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. PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Sam Bradford #8 of the Minnesota Vikings throws a pass in the first quarter against Brandon Graham #55 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Vikings 21-10. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) GREENBAY, WI - OCTOBER 20: Running back Jordan Howard #24 of the Chicago Bears is tackled by nose tackle Kenny Clark #97 and cornerback Demetri Goodson #39 of the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter at Lambeau Field on October 20, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
    Week 8 Tale Of The Tape: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears

    The Vikings and Bears square off in a battle of NFC North divisional rivals.

  2. PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles avoids Everson Griffen #97 of the Minnesota Vikings as he runs for a first down during the second quarter of a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 16: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys looks to pass against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter at Lambeau Field on October 16, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Green Bay Packers 30-16.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
    Week 8 Tale Of The Tape: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

    Two of the top rookie QBs face off in Big D.

  3. GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  Running back David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football during the NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals and Seahawks tied 6-6.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 16: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers scrambles out of the pocked during the first half of a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 16, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
    Week 8 Tale Of The Tape: Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers

    The Cardinals are still trying to catch the Seahawks atop the NFC West, they now take on the embattled Panthers.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS New York

Get Our Morning Briefs
Bloomberg WCBS Tri-State Business Index

Listen Live