And just like that, Team Colorado is done. It took one shot to fall for the Colorado Buffaloes alumni to be eliminated from The Tournament (TBT), a single-elimination competition with a $2 million grand prize.
The Buffs won their game last night against Kansas State alumni, but the Marquette alumni were the 1-seed in their region because of how much talent they have on the floor. Led by former NBA players Dwight Buycks and Elgin Cook, the Golden Eagles were too much to deal with in the first half. With so many talented passers and shooters on the floor, the Buffs surrendered a barrage of open threes. Combined with a scoring drought, the Buffs went into halftime down 43-34.
Buycks in particular was a killer. He may have been a scrub in the NBA, but he got there as a professional scorer, which is a monumental task in itself. He’s quick, has a nasty handle and can hit all kinds of shots. When he started hitting step-back after step-back in the third quarter, there was nothing Team Colorado could except hope he missed it. Players like Buycks dominate this kind of competition. Colorado has a player like him they can rely on for offense, but Marcus Hall struggled in this tournament after starring in summers past.
Team Colorado does not go away, however. They fight for everything and have the experience to know they can win in any situation. Shannon Sharpe somehow locked up Buycks, the rest of their shooters went cold, and finally Team Colorado found an offensive rhythm in a sloppy game. The mud is where Buffs basketball thrives.
Down double-digits midway through the fourth quarter, the Buffs came back via free throws and clutch Marcus Relphorde shots. Once the target score was set at 83 — meaning whoever scored 83 points first would be the winner — they were within striking distance. They finally took the lead when Chris Copeland picked the pocket of some poor guard, then passed it ahead to Hall for the finish.
The Buffs found themselves leading 81-78 after Copeland grown ass man’d his way into a bucket. The only needed a single shot to win the game, but it never fell. Instead, the Eagles hit a shot to make it 81-80, then after numerous misses by the Buffs on terrible shot attempts, Elgin Cook made a three-pointer to win the game. The win was within grasp, but it was pried from Team Colorado’s hands.