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What if Sabatino Chen’s shot was good?

The Buffaloes were tied with undefeated Arizona.

It was good, is your answer.

The Colorado Buffaloes were visiting the Arizona Wildcats when the shot happened. It was supposed to be an improbable upset over an undefeated team ranked third in the nation. Colorado held a commanding 10-point with just under two minutes left, but the ‘Cats stormed back to tie the game at 80-80.

Chen’s shot was a last 0.1-second heave, a thirty-footer that banked off the glass. The refs reviewed the shot, looking over the McKale Center’s notoriously low-definition monitors. Despite video evidence suggesting the opposite, the refs ruled that the Chen was still touching the ball at the buzzer, that the shot was therefore no good.

Colorado lost the game before overtime even started. Arizona was far the better team and had all the momentum. That, compounded with the deflation that Colorado had won the game but it was taken from them, saw Arizona run away in overtime. In an ironic twist, Colorado scored just 3 points in overtime.

The shot was good, but what would have happened if the shot counted? For one, Colorado wins this game. They would have beaten the 3rd-ranked team in the nation, on the road, at an arena they haven’t won at since 1960 (still true). They lost the following game at Arizona State, but they were clearly drained and defeated; maybe they still have a letdown, but maybe they have more energy against Carrick Felix and Jordan Bachynski.

Other than those games, Colorado wasn’t affected too much by the loss to Arizona. They got their revenge against Arizona in Boulder with a profound 71-58 win. They still won 21 games and made the NCAA Tournament. As far as Pac-12 standings go, even with those two road wins, the Buffs still would have finished in 5th place and played the Wildcats in the second of the conference tournament, which they lost 79-69.

Maybe the real impact would be on their NCAA Tournament resume, in which they would have 22 or 23 wins, including that resume-defining upset. Maybe Colorado would have been an 8- or 9-seed, instead of a 10-seed, and they could have played Temple instead of Illinois. At this point, there’s no telling what would have happened.

The point is, Sabtino’s shot was good.