We have attended numerous home games of the CU men's basketball team and are always impressed with the pep band and amused by the C-Unit, aka OG 50, the student fan group. They have supported the Buffs through thin and thick, and their faithfulness was rewarded by CU - they paid for 50 students to attend the PAC 12 Championship Tournament in Los Angeles and the NCAA Championship Tournament in Albuquerque. The following is about a wrap-up hosted by CU on The Hill adjacent to campus. One of the most impressive tidbits is that the student group has a combined GPA of 3.9.
Men's basketball: Buffs celebrate C-Unit: Bohn, Boyle meet with loyal basketball fans
Everybody knows Mike Bohn's name.
And, more importantly, that he's the guy who came up with the bright idea to take the most loyal members of the C-Unit to Los Angeles for the Pac-12 Tournament last month.
Bohn will never forget this band of Buffs -- known inside the circle as the "OG 50" -- that led a dramatic atmospheric change at CU basketball games.
"I can see this group being named into the hall of fame some day," Bohn said of the C-Unit's original gang of 50 that gathered for a reunion/thank-you party sponsored by the athletic department. "Why not? They exemplify the type of intensity and interest that's going to be pivotal for us to try to repeat and compete in this Pac-12 Conference."
Tad Boyle showed up to mingle with the students who were there from the home opener against Fort Lewis last November to the NCAA Tournament victory over UNLV on March 15 in Albuquerque.
CU's wildly popular head coach posed for pictures, signed autographs, updated the C-Unit on what the 2012-13 team might look like, and mostly relived the Buffs' run to the conference tournament title that led to the program's first NCAA Tournament win in 15 years.
"I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart," Boyle said. "I know it started in the past, but this year it went to a new level. And we couldn't have done it without you."
Boyle asked all of the seniors to raise their hands.
"OK, you all need to go recruit," he said. "We need this thing to multiply."
Bohn promised the OG 50 a seat at any home game in the future. Of course, if they want to purchase season tickets after using their CU degrees to obtain jobs, that will work too.
According to research done by the Chronicle of Higher Education, CU had the greatest attendance gain over the last four years of any Division I basketball program (2009 to 2012).
After averaging 4,637 fans at the Coors Events Center during the 2008-09 season, CU averaged 7,804 fans last season (a 68 percent increase). St. John's was a distant second on the list with a 45 percent increase over the time frame.
The athletic department saw a 26 percent increase in season ticket sales last season and expects the trend to continue.
"I wouldn't anticipate us go backwards," Bohn said.
Josh Siegel, a sophomore from Denver, sat in a mostly empty Coors Events Center with his older brother during the 2008-09 season when the Buffs finished 1-15 in the Big 12 and 9-22 overall.
As one of the leaders of the C-Unit, Siegel, who did not miss a home game, witnessed the unthinkable turnaround at the Staples Center in person.
"There were some rough years," said Siegel, a sophomore majoring in finance. "It's been very exciting and I've met a lot of cool people. I'm looking forward to next year."
John Terrien, a junior from Denver, originally left the state to attend college at Gonzaga, a hoops hotbed.
"I'm a big fan of college basketball," Terrien explained.
Terrien didn't think he would experience March Madness after transferring to CU until the Buffs avenged a humbling late-season loss to Oregon by beating the Ducks in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament.
"We hadn't played well against Utah and we got killed by Oregon when we played them up there," Terrien said. "So when we pulled that game out, we really got the momentum and the students were incredibly into it."
CU beat Cal in the semifinals and Arizona in the championship game. The OG 50 was given DVDs by Bohn on Monday that included a television feature about them and the broadcast of the NCAA Tournament-clinching win over the Wildcats.
Associate athletic director Tom McGann was one of the chaperones on the four-night, four-win trip. He said bus drivers, hotel staff, waiters and even Staples Center ushers came up to him to express how well they thought the OG 50 behaved.
"They were great. They showed CU pride to the Pac-12," McGann said. "Most CU kids are great. I think we forget that because we focus on the one negative out of a thousand."
Bohn said he wasn't worried after meeting with the students, who had a collective grade-point average of nearly 3.9, prior to the trip.
"They could not have been more respectful or more engaged," Bohn said. "We had an understanding of what the mission was about. ... It's really fun to be around them again to see how they've bonded. They will always be recognized as a group that did something historic."
Next season the Pac-12 Tournament moves to Las Vegas.
"Raise your hand if you want to go to Vegas?" Bohn said. "I guess we're going to Vegas!"
No wonder the guy is so popular.