Colorado (11-5) at Washington (11-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 16, 11:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alaska Airlines Arena (10,000) -- Seattle, Washington. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: Colorado 7-1. Washington 6-3. Away Record: Colorado 1-4, Washington 4-1. Neutral Record: Colorado 3-0, Washington 1-1. Conference Record: Colorado 1-3, Washington 3-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 7-7.
GAMES NOTES: The Washington Huskies begin a two-game homestand with the hopes of keeping their perfect conference mark clean when they host the Colorado Buffaloes in a Pac-12 bout at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Colorado, which was expected to contend in the Pac-12 after a surprising run to the conference tournament title last year, has not fared well to open league play with losses in three of its first four matchups. The most recent defeat was a 78-75 setback against UCLA at home. Colorado is now 11-5 overall, including just a 1-4 record on the road. Colorado remains in the Evergreen State to face Washington State next.
Meanwhile, Washington has had a very nice start to conference play with wins in all three of its contests against league foes. Those wins have come on the road, including a 65-60 victory on Saturday over Stanford. Washington is 6-3 at Alaska Airlines, where it plays its next game against Utah as well.
When these teams met as league foes for the first time last season Colorado took home an 87-69 victory to tie the all-time series at seven wins a piece.
After trailing by as many as 13 points against UCLA, Colorado managed to slice their deficit to just a point, 76-75, in the final seconds. However a pair of free throws from Jordan Adams and a missed 3-pointer at the end of regulation by Askia Booker had the Buffaloes' comeback bid come up short.
Booker was certainly the right choice to take the potential game-tying shot for Colorado. The 6-foot-1 guard is leading the Buffaloes in scoring (14.9 ppg) while shooting 37.7 percent from beyond the arc. Spencer Dinwiddie (14.4 ppg) is another guard who has been scoring well, while Josh Scott (13.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg) and Andre Roberson (10.9 ppg, 11.8 rpg) anchor the interior. Roberson is especially vital as he leads the conference in rebounds, while ranking in the top 10 in blocks. In all. Colorado is right in the middle of the conference in scoring (72.3 ppg), despite handing out the fewest assists in the league (10.8 pg).
Washington led for almost the entire second half against Stanford, but never managed to pull ahead by more than eight points. With 3:38 remaining the two teams were tied but thanks to a 5-for-6 effort from the free-throw line in the final minutes, the Huskies were able to hang on.
The Huskies have a talented starting five, led by the backcourt. C.J. Wilcox (19.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg) is among the top five scorers in the conference and leads the league in 3-pointers. Abdul Gaddy (11.7 ppg, 3.7 apg) is another strong scorer and the top facilitator on the squad, while 3-point marksman Scott Suggs (12.2 ppg) is second on the team in 3-point field goal percentage (.396). In the frontcourt Aziz N'Diaye (11.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.3 bpg) has been a force most teams have struggled to deal with. From there only one other player scores more than seven points per game.
In what should be an evenly matched game Wilcox's ability to erupt on the offensive end could prove decisive for the Huskies.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Washington 72, Colorado 70
01/16 10:33:25 ET