The close confines of the Coors Events Center forced Xavier to hear far too much of Colorado's victory celebration than the Musketeers preferred.

One year later, against a vastly different CU team, it was Xavier that did all the celebrating.

Like this year, Xavier was ranked 13th when it took on the Buffaloes in Boulder a year ago. Though it ultimately proved to be a disappointing season for the Buffs, one of the highlights was a two-point win against the Musketeers on Dec. 7. The echoes of the Buffs' victory celebration has rattled through the minds of Xavier's players for 367 days until Saturday's 96-69 victory against CU.

"I didn't necessarily have to talk it up a whole lot. We were in the locker room, and their locker room is 15 feet from ours last year," Xavier coach Chris Mack said. "We could hear them and they were excited, just like our guys were excited today.

"They changed a lot. They lost a lot of talented seniors. A kid to the NBA draft in Derrick White. Their program lost a lot of personnel but their identity, being an offensive rebounding team and playing together, hasn't changed. They're just younger. I think we got them at a good time of the year to play a young team."

Opportunity lost

The Buffaloes had an opportunity to rally Saturday after cutting Xavier's lead to 13 points with 11 minutes, 2 seconds remaining. However, following a Xavier timeout, the Musketeers scored the next eight points in a 20-4 run that squashed CU's comeback bid.


"You've got to get stops," CU coach Tad Boyle said. "The only way you get that 13 down to nine and then down to seven is you have to get stops. We come out of that timeout they scored, we turned it over, they came down and scored, and we come down and don't get a bucket. It went to 19 like that."


"I think McKinley Wright is one of the top freshman point guards in the country."

— -Xavier coach Chris Mack, after Wright collected 16 points, five assists, and four rebounds against the Musketeers.


Namon Wright became the first CU player to record six steals in a game since Spencer Dinwiddie against Jackson State on Nov. 16, 2013...Xavier has won 37 consecutive nonconference home games...After going 4-for-22 on 3-pointers through the season's first seven games, senior guard Dom Collier has gone 4-for-7 in the past two...Still less than 100 percent due to an ankle injury, sophomore forward Lucas Siewert was held scoreless for the second time in three games.

Pat Rooney: or