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About Last Night: Examining Colorado’s upset over Oregon

Jack Barsch and Sam Metivier discuss the Buffs’ victory over the Ducks.

NCAA Basketball: Oregon at Colorado Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to About Last Night, a weekend shootaround starring Jack Barsch and Sam Metivier. Here, we talk in depth about Colorado basketball after big wins. We thought of this idea in December but this has been the first big win for the Buffs since. Also, we know this wasn’t “Last Night”, but that’s what these are called, so there.

Sam: JACK DAWSON BARSCH! Colorado knocked off the Oregon Ducks last night! That was the best game we’ve seen this season and a monumental win for the Buffs. Do you have any immediate thoughts on the game?

Dawson(?): Yeah, that game was amazing, that’s my immediate reaction. That was vintage Coors. A tough, physical team punishing a team not ready for a fight with the crowd behind them the whole game. It was loud, raucous, and gorgeous defensive basketball. I don’t know, that game was just fun to watch. What about you, Samuel?

Samuel (?): Two things: (1) Jack Dawson is Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in Titanic, you uncivilized swine, and (2) Sam is actually short for Samardo Samuels, but my parents wanted me to seem normal in school (nice try, Mom).

Two things about the game: (1) I can’t believe Colorado sucked Oregon into a defensive battle, since these games tend to be shootouts, and (2) it’s so funny that Colorado would play arguably their worst defensive game of the season against Oregon State, then have that against Oregon’s incredible offense. Also, Colorado gets bonus points for Dillon Brooks having a horrendous game — he had 9 points on 2-6 shooting and 6 turnovers — and getting no calls on egregious flops. It was beautiful to see him as the last player on the floor after the students stormed the court.

Aside from the defense, do you have any stars of the game? The Sko Buffs bananas and Bill Walton are excluded, I should note.

Jack Dawson: Yes, I do. Brick baby was in full effect near the end of the game, with Dylan Ennis missing two in a row and CU going on a streak of five straight free throw misses. But other than that, I’m giving my star to Lucas Siewert. He came out and PLAYED. I counted three hustle plays that directly resulted in Colorado possession that wouldn’t have otherwise. He crashed the offensive boards, he made his shots, and he battled for the ball. Awesome to see a freshman play like that and it gives me hope for his future. Also, shout out to the refs for fouling out three Oregon players. Gave them an excuse for the loss rather than blaming themselves or CU. Who did you see as the star, Sam?

Samardo Samuels: Funny you would credit Siewert and the refs. My mom and brother went to the game and talked me to afterwards and said, “That big white dude, number 25, has no idea what he’s doing on defense. At least he made some shots.” Not that I should argue with my mom, but I’ma give the big Brazilian some love — he was fantastic.

As far as the refereeing goes, it’s funny that Oregon fans would complain about their players fouling out. Jordan Bell and Dylan Ennis’s final fouls came on separate double technical fouls; the only reason CU didn’t have Xavier Johnson and Bryce Peters foul out on those same calls was that they weren’t hacking earlier in the game. And for Bell, he sure did get rim-stuffed on a dunk attempt, and the refs sure did call a terrible foul on Wesley Gordon on that play. Of course, it’s not a Pac-12 game if both teams’ fans aren’t complaining about the refs.

My star is kind of a boring call, but I have to go with Derrick White. He carried the Buffs’ offense (as usual) and made some vital plays on defense. When it was all said and done, White had 23 points, 4 assists, 4 steals, 3 rebounds and a block. He was everywhere doing everything.

Jack: Anytime a player has nearly a third of a team’s offensive production, he deserves a star. On Derrick White Out night, no less. But, and this is important, for the first time all year I thought the crowd deserved praise as well. They were loud, coordinated, and present in bunches. They really showed up, which help the team show up. I hope they stay for the five home games left, as CU has shown what they can do now. Maybe we’ll salvage this yet.

Sam: After the Washington games, I thought this season was over. I know it’s just one game and Colorado has had similar performances — Xavier and Texas come to mind — but this gives me hope that they can go on a serious run in the Pac-12. If they can play that intensely, they have a serious chance of sweeping their upcoming Bay Area road trip. Stanford and Cal are talented, but neither has played up to expectations and can be beaten by a focused Colorado team. After that road trip, CU hosts the woeful Washington schools, so they could realistically find themselves going 4-0 in that stretch and climbing to a respectable 6-7 Pac-12 record. Basically, where there’s a Derrick White, there’s hope.

Jack: This team is more than Derrick White, and it showed last night. If Tad can get team defense consistently, there’s enough firepower to ruin any team’s day. If CU can get to 20 regular season wins (a stretch) and win some in the Pac-12 Tourney, things are looking quite alright.