An impressive non-conference slate, combined with a No. 19 ranking earlier in the year, had Buffs fans expecting a lot out of the upcoming conference schedule.
However, after the heartbreaker in Tucson at the hands of Arizona and the subsequent collapse in Phoenix against Arizona State last week, fans were left wondering just how good Tad Boyle’s team is this season.
A return to home to the Coors Event Center might be just what the Buffs need to get back on track. Colorado hosts USC on Thursday night.
Southern Cal, who struggled through their out-of-conference schedule, surprised many when they defeated Stanford 71-69 in their Pac-12 opener. The Trojans followed that up with a 72-64 defeat at the hands of Cal.
What USC has proven so far from their six-point loss to San Diego State, as well as their eight-point loss at New Mexico, is that they have a knack for staying in games, something which seems to haunt the Buffs.
The Buffs were up 78-70 with 1:44 left when Arizona turned up the pressure. The result was Colorado turnovers. And CU was up 37-32 in the second half against Arizona State, seemingly in control. Then, the Buffaloes seemed to lose their confidence, and the lead soon followed.
In order to be successful in the Pac-12 this year, the Buffs must learn how to play with a lead and finish games.
“I feel like we let up on the gas and let them back in the game; things just started going their way a little bit,” said senior forward Andre Roberson after the Arizona State game. “That’s one thing we’re having trouble with right now is finishing games.”
The Buffs know how to start games, that has been apparent. In front of a probable capacity crowd on Thursday night against USC, they must prove they finally have learnt to finish them, as well.
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