Can Colorado three-peat? That is the question as the Buffs look to beat the now #23 Kansas State Wildcats on Thursday in the second round of the Big 12 tournament.
CU not only beat the Wildcats in Bramlage Coliseum to open league play but they were the only team to beat K-State in the month of February as they won 58-56 in Boulder. Some of the other teams KSU played in February included the likes of Texas, Missouri & Kansas so it gives you an indication of how K-State finished up the regular season.
Colorado advanced to the 2nd round of the tournament by coming from behind late to beat a game Iowa State Cyclone club. As usual Alec Burks was the main cog in the machine as he scored 29 points and maybe solidified the Buffs spot in the NCAA Tournament.
K-State as most everyone knows finished the year strong as they made it all the way up to be the #4 seed in the Big 12 Tournament which gave them a first round bye.
Jacob Pullen put the team on his back and started to look like the player who was named a Preseason All-American but the teams strong play is not simply due to Pullen. Curtis Kelly is starting to look like the player who was instrumental in the Wildcats Elite 8 run last year and Rodney McGruder has been a solid third option.
Look for K-State to try and pound the ball inside on CU and see if they can get the Buffs in foul trouble. Tad Boyle only really goes with a 7 man rotation and they are coming off a game the day before where three starters: Burks, Cory Higgins & Marcus Relphorde all played over 35 minutes of game time.
The matchup to watch when Colorado has the ball is how K-State tries to defend Burks. In a previous matchup this season Levi Knutson was left open multiple times and he scorched the Wildcats from three point land. Jacob Pullen is the Wildcats best on ball defender but Burks has a huge size advantage over Pullen.
The Wildcats can't be solely worrying about Burks as Higgins, Knutson and Relphorde all have the ability to knock down the long ball.
The saying you hear floated around a lot is that it's very hard to beat a team three times in one season. Well we will see how accurate that is on Thursday at 2:00 P.M. Central time in Kansas City.