And 1: Stanford 74, Colorado 50

Kevin Danna brings his in-depth insights and observations from Stanford's surprising 74-50 win at the Colorado Buffaloes in Boulder on Thursday night.

I love broadcasting Stanford women's basketball games, but there is one thing I despise about it. Every Thursday night home game I call means I have to watch the Stanford men's road game on DVR. And when I'm saving a game on tape, I shut everything out of my life.

Cell phone gets turned off at tip, lest someone hit me with a text bemoaning a bad call or a "damn, Stanford got killed!" I start every conversation with the qualifier, "don't tell me a damn thing about the Stanford men's game - I'm taping it!"

As soon as the women's basketball broadcast is over, I don't play patty-cake with my co-workers; I tell ‘em "Peace out!" and peace on out of Maples. If I run into somebody I know on my way to my Honda Civic, I try to get out of their line of sight as quickly as possible in hopes of going undetected. I can't be bothered by schmoozing!

Same goes for when I get home (yes, I live at home still at the ripe old age of 25). First words out of my mouth to ma and pa are "I need to watch the game! Don't tell me the freakin' score!"

Such was the case for Kevo on this Thursday night. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make it out of Maples unscathed; during the course of the Stanford-Colorado women's game, they flashed a first half score of the men's game. Fortunately, the board show graphic read "Stanford 23, Colorado 8, 8:45 1st."

No way.

I contemplated this score on my drive home, and two games came to mind: Stanford @ Cal on Valentine's Day 2009, and Stanford @ Washington State in February 2011. Both of those games were ones in which Stanford got out to monster first half leads. In the Cal game, some infrequently-used freshman by the name of Jorge Gutierrez spearheaded a Cal comeback from 22 down to knock off the Card. In the Washington State game, Stanford let the Cougars get it down to a one-possession game before Jeremy Green put the game on ice and Stanford escaped the Palouse with a 6-6 conference record.

So, which one would the Colorado game more closely resemble - Cal or Washington State?

When it finally came time to watch, I almost wanted to fast-forward to the 8:45 mark because I needed to find out ASAP, but I started off at the beginning.

Hmm, Anthony Brown in the lineup. Goin' bigger, eh?

Way to gobble up your miss, Dwight. Nice kick-out to Chasson - good to get out to a 3-0 lead.

Nice use of the zone. Colorado is having no luck down low. Nothing easy. I'll take that Gage foul on Askia Booker. He got the body certainly, but he otherwise blocked Booker's shot and didn't let him get by for a potential and-1. Helluva block, Huestis! Helluva put back dunk, Huestis!

"Ankle Breakers" was the name of the famed intramural basketball team on the Bellarmine campus when I was a high-schooler there. Chasson Randle would have fit in just nicely with that squad with his crossover step-back move on Nate Tomlinson. Friendly bounce, too.

Quick trigger there, Aaron and John! But when you make it, what the hell does it matter? Six points in the blink of an eye and a 10-0 run for the Farm Boys. For the second straight game, Colorado started out 2-15 from the field.

Finally I reached 23-8. So was this when the Colorado run began?

Not at first, at least. Gage wasn't finished doing work on the perimeter. 25-8.

Please, please, please Colorado, please! Don't leave Roberson on an island with Josh Owens on the left block. You can't stop that left shoulder. Roberson sure didn't.

Maybe here's the first sign. Colorado is in the bonus with more than seven minutes to play and leading scorer Carlon Brown is at the free throw line for a 1-and-1.
Nope. Clanks off the front rim.

But Stanford's offense is getting a tad stagnant. The shots are starting to not fall, and Colorado gets back to the line. Roberson this time. No can do, André.

Leave it to Jarrett Mann to get his Card out of a mini-slump with a nice take to the rack! 29-10. But Colorado comes right back - Tomlinson hits his second three. Stanford turns it over the next time down and here go the Buffaloes on the fast break. All Dufault needs to do is finish at the rack and the Buffs are headed in the right direction.

The gold-and-black-clad senior airmails it from two feet out. What the hell is going on here?

