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Thursday CU Buff Bites - Colorado Knows What They Have To Do

Chip knows what he has to do, too. "Bazooka to the face? I'm there."
Chip knows what he has to do, too. "Bazooka to the face? I'm there."

Recapping Colorado Buffaloes Basketball & Football News, Links, and Stories

Colorado_mediumVideo: Colorado's spring priority - Pac-12 Blog - ESPN

Colorado would benefit greatly this spring if it can name a starting QB by the end of spring practices. "They have to replace a 28-man Senior class. The positive spin is that this allows new recruits to..make their mark. The most important thing for Spring ball is...building confidence and building a winning attitude."

Colorado_mediumAllBuffs - Covering The University of Colorado Athletics - This Week in BasketBuffs - 2/27/12

Seriously, in the craziness that is the PAC-12 this season, is there anyone who doubts that we're going to end with a four way tie for first place? Don't think it's possible? Think again.

IF: CU sweeps the Oregon schools; AND Washington loses at USC and UCLA; AND Cal loses at Stanford; AND Arizona beats Arizona State Then CU will tie for first with Washington, Cal and Arizona.

If that happens by the way, your Colorado Golden Buffaloes will be PAC-12 champions due to the tie-breaker of head-to-head matchups (CU is 3-2, Cal & UDub are 2-2 and Arizona is 2-3).

Seriously, it's the only logical ending to this season.

Colorado_mediumVideo: CU Hoops Success Brings Out The Fanatics " CBS Denver - "CU's average home crowd this year is 7,800." That's awesome. "50 members of the C-Unit are having their ticket punched to the Pac-12 Conference Tournament." Double awesome.

A&M and Mizzou re-enact this scene from 'The Jerk' as they finally leave the Big-12. ..."and that's all I need!"

Colorado_pac-12UCLA Basketball Scandal: Ben Howland’s Pre-Emptive - "Not Perfect" Spin Is Not Encouraging - Bruins Nation

Those two have flushed UCLA basketball into the gutter. While every elite program in the country is getting ready for March Madness in what is supposed to be the most exciting time of the year, we are bracing for a potential program breaking scandal and hoping to finish in the top-4 of a garbage conference. Calling this situation "unacceptable" is being nice. Pathetically saying he is "not perfect" will not cut it.

Colorado_pac-12Cliff Harris drives fast, runs slow - Pac-12 Blog - ESPN - HAHA Oregon. Not so fast now?

Cornerback Cliff Harris admitted during media interviews at the NFL combine that he likes to drive fast -- see his citation for driving 118 mph last June, a significant step toward his ultimate dismissal from Oregon. His biggest problem now, however, is his apparent inability to run fast. Harris clocked a 4.64 40-yard dash Tuesday, a pedestrian time for a prospective NFL cornerback.

Big 12 imposes Missouri Tigers, Texas A&M Aggies exit buyout of $12.41 million - ESPN

Missouri's and Texas A&M's price tags for leaving the Big 12 will be $12.41 million each, the conference announced on Tuesday. In fall 2010, both schools announced they would be leaving the Big 12 on July 1, 2012. Conference bylaws state that universities that provide less than 12 months' notice are subject to having 90 percent of their conference revenue withheld. That total was estimated at nearly $30 million for each school, but lawyers for both sides settled on $12.41 million.

Colorado_mediumCU Buffs add another lacrosse recruit - Buffzone

Ella Stapp almost made history Tuesday. She missed doing so by a couple hours, beaten to the punch by one of her best friends. None of that mattered much Wednesday when she couldn't wipe the smile off her face. The 5-foot-10 midfielder on the Mullen High School girls lacrosse team became the second player to commit to the new women's lacrosse program at Colorado on Tuesday evening, not long after Cherry Creek junior Tori Link made history by becoming the first.

The two are close friends and play together on the Team 180 club program in Denver. "I'm absolutely thrilled about it," Stapp said Wednesday. Stapp said she received a four-year scholarship commitment from CU, making her just the second recruit in CU history to receive a multi-year scholarship offer in Boulder. The first was Link.

Colorado_mediumColorado Buffaloes exceed expectations in first season in Pac-12 -- college basketball - ESPN

Colorado was one of the teams left out of the NCAA tournament a season ago. Heading into the final week of the 2010-11 regular season, the Buffaloes were 18-11 and 7-7 in the league. They split the last two games and then won two in the Big 12 tournament, including beating then-No. 23 Kansas State.

