Colorado Buffaloes men’s basketball knocks off No. 11 Tennessee

Nashville, Tenn – The same names were on the back of the Colorado shirts. But this was a much different squad than the one who started their five-game road trip two nights ago.

And it wasn’t just about the Colorado men’s basketball line-up. Head coach Tad Boyle chose to send a message after Friday’s ugly loss at the Grambling State by juggling his starting lineup. It wasn’t a unique tactic, but Boyle decided to turn to four bench players who had never started before at the Buffaloes to set the tone in hostile territory against 11th seed Tennessee.

The trick worked to perfection.

Less than 48 hours after an ugly loss at Grambling State, CU pulled off a stunning performance Sunday afternoon on non-neutral ground, upsetting No. 11 Tennessee 78-66 in front of a pro-volunteer crowd at Bridgestone Arena.

He was the highest-rated opponent the Buffs had defeated on neutral ground since he upset sixth-ranked Missouri at the Big Eight in 1990.

“I felt like we should send a message to the players who start the game, that they have a responsibility to bring the energy and get ready to go,” Boyle said. “Because we have quality depth in this team. It was also a message to those guys on the bench that you better be ready. And I thought those guys who really started the game, in the (first) media lead time were there.

“We have a 10-man rotation at the moment, and 10 men is difficult to play. But I thought it was a message I sent to both the players who started the game and the players on the bench that we are all equally important and we have to be ready to go every time we step in. Down to earth. Really proud of the way they responded.”

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It was a thrilling win that wiped out much of the bad taste left behind by Grambling, but it was hardly without its flaws.

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