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Buffaloes lose at Utah

CU had an atrocious first half that tanked their chances.

NCAA Basketball: Utah at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

If you didn’t watch the Colorado Buffaloes take on the Utah Utes on Sunday afternoon, good for you. For those of who did watch, why? I’m contractually obligated to watch every CU came possible, but even I had football playing on my phone with the Buffs’ game muted in the background.

Since I’m also contractually obligated to recap these games, no matter how ugly, let’s keep this recap short. Let’s look at some fun stats about the Buffs’ atrocious first half:

  • Colorado scored 19 points in the half. If you score 19 in any half, you deserve to lose. If you 19 in a half while you allow 41, you deserve to be shot into the sun.
  • Colorado committed 11 turnovers. The root of the turnover issue is probably the absence of McKinley Wright, but even then, most of those turnovers were the result of throwing errant passes and not knowing how to dribble.
  • Compared to those 11 turnovers, CU had 3 assists. For comparison, Josh Fortune averaged 1.9 assists and 1.8 turnovers in his Colorado career.
  • Most of those turnovers came off live-ball steals, meaning the Utes were able to run in transition and score a mess of points on dunks and layups and alley-oops off the backboard.
  • (CU didn’t have any turnovers in the second half, which makes the first half even weirder. Good job on the improvement, I guess.)
  • Colorado shot 30% from the field in the half. Based off the eye test, that feels about 20% too high. The Buffs weren’t just content to miss shots, they were determined to miss everything on them.
  • Sedrick Barefield, Utah’s only veteran, scored 17 points to CU’s 19. Barefield is presumably the player Wright would have guarded.

Colorado was actually decent after halftime! They cut down the turnovers, actually hit some shots — led by Gatling’s 21 second half points — and outscored Utah 50-37 in the half. They even cut the lead to just 9 to make this game look closer than it was. That said, it’s easy to say Utah stopped trying because it’s hard to blow a 28-point in the second half. (Mike MacIntyre blushes.)

For a better summation of today, I’ll leave you with Benjamin Burrows’s poignant words.