On Thursday; we have a Pac-12 affair between the California Golden Bears and the Colorado Buffaloes. The Buffaloes come into the game ranked 24th in the nation. Colorado sits at 17-5 overall, and have won 6 out of 9 in conference play. For California, they are 10-11 overall, and 4-4 in Pac-12 play.
Colorado comes into the game as a 16 point favorite in this game, which seems like a lot of points in a conference game. The Buffaloes are coming off a 21 point win over USC. That win for Colorado came after getting upset by the Bruins of UCLA. Tyler Bey led the way for the Buffaloes and scored 16 points The Buffaloes made 9 three-point shots, which was a huge key in their win.
The Bears defeated Oregon State at home 69-67 in their last game. Matt Bradley, Andre Kelly and Paris Austin combined for 48 points in the win. The Bears shot the ball well, making more than half their shots, and limited their turnovers to under 10. California has a recent win over Stanford, and a loss to Oregon by just 5. California though has struggled away from home. In fact, they have yet to win a game this season on the road.
California Trying to Climb the Pac-12 Standings
The Bears would love to grab their 5th conference win of the season. The nonconference slate for California was not pretty, so it will take winning the Pac-12 tournament to reach the Big Dance. Bradley leads the team in scoring with just shy of 18 points per game, while his teammate Grant Anticvich has cleaned up the glass most of the season with nearly 6 per game.
After this game, the Bears remain on the road at Utah, before coming home and hosting the Arizona schools next weekend. Arizona and Arizona State come to town. Following that, the Bears have Washington State and Washington on the road, Colorado, and Utah at home, and then trips to Oregon and Oregon State remaining.
Colorado Needs to Stack Wins
At this point, the Colorado Buffaloes need to keep picking up wins. The Buffaloes are ranked inside the Top 25 and are heading to the dance as of now. Bad losses, like this one at home, would certainly hurt their resume. Not only did UCLA beat Colorado, but keep in mind, they also lost at home to Oregon State. It will be an interesting last couple of weeks for the Buffaloes.
Colorado has one of the best defensive units in the nation. They rank 15th in efficiency. They also score the basketball pretty well, ranking in the Top 50 in the nation. McKinley Wright IV has been the top scorer for Colorado all season long. The 6’0 guard has scored in double digits every game this season since December 13th when he was held to just 2 in a game at Colorado State. Tyler Bey is the rebounding machine, with nearly 10 per game.
Colorado Wins at Home, but Narrowly
The California Golden Bears are playing better basketball as of late. This game is not going to be a blowout. While Colorado just needs to win, baby, win – that’s what they are going to do here. It may not be pretty, and they won’t get the style points, but the Buffaloes win this game at home. The total is set at 128.5 for this game. A season ago, these two teams met in March and scored just 117 points. This seems like it could be a lower scoring game as well. The first to 60 wins. Colorado wins the game 61-55 over the Bears. Bet on California +16 on Thursday night!