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Loss of Spencer Dinwiddie Is Devastating For Colorado Buffaloes

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Dinwiddie

Joe Nicholson- USA TODAY Sports

Has there been a more devastating injury in college basketball this season than the torn left ACL suffered by Colorado Buffaloes point guard Spencer Dinwiddie? My answer is no.

The Buffs looked like one of the top 20 teams in the country. After the injury to Dinwiddie, they now look like a bubble team at best. Against the UCLA Bruins, the Buffaloes had no rhythm on offense. The Bruins do not play a lot of man-to-man in defense and yet the Buffs, who struggle to score from deep even with Dinwiddie, could not score.

Leading all scorers was Askia Booker, which was a no-brainer. Booker was the only consistent backcourt player for the Buffs, scoring 21 points on just 11 shots. Forward Josh Scott had 19 of his own points on just 12 shots while going 5-6 from the line.

However, Dinwiddie’s presence alone was missed as open shots turned into contested jumpers. He allowed the Buffs to improvise on offense and run more pick-and-roll sets. Now that he’s out, coach Tad Boyle must find a way to get Booker and Scott their touches without having guys draped all over them.

The Buffaloes’ season turned into the subject of Friday Night Lights’ plot: a team with amazing potential who lost their best player. The question is, can they still compete night-in and night-out?

John Lloyd is a Pac-12 Basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JohnHLloydIII

Related:

UCLA Bruins Get First Statement Win Of Season Against No. 21 Colorado
Colorado Buffaloes: Perfect Example of Why PAC-12 is Dangerous

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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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