Two Overtimes Needed for CU Buffs to defeat Texas Southern

It has been two years since I had photographed college basketball. I had been used to the Great Alaska Shootout which I shot from 2004 to 2010, taking 2011 off. Now that I am in Colorado, I am able to go to the CU Buffaloes games, and last night, the 19th ranked Buffs were hosting the Tigers from Texas Southern.

November 27, 2012: A super CU fan gets ready for action to start in the NCAA Basketball game between the Texas Southern Tigers and the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Event Center in Boulder Colorado (Carl Auer)

I had not been to the Coors Event Center on the Colorado campus yet, so I headed out about an hour and a half before the game.  Thanks to my GPS, I got right to it, and found a parking lot.  Man, what a pain to get in.  I first walk the two blocks to the stairs leading up to the box office.  I did not see anything that said media, so I walked over to the box office and asked where the media entrance was.  I was told back down the stairs and around where the loading dock was.  So, I hike back down the stairs to the loading dock and ask the stadium person down there where the media entrance was and he said the NorthWest gate.  Back up the stairs and on the opposite side of the stadium from the box office.  I was wiped out already.  So I finally find the media entrance and they point me over to an elevator and when I finally get to the media room it is right by the loading dock.  How stupid.

November 27, 2012: Colorado Buffaloes junior forward André Roberson (21) throws a two handed dunk down early in the first half of the NCAA Basketball game between the Texas Southern Tigers and the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Event Center in Boulder Colorado (Carl Auer)

I get into the media room, and find that it is the same room that the post game interviews will be in.  So, I find a location to set up in, and I get my computer running, and start pulling out my cameras.  To make a decision on what lenses to use on what bodies, I walk out to the court with my light meter (I had lost the light meter almost a month ago.  I thought I had left it at NAAC after a football game or at the last Rapids game, but it was under the seat of my car!) to take some readings of the lighting on the court.

November 27, 2012: Chip the Buffalo pumps the crowd up during the NCAA Basketball game between the Texas Southern Tigers and the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Event Center in Boulder Colorado (Carl Auer)

To my dismay, it was dark on the court.  To the naked eye, it looked great, but the light meter does not lie.  Settings for my 7D were going to be a dismal ISO 2000 just to get a shutter speed of 800 at F2.8.  So, I decided my 70-200 2.8 would go on that body.  I put my 85 1.8 on my 1D Mk II so I could shoot at an ISO between 800 and 1000.  I was so hoping with the game going to be on the Pac-12 Network that the lighting would be better in the venue.  But I was not the only one that realized something was wrong here.  Two other photographers were talking about how the lights seemed dimmer than the previous game.  The lights were metal-halide, which absolutely suck.  Around every 1/30 of a second these lights cycle in color from red to blueish to green.  To the naked eye, they seem fine, but when you are shooting photos at shutter speeds of 1/500th to 1/1000th of a second, you can get one photo with a blue tint and the very next photo could have a red or a green tint.  Or even worse, you can get a photo that is tinted blue on half and red on half.  The only way to get around this is to strobe.  But, putting up strobes in a college arena, you have to show up about 2 hours prior to anyone being on the court and you can not take them down until almost an hour after the game is over.  Not fun.  One photographer was shooting with strobes.  I believe he had 6 hung up in the rafters.

November 27, 2012: Colorado Buffaloes sophomore guard Askia Booker (0) pulls up for a shot over Texas Southern Tigers senior center Kyrie Sutton (12) in the NCAA Basketball game between the Texas Southern Tigers and the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Event Center in Boulder Colorado (Carl Auer)

I was really excited because I was going to shoot Pac-12 basketball, and not only that, a top 25 team with the Buffs ranked at #19.  But boy, the first half, Texas Southern looked like the top ranked team (they came in ranked at about #400).  They were manhandling the Buffs.  The Tigers outscored the Buffaloes 39 to 29 in the first half, and if it wasn’t for a last second 3 pointer by the Buffs, it would have been a 13 point lead, but luckily, the Buffs only went into the locker room at half trailing by 10.

November 27, 2012: The CU Buffs student section is lead by the Super Buffs during the NCAA Basketball game between the Texas Southern Tigers and the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Event Center in Boulder Colorado (Carl Auer)

I headed into the media room at half to download, edit, caption, and transmit photos from the first half.  I was able to do this quickly, and headed back out to the court for the second half.

November 27, 2012: Texas Southern Tigers senior center Kyrie Sutton (12) blocks the shot attempt by Colorado Buffaloes sophomore guard Askia Booker (0) in the NCAA Basketball game between the Texas Southern Tigers and the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Event Center in Boulder Colorado (Carl Auer)

When the second half started, it looked like the Buffs were a different team all together.  They were able to hold the offense of Texas Southern at bay, and out score them by 10 in the 2nd half.  But, that meant we were going to go to overtime.  Ok, so, an overtime game for my first hoops game with a National Ranked team for the 2012/13 season.  I can handle that.

November 27, 2012: Texas Southern Tigers senior forward Fred Sturdivant (4) attempts a monster dunk over Colorado Buffaloes freshman forward Josh Scott (40) in the NCAA Basketball game between the Texas Southern Tigers and the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Event Center in Boulder Colorado (Carl Auer)

November 27, 2012: During a time out a cheerleader helps lead the Colorado crowd in a cheer during the NCAA Basketball game between the Texas Southern Tigers and the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Event Center in Boulder Colorado (Carl Auer)

So, we tip off the first overtime and the game goes back and forth until we end up knotted up at the end of the extra time.  So, double overtime.  By this time, I was getting tired.  I was starting to think of the photo editing I needed to do after the game was over, and the drive home to Arvada from Boulder.

November 27, 2012: Colorado Buffaloes freshman forward Josh Scott (40) slides baseline for a shot in the NCAA Basketball game between the Texas Southern Tigers and the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Event Center in Boulder Colorado (Carl Auer)

The second overtime started, and finally, the Buffs started to pick it up, out scoring the Tigers by 5 to take a 85-80 win.  As soon as the final buzzer sounded, I headed back to the media room to edit and transmit the second half photos.  About 10 minutes into editing, a couple Buffs players came in for the post game interviews, and then when they were done the coach came in.  Being the caregiver for my mom, and it being so much later due to the two overtime periods, of course, right in the middle of the coaches interview, my phone range as she was calling because I was about an hour late.

November 27, 2012: Colorado Buffaloes senior guard Sabatino Chen (23) heads to the hoop for a layup in the NCAA Basketball game between the Texas Southern Tigers and the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Event Center in Boulder Colorado (Carl Auer)

I finally got everything edited, transmitted, and my gear packed up and headed to my car, through the loading dock, cutting my walk to the car in half.  But I was spent.  And I had more work to do when I got home.  While I downloaded and transmitted photos, that was 30-40 out of 1100 taken.  I still had the rest of the photos to download and put into my library.

November 27, 2012: After 2 overtimes Colorado Buffaloes sophomore guard Askia Booker (0) is physically exhausted in the NCAA Basketball game between the Texas Southern Tigers and the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Event Center in Boulder Colorado (Carl Auer)

On another note, during the game, I thought I recognized one of the officials.  And, sure enough, after an email today to a NCAA official friend of mine in Alaska, I found out that I did recognize the official.  He was out of California, and I had seen him and talked to him at the Great Alaska Shootout a couple years ago.  Small world…

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