Colorado didn’t deserve to win in Tucson.
A controversial replay shouldn’t to be blame; a game once in their control is snatched for their grasps. An aberrational construct was created for CU to feel okay despite its loss. False pride and confidence carried into the next game against Arizona State.
The Buffs didn’t automatically merit a win in Tempe Sunday night either.
“These guys maybe have a sense of entitlement, I don't know, they played like it tonight, so we have to figure that out,” said head coach Tad Boyle following the 65-56 loss. “We have to get tougher, mentally and physically, the thing about league is nothing is going to be given to you.”
Colorado started the game with added motivation, opening the game on a 17-4 run. But they couldn’t sustain the pace, and they faltered for the second time, in two tries in Pac-12 play. CU couldn’t figure out how to maintain any semblance of what gave them the lead in that game and, also, what put the No. 3 team in the country on the ropes just a few days prior.
“I thought we might have learned that against Arizona when we played them pretty good for about 37-38 minutes, but tonight it was just 11,” Boyle continued. “We're not good enough defensively, we're not good enough at rebounding, were just not. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves when we can't score.”
The Buffs led by only three points at halftime but hit a cold streak midway through the second half. They were stranded on 43 points for over seven minutes of play; Boyle recalled “holy cow, it felt like forever”. The Sun Devils capitalized and went up by double figures, cruising to the victory.
A team predicated on defense, especially on a night when shots aren’t falling as Colorado shot a season low 35.3-percent from the field, wasn’t able to rely on getting stops defensively.
"It's a pride factor. Our team, as of right now, doesn't buy in to defense,” admitted sophomore guard Spencer Dinwiddie. “There was no excuse for that. I'm very disappointed because we feel like we definitely came out on this trip and played well enough in the first game and this game we gave it away.”
Colorado can only limp away from Arizona, an upset undone and a sure-thing turned sour.