LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 08: Austin Dufault #33 of the Colorado Buffaloes celebrates after the game against the Oregon Ducks during the quarterfinals of the Pac12 Men's Basketball Tournament at Staples Center on March 8, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Colorado won 63-62. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
After Colorado's incredible win over Oregon, they now will face Cal and will have to play like last night in order to get the win. Additionally, Tad Boyle is going to have to keep his team under control and not let them think anything is going to come easily. Boyle deserves a lot of credit for this team's success; since day one, he has been preaching defense and it continues to show.
Nate Tomlinson and Spencer Dinwiddie will switch on and off, but both of them will be guarding Gutierrez. The key will be if Gutierrez can get rolling early. If he makes his early shots, I think he will have a good game. However, if he doesn't shoot well early, he will most likely shoot poorly all game. Gutierrez can definitely impact the game in other areas, but if he cannot score or scores like his two previous games against the Buffaloes, the Buffaloes will win.
Dufault is averaging 17 points in the two games against Cal this season. He has been very efficient against the two main big men for Cal and hasn't struggled defending them as much as he has with the Oregon players. The reason why Dufault has been so good against California is because of his outside shot. Whoever is guarding Dufault has to chase him out to the three point line because they have to respect the shot. Since some of the big men on Cal are not as quick as others Dufault has faced, he can take them off the dribble to the hoop. Ultimately, if Dufault can play the way he has in his previous meetings, the Buffaloes chances of winning will be very high.
What the Buffaloes need to do to win: Colorado needs to be patient on offense and let their defense win it for them. Although Cal has played poorly against Colorado in the past, they are a very good team that should not be taken lightly. Colorado must limit Jorge Gutierrez's playmaking ability and not let Justin Cobbs or Allen Crabbe have any uncontested shots. If Colorado plays great defense and gets out in transition as much as they can, they will earn a spot in the Pac-12 final.