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By: CUBuffs.com
Junior guard Levi Knutson
MBB Travels to Top-Ranked Team in the Nation
Release: February 19, 2010
By: Andrew Green, Assistant SID
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 at 1/1 Kansas Jayhawks (25-1, 11-0 Big 12)

• Date: Saturday, Feb. 20  • Tipoff:  2 p.m. (MST)

• Television: Big 12 Network (Altitude Sports & Entertainment)

• Announcers: Mitch Holthus (p-b-p), Jon Sundvold (analyst), Paul Splittorff (analyst). ESPN Full Court, ESPN360.com

• Location: Allen Fieldhouse (16,300)

• CU Radio: KKZN 760-AM: Mark Johnson (p-b-p), Charles Johnson (analyst); Sirius Channel 125

• Series vs. KU: Kansas leads 118-39 and has won 14 straight. KU leads 59-7 in Lawrence and 50-5 in Allen Fieldhouse, and has won 26 straight in the facility. CU last won at Allen, Feb. 10, 1983. CU is 0-6 against KU when the Jayhawks are the No. 1 ranked team (0-13 overall).

QUICKLY: Alec Burks has become only the fourth CU freshman ever to score 400 points in his freshman season (404). Burks fourth behind Richard Roby (2004-05, 480); Chauncey Billups (1995-96, 465); Donnie Boyce (1991-92, 417) • Marcus Relphorde tallied his second double-double this season (13 pts., 10 rebs. - all defensive, a season-high) in the home win over Oklahoma • Burks ranks fifth nationally among all freshmen in points per game (16.8 ppg.) and fifth in FG percentage (.528) • CU is 8-0 when four of the five starters net double-digits and 9-3 when shooting over 50 percent from the field • CU's 12 wins this season are the most in four years (also won 12 in 2007-08) • Today is the first time since 1996-97 CU will play the same top-ranked school twice in a season • CU has played a pair of overtime games this season, falling both times to Arizona (Maui) and Kansas (Boulder).

Big 12-only games: Cory Higgins ranks first in steals (2.4); Alec Burks is third in FG% (.500); Nate Tomlinson fifth in assists (4.3). Higgins (17.7 ppg.) and Burks (17.6 ppg.) are the only two from the same school ranked in the scoring top-10. 

SEASON/CAREER: Cory Higgins has connected on 42-of-48 (.875) free throws over his last eight contests • In his last five games, Higgins is averaging 17.8 ppg., 4.6 rpg. and a team-best 12 steals • Marcus Relphorde is grabbing 7.5 rebounds in his last five games • Higgins is seventh all-time at CU with 360 career made free throws (445 attempts) and his career .809 FT%, ranking sixth all-time at CU • Burks and Higgins have led or shared scoring team honors 21 of 25 games. Marcus Relphorde (three times), Dwight Thorne (once) are the others.

NCAA LEADERS (at the start of the week): CU enters today's game as the nation's fifth ranked team in FT% (76.1); 30th in steals per game (8.5); 47th in turnover margin (2.7); 49th FG% (46.4); 61st in three-point FG% (37.2). Overall, CU ranks in five categories among the top-61.

INDIVIDUALS IN THE NCAA: At the beginning of the week, Cory Higgins is CU's highest ranked player among the country stats leaders. Higgins is 48th in steals per game (2.0); 63rd in points per game (18.1); and 64th in FT% (83.9). Alec Burks is No. 53rd in FG% (.520).

HOME vs. ROAD: CU is 11-3 at home and shoots .496 from the field and averages 77.8 ppg. (allows 67.8). Three players are stellar at home (Cory Higgins: 19.4 ppg., 4.1 rpg., .538FG%; Alec Burks: 17.1 ppg., 4.6 rpg., .512 FG%; Marcus Relphorde: 12.0 ppg., 4.9 rpg., .484 FG%. On the road, CU is 1-8 and averages 67.1 ppg. (allows (76.1) and shoots .421 FG%. Only two players average double figures (Burks: 16.9 ppg., 4.9 rpg., .542 FG%; Higgins: 15.0 ppg., 3.2 rpg., .386 FG%).

