Colorado head coach Tad Boyle celebrated his 55th birthday in style at the Coors Events Center Saturday, leading the Buffaloes to another big win. The 80-77 victory over No. 14 Arizona marked the first time since 2011 Colorado (10-6, 2-2 Pac-12) has defeated ranked teams in back-to-back games. Two days earlier Boyle’s Buffs knocked off No. 4 Arizona State 90-81 in overtime. Now in his 8th season at CU, the Buffs are a respectable 17-29 against ranked teams under Boyle. Here’s a look at five of the best wins in the Tad Boyle era.
5. MARCH 10, 2012 – DEF. ARIZONA 53-51
A year after being left out of the NCAA Tournament, the 6th seeded Buffs defeated 4th seeded Arizona 53-51 to win the Pac-12 Championship on their first try and secure a berth in the field-of-68 for the first time since 2003. Freshman Spencer Dinwiddie led the Buffs with 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting 4-4, 3-pt FG), and Andre Roberson contributed 10 points and 11 rebounds.
4. JANUARY 4, 2018 – DEF. (4) ARIZONA STATE 90-81 (OT)
Down 11-0 to start the game, the Buffaloes fought back behind the play of freshman guard McKinley Wright (19 points) and senior forward George King (18 points, 9 rebounds). Junior Namon Wright added 19 points, five of which came in overtime to give Colorado the upset victory.
3. FEBRRUARY 26, 2011 – DEF. (5) TEXAS 91-89
In Boyle’s first year in Boulder, the Buffaloes finished with 24 wins, perhaps none bigger than the 91-89 upset of No. 5 Texas. Colorado erased a 15-point halftime deficit behind Alec Burks’ game-high 33 points (10-21 FG, 12-20 FT) to edge the Longhorns. “I didn’t know what to expect coming out at halftime.” Boyle said following the game. “But our guys, they delivered.”
2. MARCH 15, 2012 – DEF. (6) UNLV 68-64
Andre Roberson had 12 points and 16 rebounds to pace the 11th seeded Colorado to a 68-64 second round upset over 6th seeded UNLV. Askia Booker came off the bench to lead all scorers with 16 points. It was the programs first NCAA Tournament win since 1997, when the Buffaloes knocked off Bob Knight’s Indiana Hoosiers in the round of 64. It was also Tad Boyle’s first and only NCAA Tournament win to date.
1. DECEMBER 7, 2013 – DEF. (6) KANSAS 75-72
Tad Boyle’s alma-mater (Kansas 1981’85) had won 19 straight against the Buffaloes prior to their December 7, 2013 matchup. Askia Booker put an end to that streak with a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Buffs a thrilling 75-72 win over the Jayhawks.
”Unless I’m in the NBA championship, that’s the only thing that could top that,” Booker said of his game-winning shot.
Booker and Dinwiddie led the Buffs with 15 points apiece in the victory, while freshman and future NBA lottery pick Andrew Wiggins led all scorers with 22 points.
What other games would you include and how would you rank them?