Adam Butler This isn’t the first time we’ve taken this dance. Colorado is, in fact, Arizona’s most regular opponent over the last three seasons. These teams have squared off nine times since 2012. Arizona leads the series 6-3 including zero asterisks. Even if the Chen shot still chaps you, Aaron Gordon did this and blocked that to the tune of an average 2014 margin of victory somewhere in the range of comfortable. Or resounding. Nine times these two have squared off and its raised questions like “Is this a rivalry?” Or “Can the Buffs challenge Arizona for tops in Pac-12?” Spencer once said the Buffs were the cream of the Pac-12 crop and Xavier called the number one team in the nation “not that good” after losing to them. So nine times we’ve had the chance to see if any of this could manifest on the court. Yet before any of these games was ever played, prior to christening ourselves as intra-conference foes, Arizona was called out as the team. This became the Red Letter Game. It began our relationship – yours and mine – a union I’ve appreciated and cherished. I’ve got to know you and your passion for Askia Booker. You know how you sometimes feel about your family members? I’ve nearly killed my brother. No one besides Mustafa Shakur has frustrated me more. But he’s the first person I’d kill for. The pages of All Buffs are scattered with criticisms of Booker. But the first people to flare up the Twittershpere in his defense are you. Two-thirds of the time Arizona might have proven the better team – heck there was one where they just proved to be the more fortunate – but every time the Buffs have showed up. Black and gold. I don’t know if you need me to say but that doesn’t go unnoticed. With declining attendance and a less than stellar Pac-12 product, Buffs show up. It doesn’t go unnoticed. I was recently asked onto the airwaves with Ryan Koenigsberg and Adam Munsterteiger (good show, btw). They asked about my particular affinity and familiarity with this Buffs program. It’d be easy to cite the play of Spencer Dinwiddie and getting to watch Andre Roberson absorb rebounds. The development of Josh Scott has been a joy to intake and anyone who breaks Kansas hearts is a friend of mine. I still can’t shake the height Carlon Brown achieved in blocking a Jorge Gutierrez fast break. I’m fascinated by the building of a program and Tad’s work is no exception. As an Arizona fan, with Sean Miller taking the reins just a year ahead of Boyle, I’ve appreciated their parallel growth. But as we head into this tenth iteration of the Red Letter game, what I told Ryan and Adam about my Buffalo familiarity, was that it’s been you. Through all of this we’ve managed to create an ‘us’ and that’s as meaningful to me as any basketball win. I don’t write or opine to flex my web publishing guns. That’s just a couple of clicks. There are far bigger things than a scoreboard at hand. But that scoreboard is always significant. It’s a means to tune in; to banter and howl; to connect. Nine times we’ve taken this dance and I’ve enjoyed every one of them (except for probably the 2012 Pac-12 championship game which kept my Wildcats out of just the second NCAA tournament of my lifetime while simultaneously making me doubt what I once thought was championship caliber basketball – that game was heinous). So to this, our tenth interaction as conference foes, I wish the Buffaloes the best of luck. Maybe we’re supposed to hate each-other and for two-hours on Thursday we will. Nevertheless, a healthy recovery to Xavier Johnson and may the hands of a Boulder shaman heal the back of Jelly. Good luck and Bear Down.