"I want to start off by apologizing to the fans," Patton said. "I apologize to you and the media and anyone that cares about Colorado basketball. It's been a disappointing year – no more for you than it is for me and the team.
"There are some bright spots on this team that we'll continue to build on until we get back to our winning ways that we've had around here the past few years."
Saturday, it was the Cyclones who displayed the winning ways. They did it by forcing 18 Colorado turnovers. Iowa State, which climbed to 17-10 overall and 9-7 in conference, had 15 steals on the afternoon in front of 4,609 fans at the Coors Events Center.
Iowa State jumped out to an 8-1 advantage after five minutes in the first half before the Colorado offense woke up and actually took a 31-26 lead into the locker room. ISU guard Will Blaylock went off for eight points early in the second to lead ISU back out in front.
The two teams slugged it out through the second half. Andy Osborn's two 3-pointers down the stretch pulled CU to within three points, 65-62. Then Iowa State guard Curtis Stinson missed two font ends of one-and-one foul shots to give Colorado a chance with under a minute to play. But Osborn forced an off-balance trey that went awry with 29 seconds on the clock and the Buffs down by just two points.
Iowa State rebounded and Blalock was fouled immediately. He sank two free throws, then Stinson redeemed himself by sinking two free throws on ISU's next possession to give the Cyclones their margin of victory.
Osborn admitted his wild 3-point attempt with under 30 seconds to play was ill-advised. Still, Osborn led CU with 14 points, including four treys.
CU is the No. 11 seed going into next week's Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City, and will play the No. 6 seed (most likely Texas) at 7:20 p.m. (MT).
Sophomore Marcus Hall is one of the few Buffs who have played in the conference tourney.
"It's a totally different atmosphere," he said. There are a lot of (distractions) to get in your head. You've got to be focused."
Colorado is on the verge of turning in their worst overall record under Patton. In 1997-98, CU went 13-14.
Points: Osborn 14, Jayson Obazuaye 13
Rebounds: Marcus King-Stockton 7
Assists: Richard Roby 5, Chris Copeland 5
Blocks: Julius Ashby 2
Steals: two tied with 1
Turnovers: Roby 5
Points: Curtis Stinson 22, Will Blalock 20, Tasheed Carr 20
Rebounds: Damion Staple 14
Assists: Stinson 7, Blalock 7
Blocks: Rashon Clark 1
Steals: Carr 5
Turnovers: Carr 3