The Buffs are playing in back-to-back NCAA tournaments for the first time since the ice ages. This is an impressive feat by Tad Boyle and his staff and kudos to them. Amongst all of the contenders in the conference to jump into that upper echelon of programs, Colorado was amongst the least likely but don’t tell Tad that. They’re right there as one of the toughest outs. The team they’re dancing with this year has some terrifying pieces that I believe few staffs out there want to prepare for. I mean – as I’m about to get in to – who wants to deal with a 6’6″ point guard? And we’re not talking about Cedric Bozeman.
Why I like them: At this point, who doesn’t like Spencer Dinwiddie? He gets to the rim with ease and draws fouls at faster rate than Marshall Henderson draws haters (17th highest FT rate in the nation). His game is supported by the best role player in the nation in Andre Roberson who may be underrated but certainly not on this blog. I’m also becoming an increasingly big fan of CU’s X-factor, Xavier Johnson. He brings energy and size off the wing that the Buffs miss with Chen on the floor. He’s definitely a difference maker as it’s no surprise they roll when he’s on.
Why I don’t like them: They’re young. Oh so very young and it shows in their inconsistent play. The roll Oregon then lose to Oregon State. They have some great, convincing wins but some frustrating and discouraging losses. Which team will show up in Austin?
Poetic Justice: The Buffs manage to knock off fellow enigmatic-crew, Illinois, and advance to the second round for the second straight year. Facing a very tough and veteran Miami squad, the Buffaloes manage to linger til the waning moments. Down a pair and with the ball, the clock swiftly approaching zeros, Sabatino Chen heaves a three. It drops. Monitors are not reviewed. Buffs to their first Sweet 16 in half of a century.
Best Case Scenario: The Buffs play their sound style of defense and out B1G the Illini. Spencer Dinwiddie indeed gets to the line because Illinois has a propensity to do such defensively. Roberson boards the hell out of the offensive end alongside Josh Scott and they Buffs roll. Against Miami, the Buffs tap their inner, youthful naivety while the veteran ‘Canes lock up under the pressure and immediacy of their fleeting careers. Dinwiddie has an OK game but disrupts Shane Larkin enough to spark offense from defense and awkward-body, Kenny Kadji, has a horrible game with P12 dPOY, Andre Roberson, all over him. The Buffaloes advance – as I said – to their first Sweet 16 since 1963 to face the once again Cinderella Butler Bulldogs. Well this time it’s Askia’s time to shine as he out Rotnei Clarke’s Rotnei Clarke and shoots the Buffs into the E8. The Elite Eight. But this is the unfortunate part of our story where the Buffs run into the Indiana Hoosiers and their depth of talent Colorado just can’t contend with. It’s a glorious run and Tad Boyle kills another bear.