Who says there’s no crying in basketball?

Last weekend, I cried at “The Vow.” I’m not embarrassed. It pulled at my heartstrings.

This weekend, I cried when the CU men’s basketball team made it to the NCAA tournament. It more than pulled at my heartstrings. It gave me a feeling of pride unmatched by anything else I’ve seen the Buffs do in my three years as a CU student.

In Saturday’s Pac-12 Championship final, with 15 seconds remaining, senior Austin Dufault missed both of his free throws. In the closing seconds, the Buffs were up just two points with the possession arrow in favor of the University of Arizona.

Students cheer after the Buffs score during the opening minutes of Colorado's Feb. 26 win over Cal, 70-57, in this file photo. CU won the Pac-12 Championship on Saturday. (CU Independent File/James Bradbury)

As the clock ran down, the Wildcats chucked up a 3-pointer. It didn’t go in.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. I instantly started jumping up and down. And then came the tears.

I plopped down on my couch, put my head in my hands and cried the softest little cry. It was the kind of cry I imagine a mouse would do… or maybe the kind a little girl would do after she trips on the playground. In fact, it almost sounded like I was laughing. I couldn’t control it. They were 100 percent tears of happiness.

Saturday was seriously one of the happiest days of my life. We’re Pac-12 champions. No one can snub us, and no one can take that away from us.

We took matters into our own hands this year. There is no questioning we deserve a place in the NCAA tournament.

I was so happy when we won that I called my mom. My poor mom has to deal with all my sports-induced mania, even when she has no idea what I’m talking about or can’t understand me through my sobbing gasps for air.

“Mom, we won. (sob, sob) I’m so happy.”

“Mom, are you watching this game? Tim Tebow just did it again.”

“Mom, we lost. I’m so sad.” Unfortunately, she has to hear that one far too frequently.

Last year, I called my mom when we didn’t make the tournament. I cried. I was astonished that after so many people said we were in, we ended up being left out of the Big Dance.

When Chauncey Billups got traded from the Denver Nuggets to the New York Knicks, I cried. I called my mom.

“Mom, Chauncey got traded. He loves Colorado so much, and I love him so much. And I love Colorado. It’s not fair.”

I’m a bumbling idiot when it comes to sports. I feel no shame crying tears of joy or tears of sadness when my teams unpredictably prevail or disappointingly falter. I knew that win or lose on Saturday, I was going to cry. I was just relieved that they were tears of joy. I cried because they made it farther than anyone thought they would.

I cried because I love this team so much, and I’m proud of all they’ve accomplished for dear old CU. Head coach Tad Boyle, our seniors, our underclassmen and our fans deserve this.

So I cried. And I know I wasn’t alone.

Contact CU Independent Sports Editor Marlee Horn at Marlee.horn@colorado.edu.


Marlee Horn

Marlee Horn is totally awesome. She is a junior majoring in news-editorial and minoring in ethnic studies. On any given day, she is most likely watching Sex and the City or SportsCenter. A Colorado native, Marlee is always rooting for her home teams, even if they are horrible or giving her a heart attack.

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