By now everyone is well aware of the controversy that marred the ending of the first Colorado vs. Arizona game earlier this year. Sabatino Chen’s banked in three-pointer at the buzzer was waved off even though multiple replay angles showed that the ball was out of his fingertips before the clock read 0.00.
Nonetheless, Colorado ended up losing in OT and the tough loss sent the team into a mini-funk right at the start of Pac 12 conference play. The 1-4 start is well in the past now as Colorado has gone 5-1 since and they find themselves just 2.5 games out of first place.
So with that said, how much will revenge play a factor in tonight’s rematch in Boulder?
From everything that head coach Tad Boyle and his players have said during the week it seems that revenge will be a factor but it can’t dominate their thought process. More importantly for Boyle and company is the fact that Arizona is just the next game up for the Buffaloes.
“It’s a big game because it’s the next game,” Boyle said after practice on Wednesday. “It’s a big game because it’s Arizona and they are a top ten team and we have our hands full.”
Colorado had Arizona where they wanted them in the last meeting as they built a 16 point second half lead but they let it slip away down the stretch. They were up by as many as 17 in the first half but they were outscored 10-2 over the final 1:35 of regulation to tie the game up before Chen’s shot was called off.
For many of the Colorado fans the loss was just as painful as it was to the players and they immediately circled the game on Thursday on their schedule dubbing it the “Valentine’s Day Massacre”. A blackout is scheduled for the student section, otherwise known as the C-Unit, and the game has been sold out for well over a month.
There’s not doubt that revenge will be on the mind for Colorado’s players and their fans even if the player’s don’t want to fully admit it. Get ready for one of the most exciting games of the Pac 12 season because it’s going down tonight in Boulder.
David LaRose is a College Basketball writer for Rant Sports covering the Pac 12 and the University of Colorado. He’s also a member of the USBWA. You can follow him on Twitter or check out his Facebook page.