Finals are nearly upon us, and I am getting ready for the studying grind to begin. Before the inevitable happens, however, I get to enjoy some great college basketball. This week, the #19 Colorado Buffaloes face the meat of their non-conference schedule. I will be there for all three installments of the Buffs' judgement week, and although it was not too pretty, I can report on Saturday's game at Wyoming. Wednesday will see the Colorado State Rams come to the Coors Event Center, in a matchup of NCAA tournament teams from last year that carries heavy statewide bragging rights, as well as recruiting implications. Finally, next Saturday will mark my return to Lawrence, Kansas for our game against the #10 Kansas Jayhawks.
The trip to Laramie is one that I have made a few times for basketball-related purposes. In high school, our summer team would play in the University of Wyoming tournament, and we would drive up to campus, stay in the residence halls for a couple nights, and play games during the day. I have some great memories from Wyoming, as we won the tournament twice and always had a fun time. Being back in Laramie was very nostalgic, especially watching the game being played on a court that I played on a few times.
The game was very important for a few reasons. After their best start to a season since 1990, the Buffs rolled into Laramie looking for a key non-conference win on the road in a hostile environment. Wyoming has yet to lose this season, and they have a very strong squad. Additionally, the starting point guard for the Cowboys is none other than my high school teammate and friend Riley Grabau. Riley is unfortunately battling tendinitis in his knee right now, after having a great start to the season. The CU game meant a lot to him though, and he gutted out a few painful minutes before watching the second half unfold from the bench.
I am pleased to say that about 50 members of the C-Unit held their own against the entire Root Sports Auditorium Arena crowd (you would think they would have chosen either Auditorium or Arena, but I guess two names are better than one). Despite being placed in the upper deck of the stadium, which looked eerily similar to the Flint Michigan Colliseum from the movie Semi-Pro, we were loud, organized, and an absolute force. I am also pleased to report that the Roller Coaster was successfully executed despite the efforts of the stadium security staff, bringing the Coaster's number of states performed in to three (last year at the Pac-12 tournament in Los Angeles being the other crossing of state lines). CU led at the half, but poor defense and lights-out shooting from the Cowboys led to a ten point loss on the road. The Wyoming students rushed the court following the final buzzer, and I took that to be a great sign. I am proud that Colorado basketball has reached the point where we are respected enough to warrant a rushing of the court after a road loss. Wyoming will likely enter the national rankings following Saturday, and while it would have been a great win for the Buffs, I don't think it will be a terrible loss. However, it is imperative that they recover quickly, because two tough games loom this upcoming week. CSU is a blackout game, will be sold out, and is a must win. Coors will be rocking on Wednesday, make sure to watch!