It’s good to have friends in high places. You’ve surely talked about it at a Karaoke Bar a time or two (I know I have), and in this instance I’ve spoken with these friends, in bars, in high places. Ben Burrows – the sage behind the Rumblings of a Deranged Buffalo – and Ryan Koenigsberg – CU and Broncos beat writer at BSN Denver – have been frenemies since this blog’s inception. I’ll focus on the former considering they joined Spencer and I to talk about the things we talk about and discuss tonight’s battle between our respective favorite schools. It’s a podcast that covers a lot in a lot of time, but worth the listen. Also worth your while, Ben’s preview of the game.
To all ye Buffs and Cats tonight: good luck and play nice and use the right restroom at the Dark Horse.
BONUS MATERIAL: My brief thoughts on this Arizona-Colorado game!
This thing boils down to who can take care of the basketball. Elementary? Perhaps. But neither CU nor Arizona has demonstrated a propensity to take care of the basketball. The Buffs, in fact, rank 268th in TO% – a good reason why the Buffs yield the 11th shortest offensive possessions in the country (nearly one-quarter of offense against CU comes in transition; a shot type Arizona has connected on with great efficiency). Neither defense has a propensity for creating turnovers so it would appear this is a self-controlled part of the game.
Another callout here is rebounding. I’m going to quote the afforementioned Ben Burrows on this one:
Whereas Colorado focuses on rebounding out of want, Arizona clutches at boards the same way a suffocating man lurches out for gulps of oxygen; they need them to live (or, as I wrote in this week’s Grab Bag: what defensive line play is to Alabama in football, rebounding the damn basketball is to Arizona in hoops).
He’s right. For the second consecutive year Arizona is the top defensive rebounding team in the nation. Also, take into consideration that four year starter and constant of these rebounding machines, Kaleb Tarczewski, has 59 rebounds in his last 5 games and it would seem Arizona is only getting better at their best feature.
The Key for the Buffs will be making their threes. They’ve been good at it, connecting on nearly 40% of those tries, but it seems they’re starting to live and die by that shot. Inside the arc, CU ranks 325th in FG%. That’s not good and when you consider that Arizona forces the second highest percentage of mid-range jumpers in the nation, well then you must consider that Colorado needs its threes.
One final thought: remember that it’s a Wear Black Game and not a Blackout.