Colorado’s Spencer Dinwiddie (25) is fouled as he shoots against Oregon State’s Challe Barton in the second half during a Pac-12 tournament
Colorado's Spencer Dinwiddie (25) is fouled as he shoots against Oregon State's Challe Barton in the second half during a Pac-12 tournament NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, March 13, 2013, in Las Vegas. Colorado won 74-68. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) ( Julie Jacobson )

Spencer Dinwiddie came into this season with a dream.

Colorado's star point guard wanted to lead the Buffaloes into the Top 25 rankings, to a Pac-12 championship and then deep into the NCAA Tournament. And, afterward, he would say goodbye to Boulder and hello to the NBA.

On Sunday afternoon, Dinwiddie took an unexpected detour.

CU head coach Tad Boyle confirmed on Monday afternoon that Dinwiddie suffered a season-ending injury to his left ACL in Sunday's 71-54 loss to Washington in Seattle.

"It's an injury to his ACL and it's going to require surgery," Boyle said. "The doctors expect a full and complete recovery. From that standpoint, it's good news that it's repairable and he's going to be back as good as new when the rehab is over."

A date for surgery can't be set until after the swelling goes down in Dinwiddie's knee, but the procedure is expected to take place sometime next week.

Dinwiddie, who contemplated leaving for the NBA last summer, was not available for comment Sunday or Monday, but did take to Twitter on Monday evening.

"Thanks for all the love and support," Dinwiddie wrote. "Most ppl tweet somethin sappy in this situation but y'all know that ain't my style. Always tell you I think Im invincible and I still do. But sadly I'm human, and in being human I'm mad!! Really mad!! U guys know what this year was supposed to be...

"Ride off into the sunset with a P12 championship in hand nd accomplishing my childhood dream. But the way I played was in case this happened

"I have the upmost confidence the team will handle this nd continue 2 have success. With that said I want 2 thank all that have prayed for me

"I don't regret coming back to school, I had one of the most fun summers in my life. I only hurt for my family mainly my dad..

"Time to attack rehab, get the swelling out, surgery in a week running in my bday month."

Dinwiddie, who turns 21 on April 6, leads the No. 21 Buffaloes (14-3, 3-1 Pac-12) in scoring (14.7 points per game) and assists (3.76 per game). He also averaged 3.1 rebounds per game and was CU's top defender on the perimeter.

Considered one of the top point guards in the country, Dinwiddie was projected by some to go late in the first round of the NBA Draft in June.

Boyle said he's not sure what Dinwiddie is thinking in terms of his NBA plans at this point.

"When Spencer and I sat down to talk I told him, 'You've got to control what you can control, and that's your attitude and your effort every single day when it comes to your rehab, and you can't worry about the future right now. You've got to just worry about getting better.'

"At some point, that will be addressed, but I want him to give it some time."

The Buffs, meanwhile, don't have a lot of time to adjust to playing without Dinwiddie. They host No. 25 UCLA on Thursday night.

"In no way do I want to minimize this. This is a blow to our team," Boyle said. "But, we just have to step up. Other guys are going to have to step their games up. We've got a lot of good players in this program, not just Spencer. He was one of them and he was one of the better ones, but he certainly wasn't the only one."

Dinwiddie was injured with 2 minutes, 52 seconds to play in the first half at Alaska Airlines Arena on Sunday. He was running and dribbling down the court when he appeared to make a slight move to his right. His knee gave out and he collapsed and lost the ball.

The Buffs, who fell from No. 15 to No. 21 in the Associated Press poll on Monday, led 25-22 when Dinwiddie went down Sunday. They were outscored 49-29 the rest of the way and looked shell-shocked and discombobulated.

With several days of preparation for the UCLA game - and beyond - the Buffs are hoping for better results without Dinwiddie in the immediate future.

"We just need to get back in sync with each other," freshman forward Wesley Gordon said.

Dinwiddie certainly isn't the only talented player on the roster, and the Buffs are confident they can still achieve good things without him.

Gordon and sophomore center Josh Scott are developing into a stellar tandem for the Buffs in the paint.

Junior guard Askia Booker is capable of picking up some scoring slack, as he averaged 19.2 points per game prior to the Washington loss (he struggled all day against the Huskies, finishing with no points).

Forward Xavier Johnson has had his share of big games, too, and true freshman Jaron Hopkins has shown flashes of brilliance this season.

CU will look for more out of its bench, too, with Talton, Eli Stalzer and freshmen Dustin Thomas and Tre'Shaun Fletcher all possibly playing more significant minutes.

Scott said the Buffs can't make excuses. They simply need to go play.

"(Dinwiddie) is a big part; not the whole part, but he's a big part of what we do," Scott said. "It's just an adjustment and we're going to have to figure out how to do that without him."

When talking to his team Monday, Boyle reminded them of a game on March 7 last year when No. 19 Oregon came to Boulder and the Buffs were without star forward Andre Roberson. The Buffs won, 76-53.

He also likened the situation to this season, when many thought the Buffs would struggle with rebounding with Roberson now in the NBA. The Buffs are actually a better rebounding team this year, with several different players stepping up.

"There's not one player on our team that's going to replace Spencer Dinwiddie, but they can all do a little something that he brought to the table," Boyle said.

Contact BuffZone.com's Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com