Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday Buff Stuff

While I frantically try and find an affordable plan to get to NYC, I thought I'd do a quick roundup of 3 items of interest to Buff Nation.

Alabama beats Miami to advance to NIT semi-finals - We now know that CU will face the tough Alabama Crimson Tide Tuesday evening in NYC.  Last night the Tide pressed a frazzled Miami Hurricanes to death to win comfortably 79-64.  It was an impressive defensive victory as they held Miami to 40% shooting, 13% from behind the arc, and forced 18 big turnovers.  The heavy use of the full-court press allowed Alabama to grab 29 points off of those turnovers, and they kept 'Canes at arms reach all night long.
'Bama just blew past Miami last night, looking comfortable all night long.  From: The Tuscaloosa News
When the NIT brackets were released, I circled Alabama as a difficult hurdle to avoid.  I'll have my preview up next week, but this will be a big challenge for the Buffs.  The Tide have 5 players who average over a steal a game, and they use their press to get a steal on over 14% of opponent possessions.  CU has proven that it can handle the press, at times, this year, but when it has faced teams who rely on it, Mizzou, they haven't also had to face a team so reliant on inside efforts on offense.  From scoring in the paint to offensive rebounding, the Buffs haven't had to face a challenge quite like Alabama this season.  Get ready for a tough game.

Wichita St will play Washington St in the other final.  Should CU slip by Alabama, they could end up playing in another Pac-12 preview game.

Seein' Chauncey in the Garden - When CU is trying to break that press of Alabama, they'll have at least one famous New York resident cheering them on.  Thorburn announced in the Camera today that hoops-father Chauncey Billups will be able to attend the semi-final game, and even the final should CU win Tuesday night.  This is a big boost for the players, as Chauncey had been a visible positive influence on the program when he was playing for the Nuggets and catching games court-side at the CEC.
The Buffs will get to see Chauncey again in NYC
Chauncey is still a big name in professional basketball circles, and just having him mentioned along with CU adds credibility to the program as a whole.  While the Buffs have gone 8-2 since Chauncey was dealt to the Knicks, one has nothing to do with the other, and it'll still be good to see Chauncey cheering on the team.

Naming rights for Folsom - In non-basketball news, one the most interesting development in off-field Buff-stuff was the "leaking" of the possibility of Frontier Airlines purchasing naming rights to Folsom Field.  Starting with a picture taken by Allbuffs poster GoldenBuff that clearly showed one of the jumbotrons in Folsom displaying "Welcome to Frontier Stadium," it was later confirmed by the Camera that CU AD Mike Bohn is actively discussing a naming rights deal.  The Camera speculates that the deal could be worth up to $1 million annually.
It's not often that a message board gets to scoop a daily newspaper.  Congrats GoldenBuff!
I, for one, love this idea.  The athletic department is always in need of cash, and selling naming rights is a quick and painless way to get at some quickly.  Some may balk at the idea of changing the name that has been in place for 67 years, but I can assure you, as someone who had to swallow changing Comiskey Park to US Cellular in 2003, that you do eventually get over it.  I initially bitched and moaned, forcing myself to say "Comiskey" when referring to the ballpark, but now I happily refer to it as "the Cell."  How many Denver-ites, and even the Denver Post, refused to utter the word "Invesco" when the Broncos opened up their new stadium 10 years ago?  Now there is no controversy, and rational people use either name interchangeably.

Additionally, something like "Frontier Stadium" isn't as garish a possibility as some of the newer naming rights deals have been, most notably "Papa John's Cardinal Stadium" in Louisville.  Frontier Airlines is a semi-local company, who has been an advertising partner with CU for a long time, so what I'm saying is it could be worse and it's only a name.  It won't change the heart and character of the stadium, and I don't think Fred Folsom would mind if the money was put back into the program. 

In the words of Steve Miller, "take the money and run."


aaron.jordan said...

I TOLD YOU DUKE WAS GOING DOWN! Texas would have probably beaten them also, but we will never know =(

RumblinBuff said...

And I told you I really like Derrick Williams, him of the 30/10 Williamses. I knew was weak, I just didn't think Arizona was a complete team. They proved me wrong by thrashing the anointed Dookies. Let's see how Vitale spins this one.