Today in the bag I'll be looking back on Saturday's defensive implosion, peeking at the women's efforts against our NorCal rivals, and wrapping the NFL playoff action from the weekend.
Click below for the bag...
Let's move on, quickly -
The Buffs tried their best to hang on Saturday afternoon, shooting over 50% in the first half, but, by the second half, shooting cooled, and the damn was ready to break. That dam busted to the tune of a 10-minute, 32-5 run after CU had crawled back to even. Nothing worked, both sides of the ball were shambolic, and it drove me into the fetal position. As always, the Simpsons provides a relevant passage:
The final: 84-64 Cardinal. The national press can go back to ignoring the Buffs.
CU allowed near 53% shooting from the field, turned it over 14 times, and were out-rebounded by eight. I said last Friday that it would take a massive break-down for this game to crack 140 total points, and the Buffs defense was more than happy to oblige. Just ugly all across the board.
|Another strong performance from Austin Dufault wasn't enough to keep the Buffs in the game.|
You want a bright spot? Well, the Buffs don't have to go back to San Francisco this season, that's a plus. There's also the prospect of some home games to salve the wounds incurred over the weekend. 'Dre, also, may have found his jumper, which is nice.
Additionally, The path to the post-season remains clear. While the rough trip to San Francisco probably ends all hope for a shocking top-quarter finish, it does nothing to the prospect of an overall winning record. On the back of home games and a few road pick-up opportunities, CU should still get to 8-10 conference wins, which should be enough for an NIT berth. Don't break your ankle jumping off the bandwagon, that's a win for a season meant to be "transitioning."
I'll tell you one thing: that Stanford team is a hell of a lot better than Cal, and better than any other Pac-12 I've seen so far. If they can figure out the whole "free-throw" thing (the only reason they struggled against Utah), that team will become deadly.
Women falter at home -
While the men were getting bum-rushed by the Cardinal in California, the women were minutes away from their own problems with Stanford. In a result that shocked exactly no-one, #4 Stanford steam-rolled their way to a 80-54 victory.
|The Cardinal was too much for CU on Saturday.|
It took seven minutes for CU to score, and by then, the game was essentially over. CU shot under 40%, and Chucky Jeffrey, CU's leading scorer, could only provide two points Saturday afternoon.
Much like the men, it appears that the womens team just isn't ready for the spot light... yet.
Notes from around the NFL Playoffs -
Denver @ New England - That went as expected. Brady, at home, against an offense incapable of keeping up, is a mortal lock for a playoff win. One thing to note: since changing to the "Tebow Offense" in the wake of the Week 8 loss to Detroit, New England is only the second team to get a second bite at the Bronco apple. The other: the Chiefs in week 17. Between those two contests, the Bronco offense averaged 259 net yards, and could only muster 13 total points in two losses. Not a good sign for next year, Bronco fans.
New Orleans @ San Francisco - Where's the defense? 28 combined points over the final 4 minutes made for a crazy finish. With tight ends Jimmy Graham and Vernon Davis streaking over the field, the defenses were powerless to resist. The two combined for 283 yards and 4 scores.
New York @ Green Bay - To those of you with the Giants as a sleeper in your playoff pool, you're looking damn smart, as they knocked off the defending champs in resounding fashion. With the Packers offense seemingly incapable of holding onto the ball, Rodgers never had a chance, and the G-men cruised to a 37-20 victory.
Texans @ Ravens - When I keep score at a baseball game (lame, I know), and I miss a play, I notate "WW" for wasn't watching. This game gets a "WW" as I missed it in it's entirety. Ravens won, or so I hear.