(3) Baylor vs. (11) Colorado Preview
Senior NBA Writer & College Basketball Editor
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(3) Baylor Bears
It’s a good thing that the Bears aren’t completely dependent on Perry Jones III, otherwise they would be at home watching for the rest of the tournament. The future lottery pick was held in check, scoring just two points on 1-6 shooting while grabbing 11 rebounds, but his teammates picked up the slack. Brady Heslip showed why he’s considered one of the best shooters in the big dance, while Pierre Jackson showed off his scoring prowess with a team-high 18. Nate Wolters played well for the Jackrabbits, scoring 19 points, grabbing four rebounds and dishing out four assists. He struggled shooting from distance, though, and so did the team as a whole as they made just 30 percent of their 30 attempts. The Bears won the battle of the boards by 14, thanks largely in part to their 12 offensive rebounds. Their Round of 32 contest against the Buffaloes could be decided by who wins the rebounding category, so the Bears will have to be aggressive once again. They’ll also need a better performance from Jones.
(11) Colorado Buffaloes
Just when everyone was looking for another reason to pile on the Pac-12 and how terrible it has been this year, the Buffaloes pulled off a surprising victory against the UNLV Rebels. The Buffaloes rode a hot start and a double-double of 12 points and 16 rebounds from Andre Roberson to a 68-64 victory. The Buffaloes actually led by as much as 20, but the Rebels made a run. Freshman guard Askia Booker was a real difference maker off the bench, doubling his season average with 16 crucial points. UNLV served as good preparation for Baylor. Against the Bears the Buffaloes are going up against one of, if not the most, athletic team in the field. They’re going to have to be efficient offensively and make sure that they give Pierre Jackson and Brady Heslip the respect they deserve, otherwise they’ll be joining the rest of their conference foes as spectators. It’s also equally important for the Buffaloes to rebound like they did against the Rebels.
HOOPSWORLD’s pick: Baylor. As unconvincing as the Bears’ performance against South Dakota State may have been, we’re going to bank on their backcourt staying hot and their frontline stepping up as they move onto the Sweet 16.
Who do you think is going win? Chime in by leaving a comment below!