NCAA Tournament Predictions: 8. Colorado vs. 9. Pittsburgh

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SPRINGS-josh-scott8. Colorado Buffaloes (23-11, 10-8 Pac 12)- The Buffs were a preseason Top 25 team but suffered a major blow when point guard Spencer Dinwiddie tore his ACL on January 12. Dinwiddie was by far Colorado’s best player when he went down, so the team had to re-tool without him. Credit to coach Tad Boyle for re-making this team into an NCAA Tournament squad.

The Buffs are led by a trio of players who averaged 14-plus points per game. 6-10 forward Josh Scott, 6-2 junior guard Askia Booker and 6-7 sophomore Xavier Johnson have taken over the offensive reigns. Scott is an NBA talent because of his size and productivity around the rim. He averages a team-leading 8.5 rebounds per game.


50th Rebounds per Game (37.5)

209th Field Goal Percentage (.437)

119th Points Allowed per Game (67.9)


pittbb29. Pittsburgh Panthers (25-9, 11-7 ACC)-The Panthers received a lot of criticism for their non-conference schedule, which by all measures, was putrid. But this team showed a lot of the characteristics that made them a great club in the Big East. Leading scorer Lamar Patterson (17.6 ppg, 4.3 apg) is a stalwart on offense, and he’s been a consistent rebounder and facilitator all season long.

6-9 senior Talib Zanna has really come on strong at the end of the season, and could be a major difference maker in the NCAA Tournament. Zanna averaged 12.9 points and 8.8 rebounds per game this season.

Pittsburgh was typically stingy on defense, allowing just 62.4 points per game in an incredibly tough conference.


21st Assists Per Game

22nd Points Allowed per Game (62.4)


PREDICTION: Pittsburgh


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