By the transitive property, if you bookend wins over the hottest team in the conference do you take the title of ‘hottest team in conference'?
Maybe not, but the Colorado Buffaloes stymied the Kansas St. Wildcats six game win streak with a victory in the second round of the Big 12 Tournament yesterday. Now they face an even bigger challenge of facing the defending regular season and conference tournament champion Kansas Jayhawks in a virtual home game for KU.
But the location of the Big 12 Tournament hasn't mattered to the Buffs. Yesterday's win came on the same court, in front of a K-State based partisan crowd, as tonight's game will be, in front of a Jayhawk partisan crowd.
But amidst the red and blue clad fans should be a small section of black and gold. Those will be the friends and family of CU sophomore Alec Burks, who grew up in the KC area. And while KU never really considered Burks, and Burks never really considered KU, there has to be wee bit of him that wants to stop another Sunflower State run, the Jayhawks streak of four of the past five victories.
For that to happen, CU will again need to come up big on the glass. With a KU frontline of Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris and Thomas Robinson, the Jayhawks outsize CU's Andre Roberson and Austin Dufault. But during through the first two rounds of this tournament, CU has done an exception job rebounding. Ranked 108th nationally in rebounds per game, CU has outrebounded both the Iowa St. Cyclones and K-State, based largely in part to Roberson's 14 and 15 rebound performances.
And it will need to continue. Though Burks and Cory Higgins might win the guard battle against Brady Morningstar, Tyshawn Taylor, Tyrel Reed and Josh Selby, when the inside game of KU is rolling - and not in foul trouble - the Jayhawks are virtually unstoppable.
KU should win this one, but CU will give them a run for their money in the first half. I think playing a third game in three days will catch up to CU's legs and KU will win this one going away in the second half.
The game tips tonight at 6:00 p.m. CT and can be seen on ESPN3.com