In a rematch of last year’s third-round NCAA Tournament game, the Colorado men’s basketball team upset No. 16 Baylor University in the Charleston Classic Semifinal. After beating Dayton 67-57 in the opening round, CU was a heavy underdog against Baylor.
The Buffs came away with a 60-58 victory and now set their sights on Murray State in the championship game Sunday night. Baylor and Murray State were overwhelming favorites to make it to the championship of the Charleston Classic.
The Buffs improve to 3-0 on the season with the Bears falling to 3-1. Sophomore guard Askia Booker led all scorers with 19, and junior forward Andre Roberson led all rebounders with 12.
It was a very close game, and the Buffs almost gave it away, missing multiple free throws in the final minute. Overall, the Buffs were four for 18 from the foul line.
All of the mistakes gave Baylor a chance to win, but Isaiah Austin missed a jump shot with one second remaining to seal the victory for the Buffs.
During March Madness last year, Baylor beat CU 80-63 with help from Brady Heslip’s nine three-pointers. This time, however, Heslip only made one of his six attempts from behind the arc.
The Buffs did a good job slowing down one of the best backcourts in college basketball. The combination of Heslip and Pierre Jackson scored just a combined 19 points after scoring 41 in the Bears’ first tournament game against Boston College.
The Buffs have a strong offense with Roberson, Booker and sophomore guard Spencer Dinwiddie, but it was the team’s defense that won it on Friday. The Buffs’ young team missed a number of important shots down the stretch but played strong defense and rebounded well in order to secure an important victory.
Even though it is early in the season, this victory will count when the NCAA Tournament selection process starts in March. Baylor was a ranked team, and the Buffs will get credit for that when the selection committee is making its decisions. The win marked the Buffs’ first against a ranked opponent in non-conference regular season play since 1973.
Sunday night’s game against 3-0 Murray State will air live on ESPN2 at 6:30 p.m. Baylor will play for third place against St. John’s College.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Scott Annis at Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org.