While Clemson and UAB are both out of the 2011 NCAA Tournament, the Colorado Buffaloes, who appeared to have a better case than either of those teams to be in the Big Dance, are still playing postseason basketball in the 2011 NIT. The Buffs defeated the California Golden Bears, 89-72, in second round action on Friday night and picked up their school-record 23rd win.
The teams played a close first half, 37-34 Buffs, but Cory Higgins took control of things for CU in the second half when he hit three consecutive three-point shots. He scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half. Alec Burks led the team with 25 points on 6-of-12 shooting and 11-of-12 free throws. Off the bench, Levi Knutson added 10 points and Andre Roberson pulled down eight boards.
For the Bears, Jorge Gutierrez scored 16 points, but left the game in the second half with a leg injury.
With 3:15 left in the game, coach Tad Boyle took out his starters to give them rest and let the backups get some minutes. Shannon Sharpe highlighted that time with a leaping dunk in the closing minute of the game
The Buffs await the winner of Sunday's game between Fairfield and Kent State for their quarterfinal contest.