You are hereCU men march off Texas win towards tournament
CU men march off Texas win towards tournament
Saturday’s win over the number-five ranked Texas Longhorns was the biggest of Tad Boyle’s young career as the CU Men’s Basketball Coach. It was the first time the Buffs defeated a "Top-Five" ranked team since 2003.
Trailing by as many as 22 in the first half, Buffs fans thought they were in for a blowout. But, the Buffs came back in the second half.
Sophomore Alec Burks had 24 of his 33 points in the second half and said, “I was just trying to make plays for my teammates.” Burks was named Big 12 player of the week yesterday for his heroic performance.
Levi Knutson made three crucial 3-pointers to put the Buffs ahead midway through the second half. He finished with 21 points including the go ahead three with 9:49 left as the Buffs went up 62-61.
CU led 81-70 with less than three minutes, but the Longhorns fought back. A 3-pointer by Texas' Jordan Hamilton brought the Longhorns to within two with 18 seconds left. Two Burks' free throws put the Buffs up 90-86.
In his record 123rd game as a Buff, senior Corey Higgins pulled down the biggest rebound of his career. His free throw put the game out of reach and within seconds, hundreds of CU students were dancing at center court. On the students storming the court, Burks said, “It was crazy.”
Now, the Buffs must look forward. Senior, Austin Dufalt said, “Now we gotta get back to work and focus on this week. It’s gonna be a big week for us.”
According to ESPN Analyst Andy Katz, the Buffs need to win their last two games in order to keep their tournament hopes alive. The journey starts tomorrow night in Ames, Iowa. The Buffs crushed the Iowa State Cyclones 95-69 on February 1st, but that doesn’t mean they are giving the game their full attention. Senior Levi Knutson said, “Right now our focus is on Iowa State. Because of what we’ve done in the past, now Iowa State becomes our biggest game of the year.”
CU is currently tied for sixth in the Big 12 at 18-11 (7-7). Two wins over Iowa State tomorrow and Nebraska on Saturday at home for Senior night will help them to get a higher seed in the Big 12 tournament. A loss and lower seed could mean a quicker exit in the Big 12 tournament, and in turn hurt the Buffs NCAA tournament chances.
Burks has high hopes for March and a simple way to get to the tournament. “Just win. Win. You know we win out…we good.” The formula is basic now the Buffs just have to execute with their season on the line.