Cut away

In the first three minutes of the second half, the Arizona Wildcats watched a 34-28 lead transform into a 36-36 tie.

Not that fans at home could see it.

Chalk this up to a rare annoyance from playing on national television: rather than show the first 3 minutes and 12 seconds of the second half, ESPN aired the final seconds of a game from across the country.

While fans nationwide saw Tennessee State's 72-68 upset of previously unbeaten Murray State, UA fans wondered what was happening.

The Worldwide Leader cut back in with 16:48 to play, and the UA scored 15 of the next 21 points.


New digs

Monday in San Francisco, the Pac-12 will break ground on the studio for its new network.

League officials, San Francisco mayor Ed Lee and famous alumni will gather to watch the league put up the first wall in Studio 1 of the Pac-12 Network.

The Pac-12 Network and its Digital Network will air 850 live games each year, in all sports, starting in August.

Former Arizona Wildcats first baseman J.T. Snow will attend the ceremony, as will former USC safety Ronnie Lott, former Cal running back Marshawn Lynch, former Stanford basketball player Jennifer Azzi, former Stanford volleyball player Kim Oden and Cal swim coach Teri McKeever.

In December, the Pac-12 signed an 11-year lease for 70,000 square feet of office space in the South of Market, or SoMa, district.

The seven-story, 430,000-square foot building was last purchased for $92 million.

The big number


Colorado players on NBA rosters, the most since the 1992-93 season. The Buffs boast alumni Chauncey Billups (Los Angeles Clippers), Alec Burks (Utah Jazz) and Cory Higgins (Charlotte Bobcats). Billups' season ended this week with an Achilles' tendon injury; his younger brother, Rodney, is CU's director of basketball operations.


"We can't hear you!"

ZonaZoo fans, to the 40 or so Colorado faithful standing and cheering with five minutes to play

A rare race

How rare is it for the Buffaloes to enter a late-season game in the thick of a conference race?

It is, maybe, a once-in-a-generation moment.

Since the last CU team to win a conference title - the 1968-69 Big Eight crown - the Buffaloes had been within one game of the lead in the second half of the league season just three times.

It has been within two games three more times.

Here's a look at the three occasions the Buffs have been one game behind:

• Season: 2011-12

• Date: Feb. 8

• League: Pac-12

• Position: Tied with Cal for second place behind Washington

• Season: 1996-97

• Date: Feb. 9

• League: Big Eight

• Position: A half-game behind first-place Kansas

• Season: 1972-73

• Date: Feb. 21

• Position: One game behind first-place Kansas State

The Killdeer Kid

Maybe Colorado should venture to North Dakota more often.

Senior forward Austin Dufault, the pride of Killdeer, is the first Colorado player from North Dakota in 51 years, when Ozzie Carlson played for the Buffaloes.

The 6-foot-9 Dufault - who entered the season seventh all-time in starts and 20th in minutes played at CU - did indeed hunt deer as a kid.

He graduated with about 30 classmates and played for his father, Rich, at Killdeer High School.

He was named North Dakota's "Mr. Basketball" in 2008 despite living in a town of about 800 people with only one flashing traffic light.

Another quotable

"Pay the Chol Toll!"

A sign in the student section extolling the virtues of UA center Angelo Chol

Another big number


Consecutive games in which the Buffaloes have made a three-pointer, dating back to the 2001-02 season. CU made 12, a season high, against Utah.

Patrick Finley