Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Live Blogging the CU vs Texas Tech game

Ok, so here's how this is going to work. I'll make this initial post, and then I'll repeatedly update it throughout the game. I'll include time-stamps with game time and score along with my comments.

(Final 82-67 Tech) Well, it's a shame that this is how it ends. I'm not sure how the CBI tournament goes, but the NIT is definitely out the window. Turnovers were the key. If CU had kept them down, it's probably a different story. Tech goes on a 74-49 run from the 11 minute mark in the 1st half. Burks plays well in his first Tourney Game, grabbing a double-double and 24 pts. Cory adds 18, but where was Relphorde after the 1st 5 minutes? Great adjustments by the 8 Tech coaches to quiet him, and get their guys to turn up the pressure to get the 19 turnovers CU was willing to offer them. CU finished with (only) 42% shooting. Tech ended up out shooting CU. CU was out rebounded 36-26.

Next year will, hopefully, be a great opportunity to watch winning CU basketball. Hopefully we'll be hearing about an incoming big man in the next few months. Cross your fingers.

(2nd Half 1:50 77-63 Tech) CU not getting calls in the lane that I'm sure they'd like (Personally, I'd rather no one get them, but I'm partial so, in this instance, they're terrible no calls). Roberson gets ESPN's player of the game.... sure, why not. CU has quieted him to an extent in the 2nd half, but that's fair. It really is over now as the lead is 14.

(2nd Half 2:50 73-63 Tech) Well, they're still trying. Al Burks has a double-double. OK, so when I said the season was over.... maybeee I was a little hasty. CU out working Tech right now. Tech has taken the foot off the peddle. It was down to 8 but Tech hits 2 free throws.

(2nd Half 4:40 71-58 Tech) Yep, the season's over. No coming back now. Press starting to get to Tech a little bit, though.

(2nd Half 5:50 67-52 Tech) Tech, wisely, just attacking the rim at this point after taking time. They have this game, as long as they don't get crazy. CU full-court-pressing in desperation mode. Hoping to cause a turnover... which they do! CU, also, trying to attack the rim on every possession

(2nd Half 6:50 65-49 Tech) Tech now in the bonus. We have a Keegan Hornbuckle sighting! Al Burks, much like the KU road game, seems to be the only one playing hard for 40 minutes. Shame that senior Dwight Thorne has had limited minutes today.

(2nd Half 8:00 61-46 Tech) 2nd chance points.... Tech just got 3 separate looks to get a bucket. That's been the story this year. It could be mitigated if CU didn't have 17 turnovers... oh, well.

(2nd Half 9:30 59-46 Tech) I'm still not convinced that Levi Knutson consistently provides anything on the court other than a warm body in Big XII play. ESPN running a nice package of CU's turnover's right now. Cory starting to wake up? Kind of?

(2nd Half 11:00 56-42 Tech) Tech is expanding it's rebounding lead (27-19), while CU continues to turn the ball over.

(2nd Half 12:50 52-37 Tech) Relphorde picks up his 3rd foul. He's really cooled off as the game has progressed. 8 quick points to start. Only 2 pts since. Al Burks starting to really show himself in whats essentially his home town. Where is Cory Higgins? CU jumps to a 1-3-1 matchup zone to try and change things up... and gives up 5 quick points. It's getting away from the Buffs. I doubt CU will be able to come back from the 15 point lead Tech has opened up.

(2nd Half 15:00 45-35 Tech) Of the 11 times CU trailed at the half in Big 12 games this year, CU only came back to win 2. CU finally scores in the 2nd half. Al Burks gets his 500th point on the season. Congrats Al!

(2nd Half 16:15 41-31 Tech ) CU yet to score in the 2nd half... turnovers, turnovers.... starting to look bad. Remember when I questioned if they'd panic? They are on defense, and they're starting to take weird shots.

(2nd Half 17:30 37-31 Tech) Mark Johnson rightly points out that there has been no interior presence so far. The 3's haven't been falling from Dufault and Crawford. CU really scrambling on D, Tech's speed is causing problems.