NEAR MISSES: CU has lost 27 single-digit games under coach Bzdelik, 18 of those in the Big 12.  The 27 losses are an average of 4.6 points.

   2009-10: 7 games (three non-conference, four Big 12): 30 points, 4.3 ppg.).

  2008-09: 11 games (three non-conference, eight Big 12 games): 50 points (4.5 ppg.).

    2007-08: 9 games (three non-conference, six Big 12 games): 43 total points (4.8 ppg.).

BUFF TIDBITS: Cory Higgins and Alec Burks are separated by 49 points, the closest 1-2 scoring punch a CU team has had since 2003-04 [David Harrison (497, 17.1 ppg) and Michel Morandais (467, 16.1 ppg.)] • CU is 11-3 at home • CU is 9-2 when shooting 50 percent or better from the field, shot 50 percent against Oklahoma breaking a string of seven straight games not at least 50 percent • CU had a season-low four turnovers at Iowa State, the lowest in 28 years. On the season, CU has committed single-digits miscues six times •  Four times CU has placed only two players in double figures - all losses • 11th time CU has started Burks, Higgins, Tomlinson, Relphorde, Dufault. CU is 6-5 in those games.

TEAM NOTES: The Buffs are shooting 76.3 percent (455-of-596) overall from the free throw line, a mark that is first in the league. Colorado has never led the Big 12 in the category. CU's has lost four games by 17+ points this season (at Kansas State, Missouri, at Texas, at Tulsa •  CU has been out-rebounded in the last 15 games, however grabbed a season-high 41 against Kansas  and tied Oklahoma at 33-33 • CU has shot 50 percent or better in the second half 12 times (8-4 in those games). They made 61.5 percent against Baylor (Texas Southern .636 was the highest) • CU is 8-0 when four of the five starters net double-digits and 9-3 when shooting over 50 percent from the field • CU has scored over 70 points in 16 of 25 games and are 11-5 in those games • Over the last 14 years, CU is performing a best in field goal percentage (.466), 3pt% (.374), FT% (.763) and a low in turnovers per game (12.8).

ON THE ROAD vs. RANKED FOES: CU has fallen on the road to ranked opponents 27-straight times. CU's last win on the road came at No. 20 Texas Tech, 80-78 (Jan. 11, 1997).  The Buffs have also lost 34-straight nationally ranked games away from Boulder, including 27 on the road and seven on neutral courts. Their last win over a top-10 opponent on the road: #5 at Missouri, 81-79 (ot), Jan. 15, 1973.

LAST TIME Versus the Nation's TOP-10: With the Buffs taking on nationally ranked Kansas on Saturday, here's a look a CU's record against the nation's elite in terms of opponents being ranked.  Here's a look at CU's upset wins over the top-10.

1.      #2 vs. Oklahoma State, 57-53, Feb.12, 1992

2.      #3 vs. Texas, 93-80, Feb. 4, 2003

        #3 vs. Kansas, 72-68, Jan. 20, 1953

        #3 vs. Kansas State, 65-57, Feb. 23, 1952

5.      #4 at Arizona State, 93-70, Dec. 16, 1963

        #4 vs. Iowa, 60-57, Dec. 12, 1955

        #4 vs. Washington, 81-60, Dec. 30, 1953

8.      #5 at Missouri, 81-79 (ot), Jan. 15, 1973

        #5 vs. New Mexico, 79-72, Dec. 16, 1968

        #5 vs. Iowa, 75-54, Mar. 21, 1955

11.    #6 vs. Kansas, 60-59, Jan. 22, 2003

       #6 vs. Missouri, 92-88, Mar. 9, 1990

13.    #7 vs. Kansas, Jan. 17, 1967, 62-59

       #7 vs. Kansas State, 81-80, Feb. 13, 1961

15.    #8 vs. Iowa State, 70-45, Jan. 18, 1997

                  #8 vs. Kansas, 79-71, Feb. 20, 1991

17.   #9 vs. Iowa State, 59-52, Feb. 11, 1957

Colorado defeated a top-5 ranked opponent at home: #2 Oklahoma State, 57-53, Feb. 12, 1992

