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Bubble Watch: Madness for the Colorado Buffaloes Starts Right Now

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Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

This is about as simple as it could be for the Colorado Buffaloes. Thanks to an up and down season, which included good wins as well as bad losses, Colorado has already hit their win or go home part of their schedule.

Oddly enough, Colorado’s first game in the upcoming Pac 12 Conference Tournament is against a team they literally just lost to, the Oregon State Beavers. The two teams have split their season series with each winning a game a piece. But let us not kid ourselves, Oregon State is a very bad basketball team. The Beavers only have four Pac 12 wins (One of them thanks to Colorado, obviously) and should be as easy of a win as a team could ask for.

Despite the ease with which this game should be won, if lost, it would end up being the final nail in the Buffaloes’ NCAA Tournament dancing dreams. It is the highest example of high-risk and high-reward. Not only is it safe to assume that a victory would land them a pair of dancing slippers, but it would be even safer to think that an L would send them to the NIT.

If Colorado were to do what they are supposed to, win, it would be off to face the Arizona Wildcats in the next round. Not only would they already be in a position to make the NCAA Tournament, but they would also find themselves playing a team that they would actually be able to afford a loss against.

It isn’t always about winning enough games. Sometimes it has just as much to do with losing to the right teams.

Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. For the love of Sam Cassell, follow Joe on the mean streets of Twitter @JosephNardone and add him to your Google circle things.

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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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