LAS VEGAS, NV - Tears of joy, if asked how the Colorado Buffaloes season would end this year most would've said tears of joy. On Thursday night, at the Pac-12 Tournament, downed for a possible final time in 2016-17, the 19-14 Buffs rubbed away tears of disappointed.
Inside the locker room following their 92-78 loss at the hands of their arc-rival Arizona the players spoke inconsistency, their faces said much more.
As blank stares fixated around the changing room, their fate had been realized, four fifth-year seniors with class didn't want to believe that their college career could be over just like that, especially with preseason expectations the highest in program history.
For five year Buffaloes Xavier Johnson and Wes Gordon, who saw Colorado go four wins in four nights at the Pac-12 Tournament as seniors in high school to get an NCAA Berth, they saw themselves piss away an extremely talented roster and a more experienced Tad Boyle to the second head-scratcher of a year in the last three.
For first team Pac-12 member Derrick White, who spent one season in Boulder he went down as one of the greats to roam Coors Events Center. Boyle said in the postgame that he should be an NBA Player, Colorado Native Dom Collier he said the White deserved to have his name right next to Alec Burks, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Chauncey Billups'. In his probable final game, he finished with 31 points against one of the best defenders in the Pac-12, the stamp on what was a marvelous one-and-done.
For the rest, it was Collier, along with Tory Miler and George King that spoke. The leaders of next year's team didn't want to see another season end with Arizona in Nevada.
"Sooner or later it's got to stop. I was hoping it was going to stop today. We were going to get them here, but we came up short," King said.
Again defeated by Sean Miller, Boyle said, "there's nothing to be ashamed of when you lose to a team like Arizona." Walking through the bowels of T-Mobile Arena it was hard to feel Boyle felt anything other than ashamed, not by Arizona, but by how the season played out.