No. 7 Illinois (22-12) vs. No. 10 Colorado (21-11)
Friday, March 22, approx. 3:40 p.m. CT - Austin Texas - Erwin Center (16,292)
TNT: Announcers: Tim Brando, Mike Gminski, Otis Livingston
Notes (from Colorado sports information):
FOR STARTERS: Colorado has made back-to-back NCAA Tournaments appearances (2011-12, 2012-13) for the first time since 1961-62 & 1962-63 (50 years) • CU's 12th appearance in the NCAA Tournament • The Buffs are 10-13 in their NCAA Tourney history in 11 appearances with two Final Fours (1942 & 1955) • Head Coach Tad Boyle is the first CU head coach since Sox Walseth to lead the Buffs to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances (Walseth winningest CU coach 261 wins) • First At-Large invite since 2002-03.
SCHOOL FIRST: For the first time in 112 years of CU basketball, the three consecutive post-season appearances (2010-11 NIT semifinal, 2011-12 NCAA 3rd Round, 2012-13 NCAA 2nd Round) - are a school- first in post-season play.
COMMON OPPONENT: CU (21-11, 10-8 Pac-12, fifth) and Illinois (22-12, 8-10 Big 10, seventh) had one common opponent this year – Southern California. Illinois beat them 94-64 in Champaign in December, the Buffs beat them 66-60 in Boulder in January. The Illini were 2-1 against NCAA teams in non-conference play, while the Buffaloes were 1-1.
20 WINS, AGAIN: The Buffaloes have won at least 20 games in each of Tad Boyle's three seasons at CU - a school record for three consecutive years • Boyle first CU coach to win 20+ games in a season, three times • Incredibly in 112 years of CU basketball there's been seven seasons of 20 wins or more, Boyle owns three • CU has won 21 games for the third straight year (24 wins previous two seasons) • 21 wins is the fifth time a CU team has won that many in a season • A win in CU's first tournament game gives them 22, tying the 1996-97 NCAA Tournament team, fourth most ever wins in a season.
PAC-12 AWARDS: In a vote of the Pac-12 Conference coaches, Andre Roberson was named Defensive Player of the Year, conference first team and to the All-Defensive team; Spencer Dinwiddie was named to the conference first team; and Josh Scott was named to the Pac-12 Conference All-Freshman team.
UNDER 70, AND WE'RE NOT TALKING GOLF: Prior to its loss Pac-12 Quarterfinal loss to Arizona, 79-69, CU held 11-straight conference opponents under 70 points (tied for 5th among conference schools since 2004-05. • at CU, the 11 is the most since 16 were held under 70 over the course of the entire 1962 Big 8 season and the first two games of the '63 season… later that same year, the Buffs had held eight straight league foes under 70, which the 2012-13 Buffs had matched.
FRESHMEN/SOPHOMORE DUO RECORDS: They already hold the CU freshmen record for combined points (677), now they own the sophomore record with 895 points and counting. Spencer Dinwiddie (499) & Askia Booker (396) are the first sophomore tandem in 45 years (1968-69) to lead the team in scoring. They break Cliff Meely (23.8, 667 pts.) and Ron Smith (12.6, 214 pts.) as sophomores, who had 881 points, both led CU to the Big 8 title, finished in third place at the NCAA Midwest Tourney, and a 21-7 record (first 20-win season in school history). As freshmen, Dinwiddie (360 pts.) & Booker (317 pts.) combined for a school-record 677 points
REBOUNDS/BLOCKS/STEALS: Andre Roberson has had at least 10 rebounds, two blocks and two steals in 11 games this year, twice as many as any other Division I player
Spencer Dinwiddle: G, Soph., 6-6, 200 - 15.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.0 apg
Andre Roberson: F, Jr., 6-7, 210 - 10.9 ppg, 11.3 rpg
Askia Booker: G, Soph., 6-1, 170 - 12.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.2 apg
Josh Scott: F, Fr., 6-10, 220 - 10.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg
Xavier Johnson: F, Jr., 6-6, 220 - 9.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg
Off the bench:
Sabatino Chen: G, Sr., 6-4, 190 - 4.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.2 apg
Jeremy Adams: G, RS-Jr., 6-5, 220 - 10.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.4 apg
Xavier Talton: G, Fr., 6-1, 180 - 1.5 ppg, 0.7 rpg
Eli Stalzer: G, Fr., 6-3, 185 - 1.4 ppg, 0.8 rpg
Colorado coach Tad Boyle:
"I'm elated that the Buffaloes are in it and they're dancing again. It's a great feeling for our players and they deserve it.
"Everything you do as coach, and our players do, day in and day out in practice, all the jump shots, all the wind sprints, all the defensive drills – everything that we do kind of points to this day. And it's probably more important than it should be, but that's the world we live in. You can't bury your head in the sand. When it comes down to one day, one decision and it's out of your hands, it's nerve wracking.
On Illinois…: "They're a very good team from one of the best leagues in the country if not the best . . . they beat Gonzaga at Gonzaga and I don't think anybody else did that this year. They're a quality basketball team and we've got our work cut out for us. Whoever you play in this tournament, you're going to play somebody good."
Colorado team information: