Make it or Break it Time for the Buffaloes


(Rich Sugg/Kansas City Star/MCT)

Kansas’s Kevin Young, right, stops Colorado’s Spencer Dinwiddle during the second half of a men’s college basketball game at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday, December 8, 2012, in Lawrence, Kansas. The Kansas Jayhawks beat the Colorado Buffaloes, 90-54.

Ben Goossen, Contributor

Does anyone remember Sabatino Chen’s game winning shot against Arizona? I sure do, and I can tell you one thing – the Colorado Buffaloes haven’t forgotten it either. As CU fans wait in anticipation of the biggest game of the year, some Buffs players have come out publically to send a message; they want revenge. “I know they’re coming off a loss to Cal, so they’ll be looking for a win. But we’re looking for some revenge. Yeah, it’s going to be a good game,” Said Spencer Dinwiddie when asked about Arizona’s upcoming visit to Boulder.

The Buffs (16-7) are looking to start off a three game home stand Thursday with a win against the #9 Arizona Wildcats (20-3). After having had a potential game winning shot by the former Monarch Coyote Sabatino Chen called off by the officials in Tucson on January 3rd, the Buffaloes are eager to have a cut at the Wildcats in front of what is sure to be a raucous crowd at the Coors Event Center.

After the disappointing loss to Arizona in the conference season opener, the team dropped three of their next four. Suddenly, the once promising Buffs were looking up from the bottom of the Pac-12 conference standings. The Buffs began to halt the slide by beating Washington State on the road. The Buffs then beat Stanford and California at home, and went on to beat #19 Oregon in Eugene for the first time since 1955. The team secured its first Pac-12 road sweep on Sunday night with a gritty win against Craig Robinson’s Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis, completing a 5-1 stretch. The only loss in that time came to Utah on the road. Granted, the Utah loss was dismal, the Utes (10-13) beat the Buffs for only their second Pac-12 win of the year, but it was the team’s reaction to that tough loss that gave the head coach Tad Boyle a reason to believe the Buffaloes could be good down the stretch. Said Boyle, “We’re showing resiliency and toughness and team camaraderie. Everybody is buying in and understanding how important it is. I think the Utah game (a 58-55 loss two Saturdays back) may have done a little bit of good.”

At 16-7 and only 6-5 in the conference, the Buffs have a limited amount of time to add conference wins to their resume in the hopes of capturing a spot in the NCAA tournament. With Arizona hoping to regain their momentum, and the Buffs hoping to maintain theirs, there will be no love lost between these two teams as they play on Valentine’s Day. For the Buffs, what better motivation is there than the bitter taste of a stolen victory? I don’t know, but I can tell you one thing… I’ll be ready for Thursday night.