The Coors Events Center was packed with all the raucous fans decked out in black and gold, placing No. 1 Kansas in an unfamiliar spot Wednesday night.
The atmosphere and attitude were ripe for any team to thrive, and no one realizes it more than the men’s hoops team.
One second away from upsetting college basketball’s top contender, Buffs’ senior Cory Higgins could have made the underdog’s dream come true. Instead, overtime followed a missed opportunity and they fell 72-66.
“When you have those opportunities you have to take advantage of them, and we missed a good one at the end of regulation,” Higgins said of his last second shot.
While the Buffs lost a game they were expected to lose, the team showed CU sports fans something they haven’t seen in a while—a team on the verge of breakthrough.
Wednesday, the Buffs took No. 1 Kansas into overtime and lost by only six. On Jan. 30, they lost 64-63 to Iowa State.
Following the Buffs’ upset of No. 22 Baylor, they lost again by six to No. 13 Kansas State. Falling to Texas A&M by four, they let yet another close one slip away. Losing by 12 to Oklahoma State was the same story.
“Since I’ve been here we’ve lost 28 games by single digit margins,” said head coach Jeff Bzdelik.
Losing may seem like the recurring theme, but look again. By putting themselves in the position to win just about every game on their schedule, these Buffs look ready to run, Bzdelik said.
“We’ve just got to break through, and keep believing in ourselves. We just need to keep battling. These guys, they battle themselves to exhaustion,” Bzdelik said after the Kansas loss.
Hype and talk can only do so much for a team following a loss, but these Buffs seem to be aware of what it’s going to take to finish off these “close ones.”
“It’s just a few possessions, there is no magic formula,” said Colorado junior guard Levi Knutson. “It’s just doing what we did all game, just doing it a few more times”
To foster success, a team needs confidence, and their home court.
The Coors Events Center resembled that advantageous home court Wednesday night against Kansas.
Looking and sounding like some of college basketball’s most coveted atmospheres, Buffs fans have bought into what this program is selling.
“Our student body is absolutely awesome. Our fans are awesome and I want so badly for this to happen here, and so do our players. I believe it’s coming here,” Bzdelik said.
You can see it in the faces of the players and coaches, you can hear it in the consistently larger crowds, and you can feel it when they take the court.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Richard Londer at Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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