Colorado did not get the benefit of the doubt month than a month ago in Tucson. Thursday night they left no doubt in Boulder.
The focused Buffs did what they set out to do and stomped the No. 9 Arizona Wildcats, 71-58 was the final.
“What makes this win sweet has nothing to do with revenge, it has to do with the respect I have for Arizona,” asserted CU head coach Tad Boyle about some possible extra motivation coming from their previous heated and controversial contest. “They are a top ten team in the country, and they are going to win a lot of games as the season unfolds. If we play the way we played tonight, we will too. We proved that we belong.”
Boyle and Colorado squad left Arizona a month prior utterly and totally stunned following their first Pac-12 game of the year. Not only had the Buffs squandered a 17 point lead to the then No. 3 team in the nation, they felt like a monumental upset had been stripped from their grasp. Sabatino Chen’s buzzer beater was waved off, the ball said to be still on his fingertips when the horn sounded, and the Buffs crushed.
The second time around, this time on Colorado’s home court, was going to be different. This rematch, to seemingly settle the score, wasn’t to be taken lightly. “It's going to be Valentine's Day, but there won't be a whole lot of love in that building,” Boyle said Sunday.
Some 11,120 fans, a sold out arena, knew the context. Those on the floor were well versed in the ramifications of the rebuttal.
“We were disappointed with how we closed it out it, and it goes without saying we were disappointed with the call at the end of the game,” recapped sophomore Spencer Dinwiddie. “This is definitely a revenge game.”
The Buffs led by as many as 15, but the game once again hit a critical juncture midway through the second half. The Wildcats had closed the gap to six points, a similar consequence of CU faltering in their last meeting.
But it was different on this night. Colorado took the game into their own hands. They tightened up defensively and focused in to extend the lead to a comfortable margin. Reliving the past wasn’t a part of the game plan.
Colorado got even; they made amends with their past history.