Yet the Buffaloes, who lost their two best players off last season's team in Alec Burks and Cory Higgins, have better overall and conference records and appear to be in the same situation this season.

"Our seniors have stepped it up, and we have a great blend with a few freshman guards," Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. "We've got one guy who is third in the country in rebounding in Andre Roberson. We're not great at anything. But we are the best field goal defensive team in the league, and we can rebound. We're good at a lot of things."

...And yet there will be no buzz about the Buffs in the NCAA discussion. "It's weird, but this has been an unusual year," Boyle said. "There's so much mediocrity out there. I think for those last six or seven [spots] you could make a case for 12 or 14 [teams]."

...Boyle said if the Buffaloes were to sweep this road trip, he could envision making a case to get an at-large berth out of the much-maligned Pac-12. If not, he says he will stay silent.

Colorado_mediumBrooks: Buffs Still Need To Take A Big Step On Road - - Official Athletics Web site of the University of Colorado

Tad Boyle has recited this formula for success before, but with his Colorado Buffaloes poised to make their final regular season trip - and considering what's at stake - the formula is worth a replay. It involves program building, something Boyle and his staff have done pretty well at CU.

The way he and other coaches view it, four steps are needed. They are (1) becoming competitive, (2) establishing a homecourt advantage, (3) winning on the road, (4) beating quality teams on the road. In almost two full seasons under Boyle, here's the Buffs' progress report in those four areas: (1) Check, (2) Check, (3) Check, (4) Still Waiting.

Let's review, by the numbers: (1) At 19-9 overall and 11-5 in the Pac-12 Conference, where a 10th or 11th place finish was forecast in their debut season, the Buffs are unquestionably a cut above competitive. (2) At the Coors Events Center, CU is 32-4 under Boyle, with only one very recent clunker. No question: Advantage, Buffs. (3) Road wins against average (or below) opposition are coming, even if at a trickle. CU went 3-9 overall in road games last season, 2-6 in the Big 12 Conference. This season, the Buffs are 4-5 overall away from the Events Center, 3-4 in conference away games. (4) Last season's signature road win was at Kansas State; this season's is at . . . Air Force, Southern California, Arizona State, Utah. You pick one.

Complete those four steps and, he says, "Then you're at the top of your league. It's just an on-going process." The process moves to Eugene, Ore., on Thursday night, when CU meets Oregon in a "play-in" game - the winner likely will have played its way into a top four seed for next week's Pac-12 tournament in Los Angeles. The Buffs and Ducks currently are tied for fourth with 11-5 records.

Boyle has coached a team through the final step - the "big road win" scenario - before. When he was at Northern Colorado, the step finally was taken against Montana, an opponent Boyle termed "kind of the gold standard in the Big Sky."

Colorado_mediumEx-CU Buffs Joe Garten, Bill McCartney on Hall ballot - Buffzone

Former Colorado football coach Bill McCartney is on the ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame for the third straight year and is joined for the second year by former center Joe Garten. The National Football Foundation released the ballot Tuesday for Football Bowl Subdivision nominees.

It includes 76 players and eight coaches. One name noticeably absent from the list was Colorado's all-time leading rusher and current offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who had been on the ballot the past two years. Bieniemy did not advance beyond the district screening committee stage this year, but he could return to the ballot in future years.

Colorado_mediumLappe's CU Buffs in need of strong finish - Buffzone

Although the Buffs have clinched a winning record, which is a requirement for WNIT selection, they have lost four in a row and seven of eight. The WNIT selection committee isn't too fond of teams fading down the stretch. "We can't lose nine of our 10 last games and have any chance of getting to the postseason," Malcolm-Peck said of the importance of this weekend. The Buffs probably need to get a win or two -- or three -- between this weekend and next week's Pac-12 tournament.

"I feel like we need to win and we need to win in the right way," CU coach Linda Lappe said of the upcoming two-game homestand. "I think that's important, even just for our own program, regardless of what the future holds there (in the WNIT). We just need to turn the corner a little bit." CU has a strong recent history with the WNIT. In 2008, the Buffs were 16-14 going in and earned four straight home games because of their power to pack the stands. A year ago, a 15-15 mark got them in and they earned three home games out of four, once again because of their ability to put fans in the seats.

