To preview Baylor's second round NCAA Tournament game against Colorado, we've asked Parker Baruh from the SBN"s Colorado blog the Ralphie Report to give us the inside scoop on the Buffaloes.
How they got here: Colorado's season so far has been filled with inconsistency. Until the Pac-12 Tournament, the team really struggled at neutral and road sites. In the non-conference part of the season, Colorado had trouble in both facets of the game and turned it over continuously. When conference play arrived, the Buffaloes let their phenomenal student section and their improving defense guide them to wins. They had wins over Washington, California, Oregon, and Arizona, but continued to fail on the road. Ultimately, the Buffaloes are playing their best at the right time and Carlon Brown is leading the way.
Their biggest strength: Their defense. They don't gamble; they stay in their positions and they chase and hound you all over the floor. They were the second best defense in the Pac-12 behind Arizona and the defense was the reason Colorado won 4 games in 4 days at the Staples Center and one of the major factors in their victory over UNLV. Andre Roberson is a force on the glass and is arguably the best defender in the Pac-12. Although he is only 6'7", he is long and athletic, and has incredible timing. Along with Roberson, Carlon Brown and Spencer Dinwiddie are two other defenders to watch. They gamble and become lazy at times, but if they stick to Boyle's defensive mindset, they can be great defenders for the Buffaloes.
Their biggest weakness: The biggest weakness for the Buffaloes has to be their decision making. They commit turnovers when the offense becomes stagnant and start to force it. Colorado has very little depth as well. Besides Askia Booker, there is not too much scoring off the bench. Boyle puts out lineups with inferior offensive players and just Booker, and the team seems to struggle. Colorado, just like most teams, turns the ball over too much and when they do, they tend to lose.
What to watch for: Carlon Brown. The man has been on a tear since the start of the Pac-12 Tournament and hasn't cooled off yet. He gets into the lane with a variety of quick spins and dribble penetration moves. Additionally, he likes to post up and he gets some easy looks when he is the post. If Carlon Brown plays well and efficiently, the Buffaloes hardly lose. If Carlon Brown takes low percentage threes and doesn't get the rim, he won't be effective; however, if he gets into a rhythm, he is a dangerous player.
A prediction: If the Buffaloes can force Quincy Acy and Perry Jones III to shoot from the outside, the Buffaloes have a chance. The key to this game for Colorado is to limit the bigs of Baylor. At this point, I'm no longer betting against Tad Boyle. Buffaloes win a tight one, 61-57.