2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Buffs: Under Boyle, Buffs’ rise is no fluke

Published: January 6, 2014, 1:55 pm, by Paul Klee

Here at Broncos camp, and still considering the Buffs’ 100-91 win against the Ducks on Sunday.

Not because it lifted CU to No. 15 in today’s AP Top 25, or because the Buffs handed the Ducks their first loss, or because it was as entertaining a game as you’ll see in college basketball this season.

It’s because of how the Buffs are doing it. In wins against then-No. 6 Kansas and No. 10 Oregon, Tad Boyle didn’t slow it down and muck it up, the modern-day formula for college upsets. The Buffs aren’t clutching and grabbing their way to their highest ranking since Chauncey Billups led them to the NCAA tournament in 1997. 

The Buffs had the players to go toe-to-toe with a pair of Final Four-caliber rosters. Boyle has recruited a caliber of athlete and skill level that allows the Buffs to run past and outscore these teams.

There’s a difference.

When you have NBA guys, even borderline NBA guys, you can do that. The Buffs have that. A member of the KU coaching staff suggested CU has the best transition offense the Jayhawks would see this season. Oregon ranks third nationally in scoring and is more dangerous than a month ago, since adding a pair of previously suspended players. These Ducks are their best squad I’ve seen since the Ridnour-Jackson-Jones collective that reached an Elite Eight a decade ago.

The Buffs didn’t slow the pace, walk it up, get hot from the three-point line. They are beating excellent teams, straight up, because they have comparable athletes. That’s the sign of a program with Top-25 staying power.

Twitter: @Klee_Gazette