But watch out for Carlon Brown on the break! He strides once, twice, goes up - there's Gage to take the charge! I mean block. Maybe this is where the Utah transfer gets on track. Unless splitting a pair qualifies, the Buffs' leading scorer is still under a hex. Fifty percent from the line as a team overall for the home side. Doesn't that sound familiar?

The game is sticking around 14-16, and then the all-important end-of-half push comes.

Except it isn't from the home team. Aaron Bright takes the ball out after the Brown made free throw, brings it up court - SMACK! Owens levels Spencer Dinwiddie with a hard screen. Bright reaches half court - THUMP! John Gage bowls over Roberson. Bright dribbles it to the left wing and POP! drains the three.  Carlon Brown ain't pleased- tries to go one on the world, but John Gage won't have any of it and swats it away. Defense leads to offense - Gage drains a three - his third. It's a freakin' 20-point lead! Another stop! There's Coach Dawkins with his use-it-or-lose it. What does he draw up?

A nice little Owens screen that frees up Chasson Randle for the alley-oop lay-in on the feed from Mr. Montana. After a Buffs bucket and Huestis miss, Stanford goes into the break doubling up the Buffaloes 40-20.

You're welcome, Rebecca Haarlow.

In the Cal game, Stanford let the lead slip to 14 points by the break from 47-25 to 50-36. In the Washington State game, Stanford's lead was 17 at the half after leading by 19 on a couple of occasions. So thus far, it's more like the latter. I'll take it.

But remember, even Washington State cut the lead down to one. It's only a matter of time for the Buffaloes start a second-half run to kick into gear, especially with the firepower they have on the perimeter. And also, Stanford was up 22 against Cal and lost, and Colorado was down by 22 at home last year against the #5 team in the country and won. Should I really take it?

Time to find out. The Farm Boys assume their spots on the floor and get the ball to start the second half. After an awkward start to the possession, the Rock Island Rookie takes over and gets the contested runner to go.

The lead grows to 23. Owens gets the ball on the left block again, with Roberson on his back, again. André is ready for the left shoulder baby hook this time, he knows it's comin'!

Whoopsies! Nothing a little up-fake can't do to switch things up. 49-24 Card. A 9-4 spurt for the road squad out of the break. No run yet…

Carlon Brown is looking to change the tempo, though, streaming down the right wing and looking for the emphatic dunk. "Hell no!" shouts Z, who sends his opposite fifth-year senior to the hardwood. Nothing easy tonight, bro.

But that leads to free throws, and Carlon makes ‘em both. sabatino chen then makes the reverse layup on his baseline cut. Four straight for the Buffs - here we go? We are in an arena sponsored by a beer company, after all.

Stanford is looking to help the cause, too, as the Cardinal can't get into anything on their next offensive possession. So what do they do with nine left on the clock? Only what every team at the college and pro level does - hand it to the guard and set an on-ball screen with your big. But Randle has nowhere to go and almost no time left on the shot clock, so he heaves it up with Askia Booker all in his grill...


Stefan Nastic is getting a good bit of burn in the second half, and for good reason. On the second chance of Stanford's next possession, he gets it at the top of the key, drives right and dishes out to Zimmermann, who misses the open three. No problem, though, as Nastic reaches above everybody to grab the offensive board while getting fouled by Nate Tomlinson. If it wasn't clear by now, the Nastic o-rebby solidified Stanford's dominating presence on the glass, out-boarding the Buffaloes 37-16 at the time of the play. 

On the ensuing out-of-bounds play, it's Lob City again, this time Aaron feeding it from behind the basket to Chasson, who makes the shot and gets fouled in the process.

There were still 13 minutes left in the game, but it was apparent after that alley-oop that the Buffs had no significant run in them this evening. Boyle calls a timeout, Carlon Brown looks dejected on the sideline, and it's evident that this game is over and couldn't fit the mold of either the Cal or Washington State roadies of years past.  After the subs got significant burn and all 15 available players got in the game, the lead never got below 23 and the final score read "Stanford 74, Colorado 50" in what surprisingly turned out to be a classic "my-d***-is-bigger-than-yours" W.

Who was the dumbass who wrote an article before the game saying there's no way Stanford will win by 24 again in Boulder? He oughta be slapped.

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