In one of the most physical games of the season, that was marred by poor officiating, the Buffs seemingly had the game won on a Spencer Dinwiddie layup with 8.3 seconds left in the extra period but ASU had one final shot. After Dinwiddie’s shot gave Colorado a 62-61 lead the Sun Devils quickly rushed up the court and went straight to the rim. Evan Gordon got a clean look after driving past Sabatino Chen and he laid it up just as time expired to stun the Coors Events Center crowd.
“I can’t get too down . . . (but) it stinks. It’s college athletics and losing is no fun,” said a disappointed coach Tad Boyle in the post-game interview. “The guys in our locker room are hurting, I’m hurting, our staff is hurting and BuffNation is hurting.”
The loss dropped Colorado to 17-8 overall (7-6 in Pac 12) and in the process they lost an opportunity to jump into fourth place in the conference, instead falling to seventh in a jumbled Pac 12 race. What is even more surprising is the loss at home where Colorado was 10-1 going into the game and 42-5 under third year coach Boyle.
Officiating was a point of angst all game long for both teams and the refs completely lost control of the game in the second half. Perhaps the boiling over point came on a play down low where Josh Scott and Jordan Bachynski were battling and it ended with Scott knocked out cold on the floor. Scott took the brunt of the play, a Bachynski elbow to the head, but even more bewildering was the fact that he was called for the foul even though he got knocked unconscious. The crowd went into a frenzy, Boyle ran onto the court and went off on the officials.
“Welcome to college football . . . I thought the season was over in December,” said Boyle. “It was an unbelievable physical game, the most physical game I’ve ever been a part of – college, high school, YMCA.”
It’s hard to blame Boyle for getting so upset because everyone in the building realized the same thing: the refs were overwhelmed and were very inconsistent in their calls. Yes the game was physical but it was an out of control physicality that spiraled out of control. Colorado isn’t making excuses for the loss, because they had their opportunities, but in the end they realized how big of an opportunity this was.
“We sure would have like to have this win in the bank,” Boyle lamented after the loss. “It would have changed our whole mindset. That’s what makes this hurt when you look at the standings tomorrow morning you’re going to be (disappointed). There’s still a lot of basketball to be played and Colorado isn’t done yet.”
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.