With the first two weeks of conference play behind them, Colorado stands at an expected 2-1 after solid home wins over UCLA and USC before betting brutalized by Utah in game in which CU never really had a chance. Alas! We are not here to review those games, for Matt Sparkman does a fantastic job on those recaps -- no, we are here to look at how the Buffs stack up against their next two opponents Arizona and Arizona State. Maybe it's my general dislike towards the 48th state, the thought of T.J. McConnell playing lock-down D or the image of Jordan Bachynski's face as he blocks a shot, but I absolutely despise these two schools.
The Arizona Wildcats will host the Buffs tonight. Seeing the Buffs on that court brings us to the first reason to hate Arizona: Sabatino Chen's buzzer-beater not counting (miss u Sabatino). We all know the story of three refs missing an obvious call despite having the replay ten inches from their eyes, allowing the undefeated, 3rd-ranked Wildcats to overcome Colorado in overtime. I don't know if the basketball gods gave us Askia Booker's Kansas shot to make up for screwing us over there, but I couldn't help but link that video. Go watch it and bask in the gospel of Ski.
Speaking of Ski, we can expect him to in this showdown to be guarded by
the repulsive goblin king senior point guard T.J. McConnell, a player Mark Titus once described as, and I'm paraphrasing as I'm unable to find the article in which the quote is from, "the player Ohio State fans think Aaron Craft is." Not only does that speak volumes of McConnell as a player, but any player whose main comparison is Aaron Craft ought to make up his very own reason to hate a team.
Though McConnell and Zeus "Zeus" Zeuszeuski (someone very capable of bullying Josh Scott down low, a la Bachynski) are the only Wildcats I actually despise, Sean Miller and his recruiting prowess highlight another reason to hate this squad: in anticipation or Aaron Gordon leaving for the NBA Draft, Miller recruited top prospect and possible top-five pick Stanley Johnson to lay ruin to the rest of the Pac-12. I want to hate Johnson because of what he embodies, but once I see that he was high school teammates with Eli Stalzer and Xavier Johnson (no relation, but I like to pretend Stanley is Xavier's little brother) at Mater Dei High School, Tom Brady's alma mater (pun sorta intended). Stanley Johnson will probably be guarding his pretend brother, but in the case he doesn't, XJ will see Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, another potential lottery pick and one of the best wing defenders in all of college basketball.
There is no place where Colorado has an obvious advantage in this game and it's on Arizona stupid "Bear Down" hardwood. Please don't freak when Colorado gets dismembered on the road in consecutive games against the two best teams in the conference and two of the best in the country.
Now on to the gallaciously (I know this isn't a real word, but it sounds right) easier matchup with the 8-8 Arizona State Sun Devils who will almost definitely have a sub-.500 record after tonight's matchup with Utah. Theoretically it seems harder to hate the Sun Devils when you notice their best players from last year, sophomore guard Jahii Carson and senior center Jordan Bachynski, both went undrafted and this year's squad literally lost at home to Lehigh. But then I think about Bachynski some more and my blood boils. For all I know, Tempe smells like a 7-foot-tall Canadian, which... gross. Also, Brock Osweiler. Arizona State is the Brock of colleges.
Getting back on task, I should note that ASU is gallaciously better than their record implies with two losses at the Oregon schools by eleven points combined (Oregon State actually beat the Wildcats, too), two tight losses on neutral courts to Alabama and now-top-15 Maryland, a one-point loss at Texas A&M and a close loss at Marquette.
Their best win came in a home blowout over UNLV, the 124th best team, according to KenPom. Their second best win was a close game over KenPom's 59th-rated Harvard Crimson. Maybe this Sun Devil squad stoops to whatever level they believe their opponent to be. Maybe they'll think Colorado isn't all that great and Ski will make them pay. Maybe Colorado is able to get out of Arizona with a victory, which we can all agree would be fantastic.