A week after losing to the B1G Ten bound Nebraska Cornhuskers, the fifth-ranked Texas Longhorns gave the future Pac-12 member Colorado Buffaloes a parting gift of their own.
Down by as many as 22-points in the first half, CU used the thin Rocky Mountain air to their advantage, opening the game up and never stopping long enough to let Texas grab their breath.
The strategy paid off, as the Longhorns went over eight minutes in the second half without a field goal, allowing the Buffs to mount a 14-0 run, cutting the deficit to 11. Levi Knutson's 3-pointer with 9:29 left in the game gave CU their first lead since they were up 11-9 early in the first half, and the Buffs never looked back.
The frenzied CU faithful were in full effect at Coors Events Center, as one of the loudest hometown crowds I have experienced live in Boulder rallied behind their team and helped them to the 91-89 win.
The game really wasn't as close as the score would indicate, as Texas roped in a few late baskets and Alec Burks, who scored a game-high 33, missed some free throws down the stretch.
The loss drops Texas into a tie with Kansas for the conference lead, though UT has the tie-breaker, thanks to winning the head-to-head against the Jayhawks.
CU, meanwhile, is still alive for an at-large NCAA tournament bid. With wins over assumed NCAA teams Texas, Missouri and Kansas State, CU needs to finish the regular season strong, by winning their next two games at Iowa State and home versus Nebraska. Those two wins would put CU at 20-11, 9-7 in conference and most likely in the top half of the Big 12.
Jordan Hamilton and J'Covan Brown each contributed 21 in the loss.
Texas' next game is a Big Monday match-up against K-State, while CU visits the Cyclones on Wendesday.