Colorado coach Joe Harrington spoke with almost religious fervor.
Like a preacher leading a wayward flock, Harrington has the Buffaloes one game from the promised land - the final four of the National Invitation Tournament.It's Colorado's first postseason play in 22 years. When we said wayward, we meant wayward.
"Our players have never been in a situation like this before, but we're on a mission and we still have a game to go before the final four of the NIT. There's no time to crow and beat your wings" Harrington said after the 83-75 victory over Wyoming before a record crowd of 11,291 in the CU events center.
Colorado will get home court advantage in its third-round game against Arkansas State Thursday.
Stevie Wise scored 21 points, including three key free throws in the final minute, to pace Colorado's victory.
Colorado (17-13), which lost to Wyoming at Laramie in December, led by 14 points in the first half and was in front 45-37 at halftime. But the Cowboys closed within 72-68 on a 3-pointer by Paris Bryant with 3:10 remaining.
Reginald Slater had 24 points for Wyoming (20-12). Bryant added 19, Maurice Alexander 13 and Tim Breaux 10.
Both teams lost a key player by halftime.
CU's Billy Law went down with stomamch cramps. Wyoming lost center Reggie Page with a sprained ankle at intermission.
Arkansas State 58, Memphis State 57
Most teams would rather play an NIT game at home. But for Arkansas State, a trip to the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis was the next-best thing.
"They ought to make this their home court with the close games they've won over here," Memphis State coach Larry Finch said after the Tigers' 58-57 loss to Arkansas State.
It's the fourth consecutive time in which Arkansas State (23-8) and Memphis State (17-15) have played a one-point game. Arkansas State has won three times in Memphis.
Bobby Gross connected on a 3-pointer to put Arkansas State ahead to stay, then hit the clinching free throw with 11 seconds left.
Providence 85, W. Virginia 79
At Providence, R.I., West Virginia controlled star guard Eric Murdock but Marvin Saddler picked up the slack for Providence with 21 points on 9-for-11 shooting as the Friars advanced to the third round.
Murdock, who's been undergoing treatment for a sore back, managed only 12 points for Providence (19-12). Instead, Saddler shot the Mountaineers out of the tournament.
Stanford 80, Wisconsin 72
At Madison, Wis., Adam Keefe scored 33 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as Stanford dominated Wisconsin.
Keefe, a 6-foot-9 junior, matched his season average with 21 first-half points as Stanford (17-13) raced to an early 21-5 lead and led 39-30 at halftime. The Cardinal started the second half with an 8-0 run and the Badgers (15-15) never got closer than the final score.
Oklahoma 89, Cincinnati 81, OT
The Sooners (18-14) rallied from an eight-point deficit with 1:27 left in regulation behind the shooting of Terry Evans, then blew away Cincinnati (18-12) in the overtime. Evans, who had just two points until the Sooners trailed 75-67, had two 3-pointers and three free throws to make it 77-76. After Cincinnati's Alan Jackson hit one free throw but missed the second, Kermit Holmes sent the game into overtime with a tip-in.
S. Illinois 72, SW Missouri St. 69
At Springfield, Mo., Sterling Mahan scored 15 points and Rick Shipley scored 13 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as Southern Illinois beat Southwest Missouri.