Mele Kalikimaka! I hear there's a white Christmas in Boulder today. I don't mean to brag, but that is not going to be the case in Honolulu. 80 and sunny. The sacrifices I make for being a basketball fan...
Of course, all is not well in BuffNation after Tuesday's 53-50 loss to George Washington in the semifinal of the Diamond Head Classic. After a rough start, CU fought back, and looked to have a shot to win before a final minute letdown saw the Colonials get the 'W.' A final play that involved Askia Booker going 1-on-2 with a pair of tall GW defenders yield the expected results (a blocked shot), and the Buffs were left wondering 'what if.'
|The team played better than a lot are giving them credit for, but the loss still stings. From: the BDC.|
Unfortunately, however, timidity seeped back into the minds of the guards, and working the clock - trying to find the 'perfect' shot, rather than just a good one - really stilted to CU offense. While the defense continued to play well (overcoming a soft whistle from the over-eager officials [to both sides]), points just weren't coming with enough regularity, and rhythm died. GW would go on to get a few favorable bounces at the end, and made more plays than CU; a familiar story.
|It didn't need to be this way.|
The result is that we know no hardware is coming back on the plane with the Buffs, and the non-conference schedule is guaranteed to be devoid of quality wins. The loss also drops them into the third-place game with the host Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors; an uncomfortable arrangement. For their end, the 'Bows took the heavily favored Wichita State Shockers to the limit, forcing them into overtime through a joyous effort in front of their faithful fans. They'd fall 80-79 in the end, but have proven through two games that they will not back down from a challenge. While not a 'good' team, the Warriors are at least very capable on their home court, and will push CU this afternoon.
|Hawai'i nearly pulled off the upset of the tournament against WSU.|
'Bows don't have a front line to match up, but I'm worried it may not matter if the Buffs can't consistently get the ball up without it becoming a 'thing.' Accordingly, I'm expecting a loss this afternoon; an unfortunate conclusion to a week that started with a lot of potential.
If you're wondering what happened in the other games... well don't, because they weren't interesting. Ohio U laughed past DePaul, 99-78, and Nebraska sleep-walked through a 50-42 OT win over LMU. Neither efforts were worthy of your time or consideration, and paled in comparison to the two from the winner's bracket. I have higher hopes for Ohio/Nebraska today, however, which could wind up being interesting.
Day 3 -
Loyola Marymount vs DePaul - 11:30 am MT, ESPN3
Ohio University vs Nebraska - 2 pm MT, ESPNU
Colorado vs Hawai'i - 4:30 pm MT, ESPN2
George Washington vs Wichita State - 6:30 pm MT, ESPN2
GO BUFFS! BEAT THE RAINBOW WARRIORS!