In case you weren't aware, the CU Women's basketball team rocks. Last night they faced Cal in the second round of the NIT (sounds familiar, I know), who was described thusly;
The Golden Bears - the defending WNIT champs after their 6-0 romp through last season's tourney - is a team built for the future; the starting lineup usually consists of four sophomores and a freshman.
Thus, the team CU sees Monday night will bear more than a slight resemblance to the one that visits Boulder next winter.
Last year's WNIT Champion? Ok. Look what our team did to them...
The Colorado women's basketball team exploded for 50 points in the first half Monday and rolled into the WNIT round of 16 with an 81-65 victory over the California Bears.
Sometimes it all comes together early - or as Linda Lappe reflected, "I told our team they had a nice aura about them . . . if you believe in that."
"I think we all came in focused and ready to play," said Spears, whose point total was only three below her career high set as a sophomore.
"We came out of the gates firing and didn't take our foot off of the gas pedal for the first half . . . we never let up," said Lappe, whose team got 19 first-half points from Spears (33 total, a season high) and raced to its biggest halftime advantage of the season, 50-23.
Good Lord! I'm surprised there was anything left of the Cal team to put back on the plane! It makes you think that someone like Kyle Ringo should write something like this:
Now with the CU men one win away from the semifinals and the women two wins away there is a feeling, "an aura" as Lappe referred to it, that something special is happening with both programs on the hardwood.
Perhaps one day in the future we will look back and see this spring as the start of a basketball Renaissance in Boulder. It suddenly seems at least possible, which is much more than could be said at this time last year.
Which leads us to tonight and the men's game;
Call it Senior Night, Part II . . . an unexpected (and until recently, unwanted) opportunity for Colorado's five upperclassmen to play a final game at the Coors Events Center. It comes Tuesday night in the quarterfinals of the NIT against Kent State (7 p.m., ESPN).
All things considered after the perplexing, gut-wrenching NCAA snub two Sundays ago, the Buffs didn't allow their spirits to be crushed by an afternoon that easily could have done it. They've righted themselves and moved to within one win of reaching the NIT semifinals in New York, pushing the NCAA by-pass far enough to the rear of their thoughts to not let it be a distraction yet keeping it close enough to remain a stimulus.
"I feel like that's going to be in the back of our minds throughout this whole tournament; we're still going to use that as motivation to try to win the NIT," redshirt freshman guard Shannon Sharpe said.
If we win, I have to find last-minute plane tickets to NYC to get to the NIT finals, there's just no other option.
That is all. Go Buffs!