70-61 to Louisville in 1988)
Total Bids: 18th NCAA Appearance (15th officially 1980,81 & 82 vacated)
All-time NCAA record: 12-20 (10-17 official record with vacated games)
Best NCAA finish: Lost 3rd place game in 1949 & 1963
Final Fours: 2 (1949 & 1963)
First Game: Friday vs Tennessee
Record vs Tennessee: 3-1 (Most recently 82-66 Beaver win at home in December 1990)
Last appearance in NCAA Tournament: 2016
Record in Round of 64: 0-5
Current Streak: Seven-game Tournament losing streak dating to 1982. (8 games with vacated 1980-82) They last “officially” won an NCAA Tournament game in 1975— the longest drought between NCAA Tournament wins (46 years) of a team from a major conference.

White is the New Black … 

Colorado has appeared in the NCAA tournament 14 times, with a respectable 10-16 overall record.

The Buffs have reached the Final Four twice (albeit in a different era), falling to Bay Area schools in 1942 (Stanford) and 1955 (San Francisco). Six times the Buffs have been considered an “Elite Eight” team.

In the “modern” era – dating to when the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985 – CU has only made it to the “Big Dance” six times. The Buffs, behind star Chauncey Billups, broke a string of 28 empty seasons with a run to the tournament in 1997.

This season will mark the fifth season under Tad Boyle that the Buffs have made the tournament, the first since 2016 (though the Buffs were very likely, even with a season-ending five game losing streak, to earn an at-large berth last season).

The highest-ever seeding for CU in the NCAA tournament has been eighth, achieved in 2014 and 2016. That high-water mark has been passed by the 2020-21 team, which earned a No. 5 seeding.

The Buffs will be taking on the Big East tournament champion Georgetown … wearing the “home” white uniforms …

Chasing History … 

Colorado picked up its 20th win with a 75-61 decision over Arizona State in the regular season finale. Colorado now has 12 20-win seasons in program history, eight of which have come under head coach Tad Boyle, including the last three. It’s the seventh time the Buffaloes have 20 wins during the regular season (1968-69, ‘96-97, 2012-13, ‘13-14, ‘15-16, ‘19-20 & ‘20-21). Last year’s squad tied the school mark for regular season wins at 21 eventually tying for the seventh best overall mark in team history.

The 2020-21 season will mark just the second time in school history (at least since The Depression, when the Buffs weren’t playing all that many games) that CU will have fewer than ten losses for the year …

Most Wins In One Season:

  • 1.  24 wins … 2011-12 (24-12)  and 2010-11 (24-14)
  • 3.  23 wins … 2013-14 (23-12) and 2018-19 (23-13)
  • 5.  22 wins … 2020-21 (22-8) and 2015-16 (22-12) and 1996-97 (22-10)
  • 8.  21 wins … 2019-20 (21-11) and 2012-13 (21-12) and 1968-69 (21-7)
  • 11. 20 wins … 2005-06 (20-10) and 2002-03 (20-12)

The game against Oregon State represented only CU’s third conference championship game … ever … 

Against Oregon State, Colorado was playing in just 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.

Granted, conference tournaments only date back to the late 1970’s, so it’s not like CU has gone a century with only three conference title games …

Just 40+ years …

CU’s history in the NCAA tournament … 

YearSeedRoundOpponentResult/Score
1940Elite Eight
Regional 3rd Place
USC
Rice
L 32–38
L 56–60 OT
1942Elite Eight
Final Four
Kansas
Stanford
W 46–44
L 35–46
1946Elite Eight
Regional 3rd Place
California
Baylor
L 44-50
W 59–44
1954Sweet Sixteen
Regional 3rd Place
Bradley
Rice
L 64–76
L 55–78
1955Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
National 3rd Place
Tulsa
Bradley
San Francisco
Iowa
W 69–59
W 93–81
L 50–62
W 75–54
1962Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Texas Tech
Cincinnati
W 67–60
L 46–73
1963Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Oklahoma City
Cincinnati
W 78–72
L 60–67
1969Sweet Sixteen
Regional 3rd Place
Colorado State
Texas A&M
L 56–64
W 97–82
19979 ERound of 64
Round of 32
(8) Indiana
(1) #4 North Carolina
W 80–62
L 56–73
200310 SRound of 64(7) Michigan StateL 64–79
201211 SRound of 64
Round of 32
(6) #23 UNLV
(3) #9 Baylor
W 68–64
L 63–80
201310 ERound of 64(7) IllinoisL 49–57
20148 SRound of 64(9) PittsburghL 48–77
20168 SRound of 64(9) ConnecticutL 67–74

Better than You (or the nation’s pundits) Think … 

Colorado has the second-best win total (55) and winning percentage (.705) among Pac-12 teams since February 2019. Colorado was 12-4 over the final two months of the 2018-19 season, culminating in a spot in the NIT Quarterfinals. The Buffaloes were 21-11 in 2019-20, well in line for an NCAA Tournament bid before the season was shut down on March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pac-12 Overall Records Since Feb. 1, 2019 (through Mar. 11, 2021)

Team … W – L … Winning Pct.
Oregon … 56-18 … (.757)
Colorado … 55-23 … (.705)
USC … 48-24 … (.667)
Arizona … 41-27 … (.603)
UCLA … 41-28 … (.594)
Arizona State … 39-30 … (.565)
Oregon State … 40-31 … (.563)
Stanford …. 39-31 (.557)
Utah … 34-33 … (.507)
Washington State … 33-37 … (.471)
Washington … 30-43 … (.411)
California … 26-46 … (.361)

Tad Boyle and the post-season …

… Colorado under Tad Boyle is 17-10 in conference tournament games and 24-18 in the postseason overall …

… 24 of CU’s 52 postseason wins are under his watch. (Think about that one for a moment. Almost half of CU’s all-time wins in post-season play have come in the past 11 years) …

… 17 of CU’s 28 all-time conference tournament wins belong to Tad Boyle …

… Six of CU’s seven best seasons have come under Tad’s watch …

… Under Boyle, CU has advanced to the conference tournament semifinals five times (Pac-12: 2021, 2019, 2014 & 2012; Big 12: 2011) … and two of CU’s three all-time conference championship games …

Oh, and about those preseason projections … 

Much was made during the Pac-12 championship game broadcast about Oregon State being picked to finish last by the Pac-12 media in their 2020-21 preseason poll. Yet, lest we forget, those same prognosticators didn’t think much of the Buffs, either …

2020-21 PAC-12 MEN’S BASKETBALL PRESEASON MEDIA POLL

Team (First-Place Votes) Pts.
1. UCLA (9) … 251 points … No. 4 seed in Pac-12 tournament
2. Arizona State (5) … 246 … No. 8 seed
3. Oregon (7) … 241 … No. 1 seed
4. Stanford (1) … 209 … No. 6 seed
5. Arizona … 173 … ineligible
6. USC (1) … 154 … No. 2 seed
7. Colorado … 149 … No. 3 seed 
8. Utah … 131 … No. 7 seed
9. Washington … 85 … No. 10 seed
10. California … 65 … No. 11 seed
11. Washington State … 54 … No. 9 seed
12. Oregon State … 36 … No. 5 seed 

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