Since the committee doesn't take past history or attendance into account -- according to the tournament web site -- the Buffs can't simply rely on that. The CU administration has submitted bids to host WNIT and NIT games if the Buffs are unable to earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Regardless of the postseason, CU simply wants to get the winning feeling back. The Buffs have had some big wins this season, but the past month has been filled with too many disappointing losses for their taste.

"You can only bounce back for so long and we've been bouncing back a lot," Lappe said.

Colorado_mediumCU Buffs seek historic basketball win - Buffzone

No more ducking the issue. It's time for Colorado basketball to take the next step and silence a raucous crowd outside the Coors Events Center. The Buffs, 19-9 overall and 11-5 in the Pac-12, are one victory away from posting back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in the program's 111-year history. CU produced an NIT semifinal run, two NBA players and 24 wins during Tad Boyle's first season on the job a year ago. This summer a top-25 recruiting class will join a solid nucleus that includes the Pac-12's most dominant rebounder (Andre Roberson) and two fab freshmen (Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie). Under Boyle, CU is 32-4 in Boulder with memorable triumphs over Missouri, Texas, Kansas State, Washington, Arizona, Oregon and Cal. But there is still a glaring omission from the overall 2011-12 resume: A quality road win.

Colorado_mediumStewart Wins; Buffs Second At Sugar Bowl - - Official Athletics Web site of the University of Colorado

Sophomore Alex Stewart fired a 5-under par 67 to capture medalist honors and the No. 17 University of Colorado women’s golf team surged to finish in second place at the 2012 Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Golf Championships here Tuesday at the English Turn Golf and Country Club.

The Buffaloes fired a final round 2-over par 290, the third best team round of the day, to finish the 54-hole event at 16-over par 880, three strokes behind No. 13 Duke, which won with a 13-over par 877 after a final round even par 288. Both Duke and Colorado passed No. 4 Southern California in the final round. The Trojans were the leaders after the first two rounds and finished at 17-over par 881. No. 2 Alabama shot a 3-under par 285, to move up to fourth with a 20-over par 884 while No. 19 Baylor rounded out the top five at 23-over par 887.

"Don’t get me wrong, you always want to win," CU head coach Anne Kelly said. "But this is one of, if not the, top performance in the history of our program. We were just a few shots short. We played extremely well and we’re getting better every time out. It’s a credit to the girls on this team, the work and commitment they’re making to this program is outstanding and paying off right now."

The Buffs second place performance is that much more impressive given the fact that Golfweek ranked this field as the fourth toughest in Division I this season. The Buffs were one of nine top 20 teams in the field and after it all played out, the Buffs topped three of the top four teams in the country in No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Auburn and No. 4 Southern California. "It was foggy this morning," Kelly said. "But a lot warmer and the sun actually came out, so that was nice to see. I think they always have a breeze here but it wasn’t too much of anything."

Colorado_mediumOedegaard, Rose Awarded Athlete of the Week - - Official Athletics Web site of the University of Colorado

University of Colorado skiers Mary Rose (junior) and Rune Oedegaard (sophomore) are recognized as CU Athlete of the Week for their athletic achievements for the week of Feb. 20-26.

Nordic skier Mary Rose turned in one of the most remarkable individual performances by a CU athlete in recent history when she took fifth place in the women's 15K classical race on the final day of the RMISA Championships at Big Sky Resort in Big Sky, Mont. Entering the weekend as the No. 18 qualifier for the NCAA Championships (top 17 advance), Rose needed every bit of her first career top 10 finish to get the No. 17 spot, ensuring the Buffaloes full team to qualify for the NCAA Championships...With her performance, Rose's finish assures the Buffs as many as 40-50 extra points when the team returns to Montana for the NCAA Championships.

Nordic skier Rune Oedegaard won both the 10K freestyle and 20K classical race at the 2012 RMISA Championships, which doubles as the 2012 NCAA Western Regional. He became just the fourth CU men's Nordic skier to sweep regional races in the last 20 years, joining Bjorn Svensson (1993), Kit Richmond (2008), and Matt Gelso (2010)...The Molde, Norway (NTG Lillehammer/Molde Ski Club) native earned the No. 1 qualifying spot in the West in both freestyle and classical for the NCAA Championships in two weeks.

Go Buffs!