LAS VEGAS -- Colorado coach Tad Boyle will coach through pain for the foreseeable future.
After his team tossed an ill-advised alley-oop in what should have been the closing seconds of its 97-85 win over Arizona State in the Pac-12 tournament, Boyle rushed on the court to prevent a fight after ASU players took issue with the unnecessary dunk. The play happened right in front of Colorado's bench, and Boyle came up limping almost immediately.
Boyle confirmed to ESPN's Jeff Goodman late Wednesday night that he tore his calf muscle.
"I won't know the severity until I get back to Boulder and get it checked out," said Boyle, who was in a walking boot after the game. "Definitely tore it, just don't know how bad."
Earlier he had said the injury "felt like somebody hit me with a golf ball or shotgun there as I ran out. So I don't know what happened. But it doesn't feel too good.
"But the win makes it feel a lot better."
"I take full responsibility for that," Boyle said. "It's not something -- we certainly weren't trying to rub it in their face. We haven't gone over that situation a lot, and that's my fault as a head coach. But we'd never want to take a turnover, but we don't want to maybe throw an alley-oop lob and make somebody feel like we're showboating."
Either way, it was a frustrating loss for Arizona State, which entered the game on the NCAA tournament bubble and probably needed a win or two to feel better about its at-large chances. Coming into the day, ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi had ASU as one of the "last four in" and predicted it would not make the tournament field with a loss to Colorado.
ASU coach Bobby Hurley, as would be expected, disagreed with the assessment.
"I felt like we were in the tournament coming into this game regardless of the outcome," he said. "Just, again, we were the last undefeated team in college basketball. We went and played high-level opponents on the road and on neutrals. We beat two regular-season conference champions and most likely No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament [Kansas and Xavier]. And we did it pretty handily in those games."
The Sun Devils (20-11), however, didn't do themselves any favors with how they performed in conference play. They finished tied for eighth in the Pac-12 (8-10) and have lost five of their past six games.
"There is going to be debate about that, and with good reason, because we didn't finish the season the way I'd hoped," Hurley said. "But, again, we lost some close ones, some games that could have gone either way."