The Colorado Buffaloes basketball team has started the 2019-20 season 12-3. This start has helped the Buffaloes attain the 25th spot in the latest AP Poll. Their most noteworthy win was when they beat Oregon, who was ranked 4th in the nation at the time, 74-65 on January 2 in Boulder.
Colorado Basketball Has Dominated Oregon In Boulder
From the outsider’s view, this win should bolster the Buffaloes’ resume. While it does, it has become commonplace for Colorado to beat Oregon in Boulder. It is one of the greatest unofficial traditions Colorado Athletics has to offer.
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Since the Buffaloes have joined the Pac-12 in 2011, they have gone 9-6 against Oregon, with a 7-0 mark when the teams meet at CU Events Center in Boulder. Here is the list of the scores in the Boulder games:
2012: Colorado 72, Oregon 71
2013: Colorado 76, #19 Oregon 53
2014: #20 Colorado 100, #10 Oregon 91
2016: Colorado 91, Oregon 87
2017: Colorado 74, #10 Oregon 65
2019: Colorado 73, Oregon 51
2020: Colorado 74, #4 Oregon 65
The Buffaloes have won by a whopping 11 points per game against the Ducks in Boulder. For a basketball program as prominent as Oregon, not being able to win in Boulder is one of the biggest head-scratching dilemmas facing the program.
Lack of Overall Success Frustrating Considering Colorado Basketball’s Success Versus Ducks
For the Buffaloes, the lack of success they have had in the big picture compared to Oregon is frustrating considering their success against them in Boulder. Oregon has made four Sweet 16’s and one Final Four since Colorado joined the conference in 2011, while the Buffaloes have won just one NCAA Tournament game.
Tad Boyle has an overall record of 201-126 at CU, and he is arguably the best coach in the history of Colorado basketball. However, the team has not truly made the leap into national prominence despite having Oregon’s number. Colorado has had better games against Oregon in Boulder, but Oregon has always had better seasons than Colorado. For the Buffaloes to be respected nationally, they have to show that they can play the way they play against Oregon more often and not lay eggs at home like they did against Oregon State on January 5.
Fans Should Have Higher Expectations Because of Success Against Oregon
Boulder is always hyped up when Oregon comes into town. Because of this, people not as familiar with Colorado Basketball will think it is a huge victory for the Buffaloes. While fans are happy when Colorado beat Oregon, the hype surrounding the team is exaggerated, especially when they lose to teams they should beat at home like Oregon State.
It is starting to get a little ridiculous that fans seem to always storm the court when the Buffaloes pull off victories against Oregon because of how commonplace beating Oregon at home has become. While these types of victories are significant for the Buffaloes, it will take them consistently competing for Pac-12 championships to be thought of as up there with Oregon and Arizona as the top basketball teams in the Pac-12.
The 2019-20 Colorado Basketball Team Should Make the NCAA Tournament
The good news is that this season the Buffaloes have a chance to do just that. Despite losing to Oregon State, they have wins against Oregon and also Dayton, who is currently ranked 15th in the latest AP Poll. Oregon is currently ranked 9th.
Their only two blemishes on the Buffaloes’ resume were home losses. Losing to Oregon State in the fashion they did was not good. However, losing to Northern Iowa in non-conference play was not the worst loss, as they are expected to compete for the Missouri Valley Conference title. Winning a tournament game is a must for the Buffaloes this year to build the reputation they want among Pac-12 and national pundits. Beating Oregon at home is nice, but it simply has not done enough for the Buffaloes to be taken seriously on the national level.