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Colorado looks to bounce back against Oregon State

The Buffs are big favorites tonight.

NCAA Basketball: Colorado at Oregon State Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Despite what I’ve said in the recent past, the Colorado Buffaloes’ 2016-17 season is not dead. It’s pretty much dead, but it’s still twitching a little and breathes every few minutes. With each breathe, there is hope — specifically, hope that this season can still escape the jaws of death, much like how the Buffs have escaped from the jaws of victory many a time.

We’ve come to a critical point of the season with the Buffs. Every second, the team is closer to death. Yes, there’s hope, but that hope resides in the impossible, er, the near impossible. In order to regain consciousness, Colorado must defeat Oregon State.

Holy heck.

Calm down, inner voice. It will be OK.

You promise?

Yes, of course. You’ll be OK.

You promise that I’ll be OK or that Colorado will beat Oregon State?

I can’t guarantee a victory, but I can promise that it’s not impossible to beat Oregon State. For one, the Beavers aren’t quite as good as their 4-16 (0-7) record would indicate. They beat the Southern Oregon Siskiyou Raiders by 25, but their losses to Oregon and UCLA show that even a team as deep and talented as the Beavers can lose if their motivation wanes. If the Beavers struggle with the altitude and Coors Events Center can shake them, there’s a chance — albeit a small chance — that Colorado could win.

For another, Colorado isn’t nearly as bad as their 10-10 (0-7) record would show. Losing to both Washington and Washington State on the road is a bad look, as is losing to Arizona State on the road, as is getting blown out by UCLA and Utah, not to mention losing that horrible game to Colorado State, but Colorado has the talent and experience to hang with Oregon State. And hey, maybe everything can come together — shots falling, defense working together, a little bit of luck — and upset those pesky Beavers. The only outcome from the Oregon State game that would truly surprise me is if the C-Unit doesn’t storm the court.

Oh my heck. If the impossible happens, what would it mean for the Buffs?

Colorado’s NCAA chances are essentially dead (it would take an undefeated Pac-12 finish and/or a miraculous Pac-12 Championship), but if they can beat Oregon State — again, a significant if — they can use that confidence to get some wins and gain some ground in the Pac-12 standings. From there, they could stir up some fan support, gain some momentum for next season and potentially make a run at the NIT. It’s not what we hoped for to begin the season (I *literally* predicted a Final Four run, lmao) but it’s not locker room mutiny and the CBI Tournament or anything.

Of course, in order to get on that track, Colorado has to upset the Oregon State Beavers in front of a (presumably) sold out Coors Events Center. Not saying it will happen, but it could, and that’s something to get excited about.