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Thanks to Team Colorado and The Basketball Tournament, Buffs fans got a heavy dose is nostalgia on Friday afternoon.
Broadcasted on ESPN3, the group of former Buffs basketball players held on against Team 23–last year’s runner-up and the group that unceremoniously knocked Team Colorado out a year ago–to advance into the round of eight, despite the absence of Richard Roby. The Colorado Buffaloes leader in all-time points scored, tied with Cory Higgins, was reportedly sidelined by a sprained MCL, as was reported by Ryan Koenigsberg. As of now, the team is just three wins from the $2 million, winner takes all, prize offered by the organization.
Among the most nostalgic moments were those where Marcus Relphorde barreled his way to the hoop, Marcus Hall blitzed past a defender, or Levi Knutson banged out multiple treys in a row.
It was Colorado basketball bingo, including the near forfeiture of a big halftime lead. But ultimately, it was just about getting the old gang back together.
“It’s good to have the support from Boulder. I know a lot of GM’s are getting phone calls and text messages, we’re getting phone calls and text messages from our classmates that are watching us, it’s a good feeling to represent Buff nation, especially with the program being up right now,” Hall told Josh Verlin of CityOfBasketballLove.com. “For us to have some of that success as well, we’re representing Colorado well.”
As they watched their double-digit second half lead dwindle, eventually losing it altogether, the broadcast gave the ultimate gift to all spectators: an uncensored peak into the Colorado huddle where head coach Dwight Thorne II–who is joining Rodney Billups at Denver University as Director of Basketball Operations–let his team know, in no uncertain terms, just what they were going to do.
“One of us said, ‘we can beat these guys, we’re better than these guys,” Dominique Coleman said, finishing with a team high 16 points. “Once you start believing, it’s all about sticking together and sticking to what the coach is giving you on the court.
“This is for past alums, future alums, this is for Colorado. We’re doing it for them.”