The Colorado basketball team pulled out a tough win against Pac-12 foe Stanford by winning 59-56. Leading up to this game, they had been on a two game losing streak with losses at home against Arizona and at Utah. The Buffs were losing steam on the season after the two disheartening losses. This was huge for the Buffs to show the selection committee that they can win in a hostile arena against a potential tournament team.
The Stanford Cardinal had two famous football alums attend the game in Richard Sherman and Andrew Luck. Fortunately for Colorado, Luck and Sherman were not able to will the Cardinal to a win. Colorado came out strong in the first half with a 33-28 lead after the first twenty minutes. The Buffs went into halftime on a Xavier Talton jump shot with six seconds to give them the momentum.
In the second half, the Colorado looked to extend their lead. At one point in the second half, the Buffs led by 8 points. As expected, the Cardinal made a 13-2 run led by junior guard Chasson Randle. He had three three’s during their run. The Buffs did not have an answer for him on the defensive end, as he went for 24 points on 9 of 18 shooting.
Stanford took a three point lead with four minutes left in the game. Unlike the previous game, the Buffs were able to maintain their composure after the Stanford run. Xavier Johnson and Talton were able to answer with a jump shot and three pointer respectively.
The Buffs seemed to be in a position to lose after Randle answered back dwindle the lead to one with a three point play after Talton fouled him on a jumper. On the next possession Askia Booker air-balled a jump shot, and after this the Buffs seemed to be a game winning shot away from losing. Booker was able to make up for his mistake with a steal. He was fouled soon after and made 1 of 2 free throws.
This put Colorado up by 2 with less than 30 seconds on the game clock. Stanford tried to answer back, but missed a three with 15 seconds remaining. Josh Scott, who led the Buffs with 17 points, obtained the rebound and was fouled. He put the Buffs up 4, but Randle answered back with an uncontested layup.
With 8 seconds remaining, Talton was fouled and made one of two free throws to put them up 3. Randle was inbounded the ball and got a scary look at a three, but it fell short.
This was not only a pivotal game in regards to the Big Dance, but also seeding in the Pac-12 tournament. There was a logjam for the 4th seed in the Pac-12 tournament between five teams before Wednesday night. The Buffs are now tied for 3rd place in the Pac-12 and are vying with a bevy of teams for the other byes in the tournament. UCLA and Arizona have already wrapped up the top two seeds.
This win was huge because it gave Colorado some wiggle room in the Pac-12 standings. They temporarily removed themselves from the logjam at the 4th seed. They will look to lock up a bye against Cal on Saturday. If they lose, they would position themselves for a tiebreaker against seven other teams. This is not best case scenario because of the level of competition in the Pac-12 right now.