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CU Buffs sticking together after loss to Oregon in Pac-12 title game

The cards were seeming to align just right in Las Vegas when Colorado reached the final Pac-12 men’s basketball championship game against an opponent the Buffs had swept in the regular season series.

However, with St. Patrick’s Day coming the following day, it was only right that the green Oregon Ducks emerged victorious on Saturday evening.

The 75-68 affair featured the dominance of Oregon center N’Faly Dante, who scored a game-high 25 points on a perfect 12-of-12 shooting from the field. With the Buffs having no answer for the Pac-12 Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, they appeared rattled as turnovers (13) and foul trouble became too much to overcome.

While a win for the Buffs would’ve secured an automatic NCAA Tournament bid, head coach Tad Boyle made it known that he’s fully confident in his team’s abilities. He shared some words of wisdom from former Washington State head coach Dick Bennett following the tough loss.

“He (Bennett) said something once that resonated with me, and that is, ‘You’ve got to find guys you’re willing to lose with before you can find guys you’re willing to win with,'” Boyle said after the game while sitting next to an emotional KJ Simpson and Tristan da Silva. “I’ll lose with these guys every day of the week. I believe in them, a hundred percent. I believe in that team in that locker room, but they deserve to move on. We’ll see if it happens tomorrow. If it does, it does. If it doesn’t, we’ll move on as well. But this team, to me, is worthy.”

The only thing anyone can do now is wait. But Colorado’s continued optimism offers hope that there will be light at the end of the tunnel.

“I have ultimate trust in each and every single one of the players, each of my teammates,” da Silva said. “It’s a fun group to be around. It’s a fun group to play with. I’ll definitely miss them when all this is over. But once again, we’ve still got some basketball ahead of us.”

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Story originally appeared on Buffaloes Wire