SALT LAKE CITY -- There is now an unsightly red blot on the Buffs' resume.
Colorado, which had the look of an NCAA Tournament team after a 6-0 start to the season, fell to 14-7 overall and 4-5 in the Pac-12 with Saturday's 58-55 loss to Utah at the Huntsman Center.
Reality is starting to bite this inconsistent young team, even though CU was ranked 21st last week in the cyber world of the NCAA's official RPI.
"When you look at our schedule it's one of the top 10 in the country. I think the RPI reflects that," Tad Boyle said on the Pac-12 coaches teleconference with the media last Tuesday when asked about the benefits of going 10-2 against a challenging non-conference slate. "The biggest thing is you don't have any bad losses on there and you have some good wins against quality opponents."
CU has six wins against teams that were ranked in the RPI top 100 entering the week: Colorado State (23), Baylor (34), Air Force (71), Stanford (75), Cal (80) and Murray State (96).
The Buffs' previous six losses -- to Kansas (2), Arizona (4), UCLA (32), Wyoming (55), Arizona State (58) and Washington (74) -- were against teams that entered the week safely inside the top 100.
Utah is a different story. The Utes were 0-4 at home in conference play and had an RPI of 180 before snapping the CU's modest three-game winning streak.
The Buffs play at No. 10 Oregon on Thursday in Eugene. The Ducks (18-4, 7-2) are not going to be ranked nearly that high and will also be in a foul mood after getting swept at Stanford and Cal.
"It's wide open, but if we keep putting ourselves in this position we're going to be out of it," CU junior forward Andre Roberson said of the Pac-12 regular-season race. "We'll be in the NIT once again, and I don't think that's what anybody on this team wants."
Roberson finished with 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds against Utah.
Spencer Dinwiddie posted a game-high 18 points on 5-for-10 shooting and helped spark a second-half rally by the Buffs from 22 points down.
The rest of the team scored 27 points and were a combined 11-for-34 from the field.
Utah, despite missing leading scorer and rebounder Jordan Loveridge with a knee injury, shot 45.8 percent from the field with a 22-8 edge in bench points.
"You can't just expect to beat people," Dinwiddie said. "We're good enough to do something amazing like cut a (22-point) deficit in a matter of 11 minutes, but it doesn't mean anything if you don't win.
"We need to understand that you have to turn those type of 12-minute spurts into a 40-minute contest. If we do that, we're pretty good."
Boyle knew this roster with only one senior would experience some ups and downs offensively.
CU's inconsistent effort on the defensive end -- the Utes led 49-27 before the visitors dug in and held them without a field goal over the final 10 minutes, 44 seconds -- had the head coach scratching his head on the way to the bus.
"I'm proud of their fight and I'm proud of the last eight minutes of the game," Boyle said after the Buffs finished the game on an 28-9 run. "There's not a lot I would have done differently. Everybody showed a lot of grit, a lot of toughness.
"My question is: Where was that in the first 32 minutes? As a head coach, I've got to take responsibility for that."
Dinwiddie blamed himself for missing a couple of late free throws, turning the ball over with a chance to take the lead inside of 10 seconds and then missing a long 3-pointer at the buzzer.
But the balance the team had in wins over Washington State, Stanford and Cal disappeared somewhere over the Wasatch Range.
Askia Booker, who played sick, was 3-for-14 from the field. Josh Scott continued to draw crowds in the paint and was 2-for-7 shooting.
Xavier Johnson helped Roberson on the glass with 10 rebounds. The other seven players who saw action combined for 12 boards.
The Buffs need to update that resume with a strong showing on the Oregon Trail this week.
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