(Halftime) It really is a shame CU started turning the ball over. With 10 minutes to go, this game was a replay of Saturday. Focus drifted, Tech got some confidence, and the run was on. CU needs to turn the switch back to on in the 2nd half if they want to taste the NIT. Shooting slowed, dropping below 50%, as Tech's shots started falling. Foul troubles are almost non-existent (Nate has 2), which is nice to see. It'd be nice to see some lock-down-d on Roberson as he has 12, and is hitting every open shot. Lapses in D are a carbon copy from the 2nd half of Saturday. Relphorde and Al Burks are in double figures in points.

(Halftime 35-31 Tech) Big 3 from Burks, big stop on d, and CU releases. Foul on the break, and Burks goes to the line. Burks hits both free throws. He's really turned it on over the last few minutes. Tech hits a 3 right before the end of the half.

(1st Half 1:40 32-26 Tech) Really sloppy play from the Buffs. Missing easy shots, throwing passes away. Tech extending their lead... where has the energy gone? CU in bad need of a spark. CU losing turnover battle 11-7... just awful. Also being out rebounded 14-11. CU will not win anything with numbers like that. Tech has gone on a 24-6 run.... sigh.

(1st Half 4:00 28-24 Tech) Tech takes the lead... will CU panic? Man-Man D really causing difficulties for CU, TO's and lethargy really killing CU right now. CU again leaving Roberson open from deep. He has 3 3's. Just like Saturday, perimeter D letting the Buffs down.

(1st Half 6:00 22-22) TO's really starting to stunt CU's game. They're the only reason Tech is close. Relphorde continues to be big, as he gets a steal which leads to a slam. Tech starts to hit their 3's and ties up the game. Charles Johnson notes that CU is playing slower.

(1st Half 8:00 20-16 CU) CU defense is really aggressive early. Force Tech to call a timeout on an inbounds play. Tech is having to take tough shots. CU really trying to kick out on rebounds to jump-start offense. Tech goes on a mini-run, starts to close gap as CU starts to turn the ball over.

(1st Half 11:20 18-8 CU) An offensive rebound! That's 2! CU is out rebounding Tech 8-5. CU also spreading the ball around. Have 5 assists early compared to 2 TO's. Tech is only shooting 2-11. Good defense, too.

(1st Half 13:15 16-8 CU) Much like Saturday, Tech is getting in foul trouble with grabbing cutters. CU is shooting over 50% right now (5-9) as Dwight Thorne hits a 3. Good stuff.

(1st Half 15:30 11-5 CU) Relphorde is really showing himself today. Hoop and harm here just symbolic of his aggression. Good to see. As much as I like his shooting, he needs to attack the rim. Has 8 pts in the early going.

(1st Half 17:00 8-3 CU) If you're stuck at work like me, you can watch the game at (Thanks, Trev!)

(1st Half 18:30, 3-0 CU) CU came out quick, winning the tip and converting on a back-cut. Relphorde is attacking the basket early, which is nice to see. Mark Johnson mentions that Tech is a little sloppy early

(Pregame) For what it's worth, ESPN Insider has CU as having 63% probability to win the game.

(Pregame) Coach Bz talked in the Daily Camera about the concept of better vs better. Both teams will, theoretically, play "better" than they did on Saturday (Certainly, if either team repeats effort or scheme, they will get killed). It's all an issue of who's "better" will be better today.

Things to watch for:
  • Foul Trouble - Thankfully, CU has generally stayed out of this over the past few weeks. But, if the 8 coaches of Tech are smart, they'll try to get CU's two bigs (Dufault and Crawford) into trouble quickly. When a team wants to get fouls called on the Buffs, Dufault especially is usually willing to oblige them early in games.
  • Shooting - Throughout the season, the story has been the disparity between home and road shooting. Watch CU's shooting early. If shots are falling, the Buffs have a great shot to win.
  • Rebounding vs Turnovers - It's been noted that over the recent 3 game win streak CU hasn't rebounded well. But the key, rather than the glaring rebounding deficiencies, has been not only causing turnovers, but limiting those CU commits. Rebounding is almost inconsequential if CU cuts down on TO's, causes some of their own, and shoots the ball the way they are capable of doing.
I'm wary of the whole rematch factor. It's difficult to beat a team twice in less than a week's time. Hopefully Coach Bz has something extra up his sleeve.

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