Last night's game against Stanford stands amongst the the best of them. CU couldn't hit a layup, and the Cardinal was even hitting school-yard bullshit when they didn't even care. It was a perfect storm of fail.
If you can't laugh watching a team fail as spectacularly as the Buffs failed last night, then you take this shit too seriously. A failure as complete as that effort deserves a defense mechanism, and laughter is the best mechanism... or medicine, I can never keep that one straight.
It's twice now that Stanford has put the Kai-bosh on the Buffs, making them look like a high school team in the process. I'm astonished that the team put forth such a half-assed effort, and I'm astonished that the coaching staff allowed them to do it. I guess at some point, everything catches up to you.
Stanford whupped CU, and good. Beat CU by 20 once, shame on you, do it again, in CU's home gym no less, and the whole mess falls squarely on the Buffs shoulders.
I guess it's time to ask, how will the Buffs respond?
Last post-Stanford debacle was afforded a soft landing through the blessing of a home game against Arizona State. Not so lucky this time. Sunday is still set for the previously un-spoiled CEC, but the opponent has a lot more bite. Enter my continuing favorite to win the league: the California Golden Bears. There's not a more veteran, tough, capable team in the conference.
By far the most "Tournament-acceptable" team in the Pac-12, Cal has been playing up to the standard of a team capable of beating anyone, anywhere. What's more, they're still playing for a conference title, even if the Buffs no longer are. This is not the kind of team you want to be searching for confidence against.
After last night, this Michael Scott .gif properly portrays my feelings about having to play Cal after getting boat-raced by the Cardinal.
But hey, that's why they play the games, right? Tip off from the sold out CEC is set for 3:30 (please do remember that this game will be played on Sunday). If you aren't one of the 11,000+ to hold a ticket, you can catch the broadcast on ROOT Sports. Mark Johnson can be heard on 850 AM.
My preview of the first game can be found here.
Click below for my preview of the rematch...
When last we met -
The Buffs had started conference play 3-0 for the second consecutive season, and headed to the Bay Area with sole possession of first place tucked into their overnight bag. CU even managed to snake out a 7-point halftime lead at Haas Pavilion, making a mockery of those who picked the Buffs to finish in the Pac-12 cellar.
But it was not to be. A second half surge from the Golden Bears, combined with some shaky play in the final two minutes, handed the Buffs their first Pac-12 loss.
You could say the Buffs out-played Cal in their home gym, but the result was still a Golden Bear 'W.'
|Harper Kamp had a great game last month against the Buffs.|
What's changed? -
The biggest difference Sunday will be the performance of Cal guard Jorge Gutierrez. The Colorado product could only muster 2-17 shooting from the floor last time, and didn't seem capable of hitting water if he fell out of a boat. By far his worst performance of the season. I'll bet you a shit-ton of money that won't happen in the re-match; look for him to bounce-back in a big way against the program that failed to recruit him.
|Teammates had to carry Gutierrez last game. I expect much more from him this time around.|
I just can't justify confidence that CU will win Sunday. Sure, Stanford has proven to be the worst possible matchup for this team, and there's bound to be, at the bare minimum, some level of "dead-cat bounce" effect for the Buffs. However, that kind of home defeat can potentially shatter a team, and I'm not going to buy a quick recovery to beat the best team in the league.
The Buffs play better than last night (they can't play worse), but still lose.
Cal 68 - CU 60
GO BUFFS! PROVE ME WRONG AND BEAT THE BEARS!