Tad Boyle tries to enjoy the victories, but the celebrations don't last very long.
Moments after escaping the party on Sox Walseth Court for his press conference after Colorado's win over No. 9 Arizona, Boyle was still thinking about the one that had slipped away at the Coors Events Center.
"We have got to hold serve at home. I am still aggravated about the UCLA game," Boyle said. "So we have to take care of business on Saturday."
Boyle's team did not take care of the important business of protecting their court against Arizona State.
The Buffs slept-walked through Friday's practice and then endured a sleepless Saturday night after suffering a haunting 63-62 loss to the Sun Devils, which dropped CU's home record to 10-2 this season (42-6 in the Boyle era)
"We would have loved to have this win in the bank, it would have changed our whole mindset," Boyle said after CU shot 35.1 percent from the field and allowed Arizona State to shoot 46 percent. "But we have to keep moving on. It is college athletics and losing is no fun, but I feel differently after a loss like this one because our team battled and I know those guys in that locker room are hurting."
Josh Scott suffered a concussion after getting knocked to the floor by Arizona State 7-2 center Jordan Bachynski. CU's 6-10 freshman was 0-for-5 from the field with one rebound in 15 minutes before leaving the game due to the injury.
The officials called 35 fouls during a basketball game that had the feel of a heavyweight title bout.
"I thought football season was over in December, but I guess it is not," Boyle said. "That was an unbelievably physical game, a hard fought game by both teams. Arizona State had the ball at the end and they made a big-time play, and we didn't get a stop when we needed to.
"It was the most physical basketball game I have ever been a part of in college, high school, it was a very physical game."
Spencer Dinwiddie was bruised, battered and once again the best player on the floor. The sophomore point guard finished with 24 points, going 14-for-14 at the free throw line, for CU.
With two seconds left in regulation, Dinwiddie assisted on Xavier Johnson's game-tying slam dunk. With 8.3 seconds left on overtime, Dinwiddie delivered a clutch basket to give CU a one-point lead.
But Dinwiddie's heroics did not provide the knock-out punch as backup guard Evan Gordon delivered a crucial road victory for Arizona State with a layup at the buzzer.
"One point and one second. It could come down to one of so many plays. Both teams found it difficult to score. It seemed like the defense had the advantage for most of the game," Arizona State head coach Herb Sendek said. "Dinwiddie is such a special player though. My goodness, he is playing great. Not only does he make every shot, but the ball doesn't even graze the rim. It's incredible to watch. Not so fun if you're on the other team though."
This was CU's second punch-to-the-gut loss this season. The controversial overtime loss at Arizona, when the Buffs squandered a 17-point lead and had Sabatino Chen's game-winning 3-pointer taken away, led to a 1-4 start in the Pac-12.
"When we lost to Arizona, we lost three or four games back-to-back after that," Askia Booker said after scoring 17 points on 7-for-13 shooting against Arizona State. "We can't have that happen again. We have to be prepared for Utah and to beat them pretty bad."
CU got off the mat to beat No. 19 Oregon and Oregon State on the road and the conference-leading Wildcats at the Coors Events Center after the disappointing 58-55 defeat on Feb. 2 in Salt Lake City.
Utah visits Boulder on Thursday for CU's only game next week.
The Buffs (17-8, 7-6) will have to rally again after the Sun Devils (19-7, 8-5) escaped town with a one-game lead and the tiebreaker in the crowded race for a top-four seed and bye at the Pac-12 Tournament next month in Las Vegas.
"There is still a lot of basketball to be played and Colorado is not done," Boyle said.
Follow Ryan on Twitter: @RyanThorburn