Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#783 Washington 128.5 vs.
#784 Colorado -8
Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 9:00pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala

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#783 University of Washington
#784 University of Colorado Boulder
12-8
15-4
9-11
9-9-1
7-12-1
10-9
70
71
62
61

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A pair of Pac-12 opponents take the floor out in the Centennial State looking to earn a victory. The Washington Huskies are on the road as they travel to face the #23 Colorado Buffaloes Saturday night. Washington blew a lead and ended up a 67-66 loser on the road to Utah Thursday night in their last game. Colorado pulled away in the late stages to dust Washington State 78-56 at home Thursday night in their previous contest. The Huskies lead the all-time series between the teams 17-11 and have claimed the last five meetings. That includes a 66-61 win in the last meeting, which came on a neutral floor in the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament on March 15, 2019.

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Washington Huskies Trying to Regroup After Meltdown

Washington was a hot team early on in the season but lately, they’ve been trending in the wrong direction. Coach Mike Hopkins sees his team limp into this one 12-8 overall and just 2-5 in the Pac-12 after blowing an 11-point lead with six minutes to play. The Huskies lost their composure to send Utah to the free throw line a ton down the stretch. Washington started the year 10-2, including a season-opening win on a neutral floor over Baylor that is their signature triumph. Since then, the Huskies are just 2-6. Each of those losses are by six points or less: two came in overtime while the Utah loss was by one point.

The Huskies are averaging 70.4 points per game on the season at this point in time, which puts them 208th in the nation in scoring offense. Washington is grabbing 35.7 rebounds a night while handing out 12.8 assists a night. The defense has been above average in coach Mike Hopkins’ third season as the Huskies are 40th in scoring defense as they allow 62.8 points a night. Isaiah Stewart leads the team with 18 points plus 8.9 rebounds a night. Jaden McDaniels (13.1 points, 6.4 rebounds), Nahziah Carter (12.5 points, 5.3 rebounds) and Quade Green (11.6 points, 5.3 assists) are averaging in double figures. Jamal Bey, Marcus Tsohonis and Hameir Wright are the only other players putting up more than 3.7 points a night for the team. The Huskies shoot 45.4 percent from the floor so far this season. Washington drains 6.3 three-pointers a game while shooting 32.2 percent from beyond the arc. The Huskies are mediocre at the free throw line as they shoot 70.9 percent as a team. Green was declared academically ineligible for the winter quarter, which ends March 20. That pushes Elijah Hardy into a more prominent role going forward.

The metrics from KenPom show that Washington is an above average team on both ends though they excel defensively. Washington is 109th in offensive efficiency and 22nd in defensive efficiency on the season. The Huskies are 95th in effective field goal percentage offensively (51.3 percent) this season. Washington’s bread and butter is defensively as they are fifth in effective field goal percentage defense (42.6 percent), third in two-point field goal percentage defense (41.3 percent) and fourth in block percentage (17.2 percent) on the year. The Huskies are pretty average when it comes to pace as they are 188th in tempo with an average of 68.2 possessions per game.

Colorado Buffaloes Go for Sweep of Washington Schools

Colorado has been pretty solid this season as they try to establish themselves as the top team in the Pac-12. Coach Tad Boyle sees his team come into this contest 15-4 overall and they are 4-2 in the Pac-12. The Buffaloes opened the year with seven straight wins, including neutral floor wins over Arizona State and Clemson. Colorado suffered back to back defeats on the road to Kansas and at home to Northern Iowa before winning five in a row. That stretch saw a neutral floor win over Dayton and a home win over Oregon. After a loss to Oregon State, the Buffaloes have won three of their last four with the lone loss a trouncing at Arizona. Colorado bounced back by whipping Washington State in their last game leading into this one.

The Buffaloes come into this game 163rd in scoring offense as they put up 71.9 points per game this year. Colorado stands 87th in rebounding by collecting 38.4 boards a night while ranking 173rd in assists by dishing out 13.7 dimes a game. The Buffaloes are a stellar 29th in scoring defense as they allow only 61.7 points per game on the year. Tyler Bey is second on the team with 13.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per contest. McKinley Wright IV contributes 13.3 points, 5.3 rebounds plus 5.3 assists per game while D’Shawn Schwartz puts up 10.8 points a night. Evan Battey, Lucas Siewert, Shane Gatling and Daylen Kountz each average better than four points a night for coach Tad Boyle. Colorado shoots 43.6 percent from the floor as a team on the year. The Buffaloes splash an average of 7.5 three-pointers a night while shooting 36.5 percent from beyond the arc. Colorado has been decent at the free throw line as they shoot 73.6 percent at the stripe on the season.

According to KenPom.com, the Buffaloes’ defense has done a spectacular job to this point in the season. Colorado is 17th in the nation in defensive efficiency, 32nd in effective field goal percentage defense (45 percent) and 129th in three-point field goal percentage defense (32.1 percent) this year. In addition, the Buffaloes are 73rd in turnover percentage (21.2 percent), 35th in offensive rebounding percentage allowed (24.2 percent) and 27th in two-point field goal percentage defense (43.5 percent) on the year. Colorado’s defense is going to be important in an effort to wear down the Huskies.

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This one is interesting as the Huskies are reeling right now but could make a statement with a win here. Washington’s issue is that they don’t really have a veteran leader like they did with last season’s nucleus. With Green ineligible, it forces Hopkins to roll the dice with unproven commodities running the point and that can be costly in crunch time. Colorado showed how suffocating they can be defensively as they limited Washington State to just three points over the final nine-plus minutes Thursday night. The altitude can wreak havoc on a team. Colorado bounced back in a big way Thursday and they ride that, along with home court, to another win here.

Prediction: Colorado Buffaloes -8

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This one has all the potential to be an absolute rock fight. Both offenses are middling at best and we're looking at a couple of solid defensive groups. Washington is sixth in the nation in field goal percentage defense (36.9 percent) and stands 52nd in three-point field goal percentage defense on the season. Colorado is solid as well as they are 53rd in field goal percentage defense (39.9 percent) on the year. Both teams are very good at preventing the opposition from putting points on the board and it might not take even 70 points to come up with a win here. This one falls short of the total.

Prediction: Under 130
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.