The Match Up: #15 Colorado Buffaloes at Washington Huskies
Game Info: 1/12/14, 12 p.m. tip off at Alaska Airlines Arena
TV Info: Fox Sports 1 Radio: Sports Radio KJR 950
Record: 14-2, 3-0 Pac-12
The Coach- Tad Boyle- Boyle has taken the Pac-12 by storm since joining the conference just two years ago, making the NCAA tournament in two of his first three seasons with Colorado. Making the Buffaloes a yearly contender in the Pac-12, Boyle holds a 83-39 with Colorado and is 139-105 overall. Boyle coached three of Colorado’s seven 20+ win seasons, and will most likely earn his fourth this year. He was the head coach at Northern Colorado before he joined the Buffs.
- Colorado made it a point to play high quality opponents during the non conference, including match ups against Baylor, Harvard, and Oklahoma State. Their biggest win of the year came in a 75-72 upset over then #6 Kansas in which Askia Booker hit a running three pointer at the buzzer to win it.
- After surviving in a 71-70 OT win over WSU on Wednesday, the Buffs are currently tied for first place in the Pac-12 at 3-0. Last Sunday, Colorado handed Oregon their first loss of the year, winning a shootout 100-91 in Boulder.
- Colorado has made the NCAA tournament their only two years in the Pac-12 and will most likely make it a third straight trip in 2014.
Players To Watch
Askia Booker- 6’2 Guard- A prime example of a high volume shooter and streaky scorer, Booker has been a huge factor for the Buffs this season. When Booker plays well, Colorado plays well, and when he has an off night, the team usually follows. The second leading scorer at 13.9 PPG, Booker has scored in double digits for all but three games this season. Booker has also had just two games where he has failed to shoot at least 10 shots, so expect to see a lot of him on Sunday.
Spencer Dinwiddie- 6’6 Guard- Dinwiddie is a long athletic guard who runs the show for Colorado, but is also their leading scorer at 15.2 PPG. Unlike Booker, Dinwiddie has shot over 10 times in just three games this season, and is averaging 3.9 assists per game. Dinwiddie was one of 12 players who represented team USA at the 2013 World University Games last summer in Kazen, Russia. He was the only Pac-12 player on the team and one of three players to start all eight games for team USA.
The Huskies Win If…
They continue their effort on the defensive end. Colorado is a much more athletic team than Utah, so the Huskies will have their hands full with multiple players on the floor. It looks as if the Huskies are putting less pressure on ball handlers and making teams shoot jumpers, and the change seems to be working so far in conference play. Sophomore Josh Scott (13.6 PPG, 9.4R RPG) will look to rebound from a poor performance last year at Alaska Airlines Arena, so the defense of Perris Blackwell will definitely be important. With the guards for UW putting up double digits every night and Perris Blackwell improving as the season goes along, the Huskies aren’t having much trouble scoring the ball, so it will be up to the defense to take down the Buffs and hand them their first Pac-12 loss.
After squeaking past Utah with a tough defensive effort, the Huskies have shown they can find a way to win, but it will take a much better effort Sunday to take down a talented Colorado team. The Buffaloes are filled with athletes and Coach Boyle has done an incredible job in just his 4th season with the team. The home court crowd will definitely help the Huskies but I can’t see them winning this one, give me Colorado 72-63.
Leave your predictions and thoughts on the game in the comments section below. Go Dawgs!