Fast break

What went right


What went wrong

CU came out of the gates tight and Pitt took advantage, jumping to a 13-0 lead and keeping its foot on CU's throat throughout the afternoon.

Star of the game

Josh Scott. He had 14 points and six rebounds for the Buffs.

What's next?

The Buffs look ahead to the offseason.

ORLANDO, Fla. —. — Colorado came into the NCAA Tournament hoping to stick around a while.

By halftime, everyone in the Amway Center knew the Buffaloes were done.

Pittsburgh pounded CU from the start and handed the Buffs a crushing 77-48 defeat on Thursday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

"I don't know what Colorado team it was (on the floor)," CU head coach Tad Boyle said.

It was a CU team that lived its worst nightmare on the national stage, suffering its worst NCAA Tournament defeat in program history.

Pitt (26-9) scored the first 13 points of the game and put CU (23-12) in a 30-7 hole just 13 minutes into the game.

"They hit us in the mouth," CU junior Askia Booker said.

After spending 34 games and 4 ½ months trying to prove they belonged here, the Buffs spent the first few minutes looking like they wanted to be anywhere else.


"There's no excuse," said sophomore Xavier Johnson, who had 11 points. "We came out lackadaisical and not focused and they got a big lead on us and we couldn't recover from there.

"Not mentally focused, I guess you could say; not ready for the game. That's about it."

Colorado did a remarkable job in the second half of the season to get to the NCAA Tournament for the third year in a row, but simply couldn't handle the relentless defense and efficient offense of the Panthers.

Talib Zanna had 16 of his game-high 18 points in the first half for the Panthers, many of those points coming on fast-break opportunities created by CU turnovers.

"They're fast," Johnson said. "We missed a shot and they were gone. I didn't know they were going to be that fast in transition. We weren't getting back in transition. That was the biggest thing for us."

For the game, Pitt scored 24 points off of 17 CU turnovers.

"Defense is our main focus, so when we get turnovers it gives us opportunities to get out and go," said Pitt senior Lamar Patterson, who had 10 points.

A 3-pointer by Wesley Gordon finally got CU on the board with 14:19 to play in the half — the Buffs' longest scoring drought to start a game all year.

Moments later, a Cameron Wright jumper started a 15-2 Pitt run that put an end to any doubt about who would move on to the next round.

Near the end of the first half, Boyle crouched near the bench, shaking his head in disbelief.

By halftime, the Buffs trailed 46-18 and the song "Wake Me Up," by Avicii appropriately played in the arena.

"So wake me up when it's all over," Avicii sang, and Buff fans groaned.

When it was over, the Buffs had dropped to 10-15 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. The Buffs' previous worst NCAA Tournament loss was a 73-46 defeat against Cincinnati in 1962.

"You go in at halftime down 28, there's not a lot you can say to your guys positively," Boyle said. "Other than the fact that we had to come out and compete. You shouldn't have to ask your guys to do that."

CU did compete in the second half, but it didn't matter at that point. Pitt led by as many as 32 points in the second half — the largest deficit of the season for the Buffs.

"It just wasn't our day," Boyle said. "You look at any statistical category you want to. It was just one of those days for Pittsburgh where they had it going, and we didn't.

"It's pretty simple. We've got to take care of the ball better and we've got to guard better and we've got to rebound better. We didn't do any of those things today."

Nothing Boyle and his staff tried to do could fix that, either. Every time the Buffs tried to get something going, Pitt did something better.

"There was no helplessness on our team," said Josh Scott, who led CU with 14 points. "We were just frustrated with ourselves for not doing what we came here to do."

They came with the intent on winning. They left with an eye toward trying to get back next year.

"Of course," Johnson said when asked if the Buffs were embarrassed, "but you can't cry about it. We have to move on and just try to prepare ourselves for next year and go back to work and start from the beginning."

Contact Writer Brian Howell at or