Colorado Edges No. 23 UNLV in NCAA Second Round, 68-64
The Runnin' Rebels mount a furious second-half comeback, but can't close the gap.
March 16, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Freshman reserve Askia Booker scored 16 points and Andre Roberson had 12 points and 16 rebounds, helping Colorado fight off a furious UNLV comeback for a 68-64 victory at The Pit.
The 11th-seeded Buffs (24-11), who bullied their way into March Madness for the first time in nine years by winning the Pac-12 tournament as a No. 6 seed, suddenly can't seem to do anything wrong. The team that got snubbed by the selection committee last year and used that as fuel for this season has won five straight games with its season essentially on the line.
CU's next test is against No. 3 seed Baylor, a winner over South Dakota State earlier and a former Big 12 rival of the Buffs.
For the first 25 minutes of this game, Tad Boyle's team played with a freedom and looseness that makes the game look easy. Never as easy as early in the second half, when Austin Dufault made back-to-back 3-pointers and Carlon Brown followed with another to push CU's lead to 49-29.
UNLV went on a 26-8 run and cut the lead to two on Justin Hawkins' 3-pointer with 4:20 left. From there, though, UNLV (26-9) missed its next seven shots. Brown made a windmill dunk - reminiscent of those he slammed home late in Pac-12 wins over Arizona and Cal - to help CU regain its bearings, then the Buffs made 4 of 8 free throws in the last minute to hold on for the win.