With their 60-58 win over the Baylor Bears, the Colorado Buffaloes are going to another championship game. The Buffaloes got the Pac-12's first win over a ranked team this year and pulled off the upset with Askia Booker leading the way with 19 points and Spencer Dinwiddie adding 11. Andre Roberson had a slow game offensively, but showed again why he's a premier rebounder in the country grabbing 13 rebounds. The Buffaloes didn't necessarily deserve the win due to their horrid free throw shooting, but a win is a win and the Buffs will now play on Sunday in the championship.
Things the Buffaloes did well:
They came out ready to play in the first half on offense and defense. Askia Booker kept the Buffs in it in the first half putting up 16 points on 11 shots and had no turnovers. His shots weren't all the smartest once again, but they were going in and Baylor couldn't stop him. It was Booker in the first, but Spencer Dinwiddie in the second as he took over down the stretch hitting crucial buckets. Josh Scott got his second foul early in the first half, which was an incorrect call, but in the second he came out and had some nice post moves and a spin to get the Buffs points as he finished with 9 total. Xavier Johnson only put up 7 points, but he showed he's not afraid to take it the rim. Multiple times Johnson went straight at Baylor's bigs. Overall, Colorado didn't do too much offensively, and it was their defense that helped them win the game. The defense held Baylor to 3-16 shooting from three, and 36% overall from the field. Spencer Dinwiddie played great defense on Pierre Jackson all game long forcing him to 3-11 from the field and 1-6 from beyond the arc. Also, Brady Heslip was limited to 7 points and shot 1-5 from three. Andre Roberson stood out once again on defense and on the glass. His offense is still limited, but on the other side of the ball, he's one of the best in the nation.
Things the Buffaloes struggled with:
4-18. 22%. That was how Colorado fared today at the free throw line. I don't know how a team can shoot from the line that way in college basketball and get a win. It just should never happen. One good thing to note is that the Buffs won't play until Sunday, so they have an off day to shoot free throws because they're not going to win another game shooting that way from the charity stripe. Shane Harris-Tunks played an awful game as he went too far out on the perimeter on screens on defense, missed a layup, and looked out of sync the entire game. Once again, the offense cannot be run through Andre Roberson. He's not developed enough offensively for Colorado to do it. He should improve as the year goes on as he did have some nice passes off of drives to teammates that didn't end up in a score, but he's better off roaming the court picking up offensive rebounds, cutting to the hoop, and being in the right position for easy layups. If you take out the free throws, the Buffaloes didn't struggle too much, but if they want to come back with a championship trophy, their play has to improve on Sunday.
Colorado gets tomorrow off and will prepare for either St. Johns or Murray State in the final at 6:30 p.m. MT on ESPN 2. The Buffaloes could certainly beat either team, but the free throws need to be improved and if Colorado has their opponent on the ropes, they need to put them away immediately. Even if the Buffaloes lose the final, this tournament should be considered a success as they beat a ranked Big-12 team on a neutral site.