If You Build It By Michael Krumholtz From growing up in Dayton, Ohio I can still remember how one winter spectacle could always tie my community into a red and blue knot of solidarity. The Flyers games dressed UD Arena, which remains vibrant among a grid of cracking concrete, as one of the final vestiges for celebration in a decaying city. How a town nearly torn down by depression could keep its lights on for a team basketball isn’t so much B-movie inspiring as it is optimistic and economically viable in the way an image of Santa Clause is. These games can produce easy smiles and money. Though Boulder is far removed from the Rust Belt, the town has seen its share of athletic droughts. As the university nears the merciful end of a historically low football season, there is good reason for this community to unite along the baselines for a young and energetic basketball team. Fans turn their heads from Folsom Field towards a brightening Coors Events Center, where crowds are gathering and the noise grows like it does in the moments leading up to a hyped parade. A 67-57 first-round victory over the Flyers in the Charleston Classic gives the Baby Buffs their second win and makes talk around town grow a little louder. This time around proved a little more nerve-wracking than last week’s well-attended home blowout of Wofford. (This also marks the 50[SUP]th[/SUP] win for Tad Boyle at Colorado, making him the fastest to reach that mark in school history.) After scoring 23 points in the first half, CU trailed Dayton until Spencer Dinwiddie hit a 3-pointer with 12 minutes remaining. The Buffs would hold that lead until the end, as their offense picked up and the defense remained stoic. The Dayton contingent far outnumbered the CU fans, as pictures from the unsleeping Twitter so eagerly alerted us. But the few black- and gold-adorning faithful were out heard at game’s end. By then the Buffs bigs had worn down Dayton’s front-line, one that lost its starting center to suspension before the season. André Roberson brought down 14 rebounds - a career high. Xavier Johnson tallied 15 points - a game high. And fellow freshman Josh Scott finished with a balanced 13 points and five rebounds. Even though they flashed their bare youth early, they responded to their first hit of adversity with a clean right-hook. At times they looked slow and unbalanced. And at others they looked like they belong atop the conversation of the Pac-12’s best (see: Roberson’s alley-oop finish). Again the defense was stout, but allowed Dayton 13 offensive rebounds and open outside shots early in the ball game. They recovered in the second half, forcing the Flyers to convert only one of their ten 3-point tries. No one played better defensively than Roberson, who finished with four steals and two blocks and got all of his rebounds off Dayton misses – effectively denying the second chance points on which the Flyers feasted early. But six turnovers and five missed free throws also marred Roberson’s play. So it was a game filled with encouraging highlights as well as the frustrating mistakes that can wear away man’s dentition with grind. And so it was actually a game – where it’s not certain one team will lose. A starved faithful replaces its moans with cheers. After fall’s historical depression, a moneymaking sport has come back to CU campus. Now we may gather again.