Colorado is at a familiar position in the PAC-12 Conference outlook this season. Last year, the Buffaloes hit a hot streak which carried them all the way to the PAC-12 Conference championship where they finished with a victory.
At this point last season, Colorado had a record of 18-8 and was in no way a favorite to capture the conference crown. This season, the Buffaloes were considered one of the more disappointing teams in conference play but enter their match up against Utah with an overall record of 17-8.
Do the Buffaloes have another opportunity to win the PAC-12 Conference? Yes.
Granted, their game Thursday against Utah isn’t considered a “prime time” showcase, but the Utes have caused problems for conference opponents all season long. Utah ranks second-to-last in the PAC-12. In Colorado’s last meeting with the Utes, however, the Buffaloes only escaped by a margin of three points.
Colorado is looking for its third straight season with 18 wins or more tonight, and Andre Roberson will be a big part of making that happen. Roberson ranks No. 1 in the nation in rebounds per game with 11.8 and will be instrumental in limiting Utah’s offensive rebounds. The Buffaloes have won six of their last eight games, the first time since their PAC-12 championship run last season.
Despite their record, Utah has played some of their best basketball in the last two weeks. The Utes defeated Arizona State by five points and fell to Arizona by only four. Colorado will have to limit the opportunities for Utah’s leading scorer Jarred DuBois, who finished with 16 points in the Utes’ loss versus Arizona.
The Buffaloes’ answer to DuBois in the backcourt will be Spencer Dinwiddie, who has finished each of the last three games with over 20 points, while scoring 24 points twice in that span. Both guards are Southern California natives, and will meet once again as they did many times at the amateur level.
Meeting Colorado at the high-point of their season, on the road, cannot be an ideal situation for Utah, but the Utes have been underestimated by teams all season. With a win over the Utes, Colorado will once again be one of the most feared teams in the PAC-12 Conference.