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The Buffs brought their best in their battle against the Kansas Jayhawks, but it wasn’t enough for a win.
The University of Colorado men’s basketball team made their first and final Big 12 Tournament semifinals appearance, but Friday’s heart-stopper against No. 2 KU ended the Buffs run in Kansas City. Colorado came out on an 11-2 run, but couldn’t keep the momentum going for the full 40 minutes, and fell 90-83.
CU has not beaten the Jayhawks since 2003; the same year the Buffs made their last NCAA Tournament appearance.
Sophomore guard Alec Burks and senior guard Levi Knutson both ended the night in the double digits with 23 and 17 points, respectively.
The Buffs held the lead early on, building 22-10 advantage, forcing KU to use a timeout. After that, the Jayhawks went on a 17-4 run of their own to get their first lead of the game.
CU held KU to just one three-pointer for almost 17 minutes, but back-to-back KU threes helped the Jayhawks grab a 43-37 lead at the half.
The Buffs narrowed the lead to five points at 47-42, but once again, KU had an answer. Kansas went on a 12-0 run, signaling the beginning of the end for the Buffs.
With 14 minutes remaining, KU raised its lead to 62-44, but the Buffs refused to fall back. Three times in the final eight minutes, the Buffs pulled within nine points.
In the last 38 seconds, Burks’ three-point play brought it to 86-80, but three KU free throws helped seal the deal and take the Buffs out of the tournement.
Kansas will face the winner of Friday night’s No. 21 Texas A&M/No. 10 Texas battle, while Colorado returns home to await an expected NCAA bid.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Marlee Horn at email@example.com.