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Washington needs to add a statement win to their resume if they want to put themselves on the NCAA committee’s radar for an at-large bid. The Huskies are 1-4 in Quadrant One and Two contests this season with their only victory coming on neutral floor versus a Texas A&M team that has been unimpressive this season. Can the Huskies pull off their biggest win of the season on the road in Boulder against the Buffaloes on Saturday night?
Washington 2-0 vs. PAC 12
The Huskies won their fourth consecutive contest and remain undefeated in conference play on Thursday, defeating Utah on the road 69-53.
👀 And with that assist…
— Washington Men's Basketball (@UW_MBB) January 11, 2019
Mike Hopkins’s squad enters the weekend ranked at No. 46 in the latest KenPom rankings after improving to 11-4 and 2-0 in PAC 12 play. They are scoring 107.4 points per 100 possessions (82nd in the NCAA), despite shooting just 32.8 percent from 3-point range (222nd in the NCAA) for the season. While the Huskies have been inefficient from long range, they have been solid in almost every other facet on offense. They come in sporting an effective field goal percentage of 51.3 percent (164th in the NCAA) anda turning the ball over on only 18.7 percent of their offensive possessions (154th in the NCAA). They also sport an offensive rebounding rate of 31.7 percent and a free throw rate of 37.5 percent (91st in the NCAA) through their first 15 games.
On defense, Washington has limited opposing teams to just 94.0 points per 100 possessions (37th in the NCAA) while forcing them to turn the ball over 21.6 percent of the time (60th in the NCAA). Opponents sport an effective field goal percentage of 45.2 percent (24th in the NCAA) and they are shooting just 42.6 percent from inside the arc against the Huskies’ defense so far this year (10th in the NCAA).
Buffaloes earn first PAC 12 win of the year
Colorado bounced back following their slow start to PAC 12 play, taking down Washington State 92-60 in their conference home opener on Thursday night. The Buffaloes outscored Washington State 33 to 6 from beyond the arc and shot 64.9 percent from two-point range in their most efficient offensive performance of the season. Tyler Bey scored a team-high 26 points to lead four Buffaloes players in double-figures on the night, while Shane Gatling added 17 for Colorado in the win.
McKinley Wright IV 💪💪💪
— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) January 5, 2018
Tad Boyle’s squad comes in slotted at No. 79 in the latest KenPom rankings after losing four of their last six games. The Buffaloes are scoring 104.7 points per 100 possessions (137th in the NCAA), while allowing 96.2 points per 100 possessions on the defensive end of the floor (61st in the NCAA). Colorado plays at one of the fastest paces in the country on offense, averaging 71.2 possessions per game (88th in the NCAA) and just 15.8 seconds per offensive possession (37th in the NCAA) for the season. The Buffaloes do a lot of their damage on the offensive glass and at the free throw line on offense. They have hauled in 31.4 percent of their missed field goals for the season (90th in the NCAA) and they sport a healthy free throw rate of 39.8 percent (51st in the NCAA).
On defense, Colorado has limited opposing teams to an effective field goal percentage of just 48.5 percent (88th in the NCAA) and a 3-point shooting percentage of just 30.2 percent (44th in the NCAA).
- Buffaloes are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.
- Buffaloes are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Buffaloes are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 home games
- Buffaloes are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 vs. Pacific-12.
- Buffaloes are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
- Buffaloes are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after scoring more than 90 points in their previous game.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Washington is 4-1-1 against the spread in the last six meetings against Colorado, however, they face a tough task on the road in Boulder. According to KenPom, the Buffaloes sport the nation’s top home court advantage at +4.5. With this game being a toss up, I’ll take my chances with the home team and roll with the Colorado Buffaloes to cover the spread in this spot on Saturday.
Prediction: Pick: Colorado Buffaloes
Full-Game Total Pick
Colorado does a lot of damage on the offense glass, which is one area that Washington has struggled with on the defensive end of the floor. Opposing teams own an offensive rebounding rate of 33.6 percent versus the Huskies’ defense (325th in the NCAA). Meanwhile, Colorado hasn’t been very stingy against opponents from inside the arc, which is where the Huskies do most of their damage. Take this game to go over the projected total on Saturday evening.