When looking forward to their Oct. 26 matchup against Division I Brigham Young University (BYU), the Tigers Basketball team can’t help but look back almost three years to Nov. 17, 2010, when they defeated the Air Force Falcons.
The 60-57 upset over the Division I Air Force Falcons took overtime to complete, but nonetheless sent waves throughout the sports world. In their upcoming exhibition match against BYU, the Tigers find themselves in the same position they were three seasons ago—heavy underdogs.
Unlike last time, current players on the team have been in this situation before and have experienced what it took to defeat a higher-ranked team. Senior Ryan Milne talked about what it took to be prepared for a team with Air Force’s recruiting talent.
“It was crazy; we’d been preparing for them for about three weeks to a month. Every single day it’s all we focused on, and we were coming in with some seniors that had won awards in the past and one All-American… and our mindset was just, screw it. It’s Air Force, we have nothing to lose,” Milne said.
Milne added that game and the preparation for Air Force would come into play in their game against BYU. The attitude that they took in and played with will be something that the Tigers Basketball team will look to recreate.
Milne went on to say that, “Air Force got paid to go play Colorado College, so it was like all the pressure was on them. We just came in and we just played.”
In the upset against Air Force, it was a battle until the last second. Their matchup against BYU will give Milne and the team the same, if not more of a challenge. With their last matchup against Air Force, it took until halftime for Milne to realize that “it was 28-28 and [Air Force] fans were cheering because Air Force had just scored to tie it up, and I remember thinking, if they’re just cheering because [Air Force] tied it up, then we have a pretty good chance.”
The Tigers have more to prove than just being an upset. Their season ended last year on a sour note with a loss to Trinity University in the Conference Championship.
Milne says that loss left the team “pretty bitter; we’re definitely still feeling it. Watching them celebrate on the court while we’re walking back to the locker room is a feeling that you’re not going to forget.”
If anything, coming so close to a complete season has left the veterans on the team even hungrier this season. Milnes says the main strength of the team is their “leadership and depth. We’ve got incoming freshman that should do some damage and some underclassmen that have a full year under their belt and are ready to go.”
The bar has been set high by the team with Milne’s saying that this season there is only one goal in mind, the Conference Championship. “That’s it,” he adds. “We’re just taking it game by game, but when that game comes, we’ll be ready.”
There are always areas of improvement that the team can focus on in a hopeful upset of BYU, but even though the game is set to be a warm-up for BYU, it is no less a warm-up for Colorado College
This season the CC Tiger Basketball team sets out to finish the season the same way they want to start it—with a win.