Hardly anyone remembers Colorado’s season-opening defeat to No. 25 Baylor anymore. Not now. Not after the Buffaloes shot down No. 6 Kansas with a buzzer-beating three-pointer from Askia Booker that gave them a 75-72 win and their ninth-straight victory. The win also snaps a 19-game losing streak to the Jayhawks.
Hats off to Booker who had been in a shooting slump. He entered the game shooting 37.6 percent from the field and 23.8 percent on three-pointers. However, he made 3 of 6 from downtown and 5 of 12 from the floor for 15 points.
It’s somewhat ironic CU won with a three-pointer because it shot 7 of 22 behind the arc and is 11th in the Pac-12 in three-point accuracy.
Still, here’s to the Buffaloes for overcoming the absence of Wes Gordon and receiving 15 points from Spencer Dinwiddie while Josh Scott and Xavier Johnson each added 14.
And here’s to coach Tad Boyle for having the courage to put a perennial college basketball powerhouse on the non-conference schedule and bring them to town for a game in front of their fans.
The Buffs were pummeled 90-54 at Kansas last year, but there’s no real downside in setting up a home-and-home arrangement with a school like Kansas. Colorado’s RPI didn’t take a big hit after last year’s loss at Allen Fieldhouse.
And the Buffaloes gave their fans a memory for a lifetime after Saturday’s big victory.
Most college basketball observers considered Colorado and up-and-coming team, but now the Buffaloes have a statement win that’s going to look great on the resume in March when the Selection Committee is seeding for the NCAA tournament.
Expect Colorado to be ranked for the first time this season when the newest polls are released Monday. More importantly, CU (9-1) increased the Pac-12 record against ranked teams to 3-4. Arizona and Arizona State have the other wins.
SUNDAY MORNING LINKS:
— No. 2 Arizona held off UNLV for a 63-58 win and will most likely take over the top spot in the polls. It’s also becoming clear that newcomer T.J. McConnell is one of the best point guards in the Pac-12. While freshman Aaron Gordon grabs headlines, Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski draws NBA scouts and Nick Johnson makes a MVP run, McConnell is the the straw that stirs the drink for the Wildcats. He finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, six assists and just one turnover in 35 minutes.
— No. 18 UCLA held a seven-point halftime lead, but the Bruins turned cold offensively in the second half and lost 80-71 at Missouri. Jordan Adams finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Bruins, which fell to 8-1. UCLA was dominated on the glass 47-30. Zach LaVine scored 13 off the bench, including a highlight dunk (video below).
— D.J. Shelton gave Washington State a two-point lead with seven seconds left in its 67-65 win over Idaho. However, the Cougars couldn’t breathe easy until the Vandals’ misfired on a last-gasp three-pointer that hit the back of the rim. DaVonte Lacey scored 23 points for WSU (4-4) and Shelton had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
— Utah bounced back from its first loss to defeat Fresno State 90-77 behind a strong performance from Delon Wright who had 23 points and 12 assists. The Utes improved to 7-1.