Colorado defeated a ranked opponent on the road (recent):  #20, at Texas Tech, Jan. 11, 1997

Colorado faced a No. 1 ranked team: 13 times, latest Feb. 3, 2010, 72-66 (ot) to Kansas.

AFTER 11 BIG 12 GAMES: CU is 3-8 with wins over Baylor, Nebraska and Oklahoma and have placed three players in double-figures, averaging 71.0 points per game and shooting .442 percent from the field. However, on the negative, they are getting outrebounded by an average of 39.0 to 28.3 margin, and are being outscored by a mere 4.7 points.

MOVING ON UP: Alec Burks has started 24 games and netted over 10 or more points in 23 of 24 games (he misses one game due to an injury and only played two minutes of another when getting injured).  With 404 points for the season, Burks is fourth overall in points and seventh in steals of all CU freshmen.

Freshman Bests - Season (Most Points)

1)   Richard Roby, 2004-05         480

2)   Chauncey Billups, 1995-96   465

3)   Donnie Boyce, 1991-92        417

4)   Alec Burks, 2009-10            404

5)   Emmett Lewis, 1975-76        389

6)   David Harrison, 2001-02       375

7)   Matt Bullard, 1985-86           356      

8)    Randy Downs, 1982-83       322

9)    Xavier Silas, 2006-07          301

10)  Stephane Pelle, 1999-00      272

Freshman Bests - Season (Most Steals)

1)   Donnie Boyce, 1991-92        68

2)   Jose Winston, 1998-99         53

3)   Richard Roby, 2004-05         48

4)   Chauncey Billups, 1995-96   42

5)   Jay Humphries, 1980-81       41

6)   Cory Higgins, 2007-08          36

7)   Alec Burks, 2009-10            29

8)   Pete Hefty, 1992-93             27

9)   Michael Lee, 1984-85           26

10)   Stevie Wise, 1987-88          24

TOP CU FRESHMEN: If the season ended today, freshman guard Alec Burks would rank second among freshmen scorers in the school's history. Here's the top-five.

1.         Chauncey Billups           17.9      1995-96

2.         Alec Burks       16.8      2009-10

3.         Richard Roby    15.8      2004-05

4.         Emmett Lewis   15.0      1975-76

5.         Donnie Boyce   14.9      1991-92

THREE-YEAR REVIEW: Coach Bzdelik has 108 career collegiate wins • CU has scored 80 points in eight of 25 games this season (previously 80+ five games in his first two years) • CU has scored 70 or more points 16 of 25 games (11-5 this season) • team has shot 50 percent or better in 22 of 50 halves • have made 159 3-pointers, the most in three years after 25 games • team is shooting .466.

ONE STREAK DOWN: The Buffaloes ended a nine-game losing streak to nationally ranked opponents by beating No. 22/24 Baylor (Jan. 12), 78-71 in Boulder.

It's the first win against a ranked opponent dating back to the 2006-07 season when they defeated No. 12/14 Oklahoma State at home, 89-77 (Feb. 3, 2007).

STREAKS: CU has lost 34-straight Big 12 Conference road games since Feb. 5, 2006. Last Big 12 road win: Jan. 21, 2006 at Oklahoma State, 80-78 (ot). CU has also dropped 26-straight road games against Division I opponents. CU last won on the road over a D-I opponent Dec. 22, 2007 at Colorado State (73-70).

Colorado Buffaloes Men's Basketball
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