What went right: Just about everything. This was as dominant as CU has been all season. They started strong and finished stronger. They out-rebounded Washington 44-30. They held the Huskies to 32.3 percent shooting and shot 55.4 percent themselves.
What went wrong: CU had a brief lapse after taking a 17-point lead in the first half, letting Washington pull within seven at one point.
Star of the game: Xavier Johnson. The sophomore had a career-high 27 points, while also pulling down 10 rebounds. It was his fifth career double-double.
What's next?: The Buffs visit UCLA on Thursday in Los Angeles.
Following a blowout loss at Arizona State on Jan. 25, the entire Colorado basketball program had a week to step back, take a deep breath and regroup.
Nobody took advantage of that opportunity like Xavier Johnson.
Johnson completed a sensational homestand on Sunday by scoring a career-high 27 points, pulling down 10 rebounds and stepping up on defense to lead the Buffaloes to a 91-65 rout of Washington at Coors Events Center.
"I felt like was his, if not his best game as a Buff, it's right up there," CU head coach Tad Boyle said. "He just was terrific in every way."
CU (18-6, 7-4 Pac-12) has won three games in a row since that 21-point loss at ASU. Washington (13-11, 5-6) dropped its sixth consecutive road game.
In addition to Johnson, Josh Scott had 21 points and Askia Booker had 20, giving the Buffs three 20-point scorers in the same game for the first time since Feb. 3, 2007, against Oklahoma State. Kal Bay, Dominique Coleman and Richard Roby combined for 61 points that day.
CU improved to 4-3 since losing star point guard Spencer Dinwiddie to a season-ending knee injury on Jan. 12 at Washington.
For Johnson, the turnaround came two weeks ago. He didn't play well in the initial games without Dinwiddie. He began to show a spark during that two-game trip in Arizona. But, the days after that loss at ASU were potentially season-changing days for him.
"Coach really brought us back to our principles (that week)," Johnson said. "He ingrained that into my mind.
"The biggest thing he's been working on with me is my mental focus the entire time I've been here. I'm just trying to focus mentally and do the little things. Those are the things that count."
Boyle said he challenged the 6-foot-7 sophomore forward that week.
"He was in my office and we had one-on-one meetings," Boyle said. "He was watching film with assistant coaches. The thing I like about Xavier, he's pretty self aware. He knows when he's not doing what he should be doing and he doesn't make excuses for it.
"He's gone out and he's changed, and that's what you have to do as player. When your coach, your teammates challenge you, you have to accept that challenge, and he's done a great job of that."
Johnson had 11 points and 10 rebounds the next game, a 79-75 overtime win against Utah on Feb. 1. Then, on Wednesday, he had 20 points and nine rebounds.
Sunday, he was even better. He went 10-for-14 from the floor, including 3-for-3 from 3-point range. He even banked in a 3-pointer late in the game, a sure sign that this was his day.
In addition to his 27 points and 10 rebounds, he spent part of the game - including the opening minutes - guarding Washington star C.J. Wilcox. Johnson and freshman Jaron Hopkins combined to hold Wilcox, the Pac-12's second-leading scorer, to a season-low eight points.
"If he plays like this, I think we can beat anybody," Booker said of Johnson. "He defended his butt off tonight. When he takes on a challenge on the defensive end and he can score on the offensive end, he's one of the better players in the country. Period."
He didn't play like it in the first few games without Dinwiddie, but there's no question he has picked up his game of late.
"Those (first two games without Dinwiddie), I just felt like I didn't do what I needed to as a leader," he said. "I'm trying to really lead the team and do everything possible. I'm a capable player and my teammates know that, so they gave me opportunities to do that.
"I'm trying to do the best I can, because I don't want to lose anymore and I don't want the doubters to think we're out because Spencer is out. We're still here, we're still fighting and we can win."
Booker and Scott have been fairly consistent over the past month. With Johnson now elevating his game, the Buffs were simply dominant Sunday.
Johnson had two dunks in CU's game-opening 10-0 run. The Buffs had leads of 20-4 and 26-9 in the first half. The lead stretched to 30 points - CU's biggest advantage of the season - at one point in the second half.
"Colorado, wow," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said.
A lot of teams could be saying that if CU keeps getting the kind of effort it has been getting from Johnson lately.
"Hopefully he doesn't get too cocky or too high on himself and he brings it next week, because we will need him no matter what," Booker said.