The Colorado Buffaloes were eliminated from the Pac-12 Tournament with a semi-final loss to the Washington State Cougars. The Buffs will now head into the NCAA Tournament with a 23-8 record and will probably get a 5- or 6-seed.
This was a disappointing effort for the Buffs. They struggled to overcome the 11th-seeded Oregon State Beavers, then continued their poor offensive performance against the 7th-seeded Cougars. Everyone was off, except Aaronette Vonleh, as the Buffs dug themselves into an early hole by scoring 16 points in the first half.
Colorado remained competitive, mostly because their defense is elite and Vonleh and Jaylyn Sherrod got going in the 3rd quarter. The Buffs were even 38-38 entering the last 10 minutes, but the offense bottomed out once again. CU got outscored 23-11 as they shot less than 25% from the floor while Wazzu was bombing away threes.
This is a big missed opportunity for the Buffs. They had the easiest path to the Pac-12 title they could have conceived, as the Beavers upset USC, the Cougars upset 2-seed Utah, and even Stanford lost in the other semifinal to UCLA. All of these teams are good — good enough to pull off some upsets — but this felt like CU’s chance.
The Buffs can still make noise in March Madness if they figure out some of their offensive issues. Frida Formann is getting back into a rhythm after getting sick, so she should be better. Quay Miller has been slumping for a couple weeks and hopefully the week off will help her refocus. Those two are the only shooters on the roster and they are essential for everything else to work. Hopefully they figure it out, and if they don’t, this team could still win a game or two with just their defense.