Round Of 64 Matchup: #8 Colorado Vs. #9 Pittsburgh

#8 Colorado
#9 Pittsburgh
(credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
(credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Tad Boyle arrived in Colorado in 2010 and one year later had his Buffaloes in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2003. This year, he has Colorado there for the third consecutive season for the first time in program history. Boyle has won more post-season games than any coach in school history.
Winner In many matchups, Boyle would be the better coach on the court, but Pittsburgh has Jamie Dixon. Taking over the reins in Pittsburgh in 2003, Dixon has won more games in his first seven seasons than any coach in NCAA history. He lost five players heading into this season and still managed a nine seed in the Big Dance.
It looked like the Buffaloes season was over when the “backbone” of the team, Spencer Dinwiddie, tore his ACL in January after leading the Buffs in scoring and assists in 2012-13. However, both Josh Scott and Xavier Johnson helped make up for the loss and Colorado turned things around. Askia Booker is also a big contributor on this offense, which is now much more varied.
Winner Two players led Pittsburgh into this tournament: Lamar Patterson and Talib Zanna. The duo combined for 30.5 points and 13.6 rebounds a game this season. They led a disciplined offensive unit, but it might not be as deep as they need to make it far in this tournament.
The Buffs play well on the boards, averaging 25.9 rebounds a game, but that is all they do well on the defensive side of the ball. That said, Colorado has improved recently on defense over the last month of the season, with the team playing its best ball throughout the Pac-12 tournament. If they can play like Boyle coaches them to, they can give Pittsburgh a run for their money.
Winner While Pittsburgh has their two big scorers on offense, they are a defensive team at heart. They play a strong physical defense and often use double teaming, which could really shake up a Buffs team missing their top scorer. If the Panthers start double teaming players like Scott, they could really control this game. Pittsburgh ranks 22nd in the NCAA in points allowed.
Bench Depth
When Dinwiddie went down, it stripped the Buffaloes of their bench strength. No one on the bench averages over five points a game, and if Colorado wants to win, they will have to rely on their starters. The bench is just too young and inconsistent this season.
Winner The Panthers look almost identical to Colorado when it comes to the bench—they have only two players who play solid minutes, neither of which really contribute much in the way of points or rebounds. Neither team has a solid sixth man, both possessing underwhelming benches. If anything, Pittsburgh is a bit stronger here thanks to their coaching.

The Winner Is

(credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Winner #9 Pittsburgh
4 out of 4

The CU Buffs are the higher ranked seed in this game, but that is more because of what they accomplished with Spencer Dinwiddie and the gutsy play they saw after he went down for the season. However, they really don’t have the firepower to beat a disciplined Pittsburgh Panthers team. This game should be a quality win for Pittsburgh, but both teams will be finished when they face Florida in the next round.

-Shawn S. Lealos is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience in the media He covers all things college basketball. Find his work at Examiner.com.


  1. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 9: Quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans drops back to pass during the first quarter of the game on October 9, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos warms up before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: Houston Texans At Denver Broncos

    The Broncos square off against their former QB as they welcome in Brock Osweiler and the Texans.

  2. SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 16:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field on October 16, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to make a pass against the New York Jets in the first half of the NFL game at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 17, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks At Arizona Cardinals

    The Seahawks face their NFC West foe on the road as the Cardinals look to get above .500 for the first time this season.

  3. FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 16:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots prepares to receive a snap during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium on October 16, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback  Landry Jones #3 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass during warm ups before playing against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: New England Patriots At Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Patriots are riding high and now face a Steelers team who will be without their starting QB.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Sacramento

Tickets to aftershock now on sale
Follow Us On Facebook
LIVE: Monday through Friday from 6am – 6pm ET

Listen Live