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Kansas Vs. Colorado: RE-Viewing The Buffaloes

Lucky you Tad Boyle.  You have one the distinct honor of being the only team that will have the opportunity to play Kansas coming off of a loss TWICE in the 2010-2011 season.  You're prize?  Guess we'll find out on Saturday.

In all reality the Buffaloes did a pretty nice job of taking the Jayhawks bounce back effort on in Boulder.  Tad Boyle and Colorado rode the back of Alec Burks to a pretty close game and one that the Buffaloes were within striking distance late.  However they came up just a smidge short and at the moment that seems to be the story of the Colorado season.

Here's the challenge for the Buffs.  They are one of three 5-6 conference teams in a league that will likely see one of those teams make the tournament based on all the bracketologists and expert prognosticators.  The problem is that Colorado has very little in the way of big wins.  Despite being swept head to head, Kansas State has now beaten Kansas and they have several other victories that overshadow the achievements in Boulder.  Even Nebraska has a better overall argument than the Buffs and currently the one win in the head to head.

In short, a win in Allen Fieldhouse would be HUGE for Colorado.  The schedule isn't kind down the stretch with Saturday's game and a date with Texas on the docket but if Colorado can pull out a few more wins, they'll at least be on the bubble for the first time in a while and that's a start.

Rankings:

AP Poll
NR
RPI
#87
SOS
#80
SOS Projected
#57

Since We last Met

Since the last time these two teams have met, Colorado has been so close but now sit so far away.  Again, the Buffs took Kansas to within five points of a loss and since then Colorado has lost games to both Baylor and A&M by three and four points respectively.  The loss to A&M even took an overtime effort by the Aggies.  Flip those two games and take a look at the Colorado resume:

18-8 (7-4 Big 12) which with a head to head win over A&M would put them in 3rd.  That's a pretty secure spot.  If you're watching a game on ESPN that's in the mostly sunny/partly cloudy category on that graphic they love to show. 

Colorado is a decent team with an interior depth problem and it just makes it tough to compete at the level their guards are capable of.  Tad Boyle is a Kansas player of old and a person I can personally cheer for but it's the last year in the Big 12 so I'll withhold that support for one more season.

Offensive Averages:

Points
79.9
14th / 3rd
Assists
13.3
146th / 7th
Rebounds
35.9
120th / 7th
FG Pct
47.3
29th / 3rd

Defensive Averages:

Points
71.8
270th / 3rd
Assists
13.2
206th / 7th
Rebounds
32.5
75th / 7th
FG Pct
44.3
230th / 3rd

 

Player Update

Alec Burks continues to have the type of season that deserves mention in the Big 12 player of the year conversation.  In conference play Burks ranks second in scoring with 20.2 per game just behind Jacob Pullen and in rebounding he ranks second with 7.9 per game just behind Jordan Hamilton.  That's pretty impressive if you ask me. 

Obviously the biggest thing standing in his way is that he doesn't seem to necessarily elevate everyone around him at this point in his career and he plays at Colorado which isn't looking like a tournament team or a major contender barring some sort of late miracle. Nonetheless, Burks is more than deserving of a 1st team All Conference nod and he should receive that individual honor without question.

Elsewhere senior Cory Higgins continues to have a solid final season and has actually elevated his play a bit of late.  The senior averages 16.3 points per game at this point in the season which is an improvement from early on.  In general Higgins seems more prone to asserting himself since the last Kansas game and that could make for a good test defensively for the Kansas guards.

Beyond Higgins and Burks it's more of the same for Colorado. 

 



Prediction Time

Colorado is very much in the same situation as Kansas State was on Monday night.  They need a win, they need a statement win and they need it in the worst way.  A loss probably puts them on the ropes in terms of NCAA tournament hopes.  The biggest difference is that Colorado is in Lawrence, Colorado didn't start the season ranked #3 and Colorado doesn't have the top to bottom talent of Kansas State.  Burks can probably go "Pullen", but it's not as likely and he won't have the support.



PPG FG% FT% 3P% RPG ORPG DRPG APG TPG SPG BPG FPG
Colorado CU 79.9 47.3 78.7 38.2 35.9 12.1 23.8 13.3 12.1 7.3 3.0 19.2
Kansas KU 83.3 52.1 67.2 38.5 38.4 11.4 27.0 18.3 13.5 8.5 4.6 17.4
Colorado CU Opponents 71.8 44.3 72.3 35.7 32.5 11.2 21.3 13.2 14.3 6.1 3.4 19.9
Kansas KU Opponents 64.8 39.3 71.5 30.3 31.4 11.1 20.3 11.3 15.2 5.8 2.8 19.6