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NCAA Basketball

Are the Colorado Buffaloes For Real?

Joshua S. Kelly-US PRESSWIRE

The Colorado Buffaloes just got finished beating the Baylor Bears by the score of 60-58. The Buffaloes made quite the run just to make it to the NCAA tournament last season, by winning the Pac-12 Conference tournament, yet they still entered the season very underrated. No one is expecting Colorado to do anything this year. This includes competing for a Pac-12 title. All of the talk is about Arizona and UCLA. Well, with a 3-0 start and a huge victory over a ranked opponent, is Colorado for real?

For the time being, the answer would have to be yes. Colorado held a great Baylor team to just 58 points on the road. Before this game, the Bears were averaging 87 points per game. Corey Jefferson was able to score 17 points in the contest, but Pierre Jackson and Isaiah Austin did not do so well, combining for 20 points. Keep in mind that Jackson was averaging over 20 points alone entering this game. Austin was not too far behind him, averaging 19 points per game.

This game was not a fluke. Not many teams can hold such a good offense to just 58 points. Colorado clearly has a great defense and it proved it in this one. Colorado is allowing under 60 points per game. In fact, it has not allowed a team to score 60 points or more yet this season. Sure, the year just started, but Dayton and Baylor are not easy opponents, and CU beat them both.

Askia Booker led Colorado with 19 points in the game. Booker has been the leading scorer for the Buffaloes so far this season. Sure, Andre Robinson is the future NBA player and gets all of the buzz, but there is plenty of talent on Colorado. Four Buffaloes are averaging more points than Robinson so far this season. All four of those players are averaging 10 or more points per game. However, Robinson is a freak on the defensive side of the ball, averging 10 rebounds per game, 3.5 steals per game and 2 blockes per game.

Colorado is for real and here to stay, so don’t be surprised when this team competes for a Pac-12 title.

 

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2014 NCAA Tournament Preview: No. 8 Colorado vs No. 9 Pittsburgh





The Colorado Buffaloes were one of the dark horses for the National Championship early in the season, but an injury to Spencer Dinwiddie halted their dominating stretch of wins. Still managing to secure a No. 8 seed in the South region of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, the Buffaloes will face the also inconsistent No.  9 seed Pittsburgh Panthers on March 20th in a game that features two of college basketball’s biggest wild cards.

Pittsburgh finished fifth in the ACC, but nearly beat the Virginia Cavaliers to advance to the ACC Tournament finals. When Lamar Patterson and Talib Zanna are on, they are a potential Elite Eight team; when they’re off, Pitt wouldn’t make it out of the first round of the NIT. The Panthers have a tournament streak in them, but they have to get off to a confident start.

What to Watch For

Josh Scott is playing extremely well for Colorado; he leads the team in points per game and rebounds since Dinwiddie’s injury. However, the Buffaloes will not win unless someone else steps up. Pittsburgh is an all-around talented team that likes to share the ball; Colorado must disrupt that. Patterson and Zanna will be the least of the Buffaloes’ worries if Pitt gets into a groove early on.

Prediction:

Colorado just isn’t the National Title threat that they were earlier in the season after Dinwiddie’s injury. The Buffaloes are a good team, but don’t look cohesive anymore. On the other hand, Pittsburgh looks like they could be catching on at the right moment. Expect big things from the Panthers in the tournament.

Pittsburgh 70, Colorado 60

Taylor Sturm is a Columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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