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The sting of yet another road defeat was still present as the Colorado men’s basketball prepared to leave Salt Lake City on Saturday night, but the Buffaloes were already looking forward to a bit of a fresh start.

On Wednesday, the eighth seeded Buffaloes (16 14, 8 10 Pac 12) will open the conference tournament against ninth seeded Arizona State (20 10, 8 10) at T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

“Most definitely (it’s exciting),” freshman D’Shawn Schwartz said. “We’re just out here playing for the seniors and trying to make them go out on a good note. We’re just going to go out there and play as hard as we can.”Following Saturday’s 64 54 loss at Utah, the Buffs face a win or go home scenario against the Sun Devils.

The only way CU can get to the NCAA Tournament is by winning four games in four days in Las Vegas to take the conference tournament title.

The Buffs are also on the bubble of the NIT, and likely needing a win or two just to get into that tournament.

“I told our team a week or so ago our season is weeks long; not months long,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “Now I’m telling them our season is days long. We have got to understand that this is a one game season. There are no tomorrows for the Buffaloes. We have to play with a sense of urgency and an energy and a toughness about us that this season is going to last as long as our players want it to last.”

CU’s situation is not too different from what it was in 2012, its first year in the Pac 12. That season, the sixth seeded Buffs won four games in four days to take the conference tourney title. That’s still the only time in the six year history of the event that a team has done that, and it took a team, led by Carlon Brown, that wouldn’t be denied.

This CU team will have to take the same approach, Boyle said.

“If they want (the season) to continue, it’ll continue, but we’re going to have to make that happen, because Arizona State is a quality team, a talented team, a hungry team and they’re playing for their lives, as well,
timberland girls boots Buffs men's basketball in must
” Boyle said. “It’s a one game season from here on out.”

CU is 1 1 against the Sun Devils this season, beating them 90 81 in overtime on Jan. 4 in Boulder and losing 80 66 on Jan. 27 in Tempe.

The Buffs will need to figure out a way to win the rubber match to keep the season going.

“It’s exciting,” CU freshman McKinley Wright said of the one and one mentality. “We know the next game if we lose we’re done. We’re going in with that mindset. It’s 1 1 (against ASU) and we’re very capable of beating them. We have to come out and have that high energy.”

On Saturday, the Buffs had a rough start, but Wright believes a strong second half against the Utes can be a source of momentum going into Vegas.

“If we play like we did in the second half (at Utah), we can beat any team in our league,” Wright said. “Hopefully we come out with that same type of energy we had in the second half and compete at a high level.”

After vaulting to No. 3 in the national rankings earlier this season, the Sun Devils sputtered at times in conference play. They finished the regular season 1 4 in their last five games, the only win against last place California.

“They’re a tough team,” Schwartz said. “They get really hot. They’re a lot like us. We’re going to be prepared as we are for all games and we’ll go out there and try to win it.”

Despite some up and down play of their own, the Buffs are hoping a fresh start in Las Vegas can spark them to extending their season.

“It’s going to feel good to go out and play on a neutral court and go out and show the world what we can do,” Schwartz said. “Nobody else believes in us but us.”Font ResizeReturn to Top

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timberland girls boots Buffs men's basketball in must
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