BOULDER, Colo. — Star reporter Bruce Pascoe provides the sights and sounds from Arizona's 67-60 loss to Colorado at the CU Events Center in Boulder.
Rare weekend off
Having worked two Pac-12 games every week this season – including four during one weekend -- broadcaster Roxy Bernstein had a rare three off before arriving in Boulder to work Sunday’s ESPNU telecast with Caron Butler.
“The only game I saw Saturday was my son playing soccer,” Bernstein said, smiling.
It was still a busy week. Bernstein started with a Colorado State-San Diego State game in Fort Collins, Colo., on Tuesday, then worked the USC-Stanford game along with former UA player Corey Williams on Wednesday near his Bay area home. Then he returned to Colorado to work Sunday’s game.
Colorado-based UA fans and alums still all over the building. Here’s 11-year-old Tate Noonan pic.twitter.com/0R6XPuiDCM— Bruce Pascoe (@BrucePascoe) February 18, 2019
Colorado-based Arizona alums and fans still made up roughly 20 percent of Sunday’s crowd at the CU Events Center, even with the Wildcats entering the game on a six-game losing streak.
On hand with four other UA fans, including his two kids, Chris Noonan explained why.
“Still showing up and watching every game,” he said. “They’ve been good for so many years, so you don’t turn against them now.”
Tucson native Zach Liem agreed.
“It has been tough,” Liem said. “But I’m not gonna give up.”
Neither did Noonan’s 11-year-old son, Tate, who waved a handmade wooden sign that said “Arizona Wildcats” on one side and “Chase Jeter, Justin Coleman” on the other.
Tate said Brandon Williams is also one of his favorite players but didn’t list him on the sign because he was out with a knee injury.
Another UA alum, former KGUN sports and news reporter Phil Buehler, made a six-hour drive to Boulder from Rapid City, S.D. to see the game.
But his trip was paid for, since Buehler needed to be in Denver anyway for his work as news director for Rapid City’s KEVN television station and KOTA radio station.
Buehler, who worked at KGUN from 1997-2007 and then worked in Charleston, S.C., said he recruits Denver-area colleges for staff to work at his radio and television stations.
Keg goes dry
After 18 seasons of playing in an arena named for a beer, Colorado’s 40-year-old arena was changed from Coors Events Center to simply CU Events Center as the school tries to find a new donor to help pay for upgraded facilities.
The Coors Foundation gave CU a $5 million gift in 1990 , when the arena was named Coors Events Center, but the CU-Coors Foundation partnership had long expired. The name, which some fans shortened to simply “The Keg,” remained until last July
“The Coors family has been an incredible partner with us for a number of years, but as we look to upgrade that facility and upgrade some of the things that we're doing, we need somebody that wants to get invested in helping us do that," Colorado AD Rick George told Buffzone.com. ""At some point we'll take the name off because we think it would make it easier for us to sell something that doesn't have a name on it."
But there’s still Coors
Never fear, the CU Events Center still has multiple stands selling Coors and Coors Light plus a number of craft beers and canned wines.
Among the beer choices were: Left Hand Brewing’s Colorful Colorado Pale Ale,” Hop Valley’s “Citrus Mistress,” Wibby Brewing’s dunkel lager and, naturally, the Boulder Beer Company’s “Buffalo Gold” golden ale.
In case the game gets boring. Or maybe even if it doesn’t. pic.twitter.com/yab0VgH1qD— Bruce Pascoe (@BrucePascoe) February 18, 2019
Just in case CU games aren’t that interesting – or maybe even when they are – Colorado set up video game stations for “Fortnite” and “NBA2K” behind its “C-Unit” student section.
At least it was indoors
Snow flurries and 18-degree wind chill greet fans waiting to get in. pic.twitter.com/bdFEWEZgSu— Bruce Pascoe (@BrucePascoe) February 17, 2019
Just before the doors opened to the CU Events Center, snow flurries blew in with a wind chill of 18 degrees. It kept snowing throughout the game, and the temperature dipped to 21 by the end of the game. The overnight low was projected to be nine degrees.
“Arizona has got some guys who are better shooters than the numbers indicate. I think we’ve got some better shooters than our numbers indicate. So we’ll see what happens.”
– Colorado coach Tad Boyle, before the Buffs shot 55.8 percent Sunday.
The big number
Straight losses for Arizona, most since the Ben Lindsey-coached Wildcats lost 15 straight in 1982-83. Arizona went 4-24 that season and Lindsey was fired, then replaced by Lute Olson.