Colorado Men's Basketball 2014 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Colorado Buffalos
Pac-12 (23-11, 10-8)


The move from the Big 12 to the Pac-12 has paid off with some dividends for Colorado, which surprised many by winning the conference tournament in its first season of membership. It also made the NCAA tournament the past two seasons after not having made the trip since 2003. The Buffaloes have two other streaks they would like to break real soon. Colorado hasn’t won a regular season championship since 1969 and has not reached a Sweet 16 since 1963. It is way too soon to tell if that streak will be broken this season, but the Buffaloes finished the regular season in a five-way tie for third place. Colorado started the regular season 14-2 before it started to lose some steam. It lost both meetings to UCLA and both meetings against Arizona, but the Buffaloes were competitive at times. What this means for postseason hopes remains to be seen.

Big Wins: 1/7 Kansas (75-72), 1/5 Oregon (100-91), 3/5 at Stanford (59-56)
Bad Losses: 1/12 at Washington (54-71), 3/1 at Utah (64-75), 3/8 at California (65-66)
Coach: Tad Boyle (4 seasons at Colorado)

Why They Can Surprise:
Kansas may have won the Big 12, but Colorado won the border war back in December. The Buffaloes surprised Kansas and proved that they can be a dangerous team to face at any time, even though they had no major upsets following the shocker against the Jayhawks. Part of Colorado’s success has to do with its ability to rebound. It was second overall in the Pac-12 in both offensive and defensive rebounding, and its rebound margin trailed only Arizona in the standings. Like other teams that are successful in the Pac-12, Colorado builds its offense around more than just one or two scorers. The trio of Josh Scott, Askia Booker and Xavier Johnson all are in double digits, which accounts for about 40 points per game. Scott and Wesley Gordon have proven adept at blocking shots, and Booker is solid when it comes to assists. Each player on this team has a role to fill and fills it well.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Spencer Dinwiddie was having a marvelous season as he averaged close to 15 points per game. Then came a knee injury against Washington on January 12th, and that was all for Dinwiddie. The Buffaloes could use a solid performer like him for the tournament, but Dinwiddie’s knee injury means Colorado will have to go it alone with just three big starters. The scoring level drops off pretty quickly after Scott, Booker and Johnson. Colorado also ranks in the bottom half of the league in most offensive and defensive categories, so a tournament appearance might be short if Colorado draws the wrong team. The Buffaloes have slumped in the second half of the year, and Dinwiddie’s injury only exacerbated the problem.

Probable Starters:
Askia Booker, Junior, Guard, 14.0 ppg, 3.4 apg
Jaron Hopkins, Freshman, Guard, 4.9 ppg, 1.1 apg
Xavier Johnson, Sophomore, Forward, 12.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg
Josh Scott, Sophomore, Forward, 14.1 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1.2 bpg
Wesley Gordon, Freshman, Forward, 5.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.3 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Xavier Talton, Sophomore, Guard,4.9 ppg, 1.6 ppg
Dustin Thomas, Freshman, Forward,3.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.5 (135th in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.9 (143, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.0 (184, 11)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.9 (138, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.3 (263, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.0 (259, 11)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.2 (92, 5)
Rebound Margin: 6.7 (13, 2)
Assists Per Game: 11.9 (236, 11)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.4 (266, 10)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2013    NCAA    Second Round loss to Illinois
2012    NCAA    Second Round win over UNLV
2012    NCAA    Third Round loss to Baylor
2011    NIT        First Round win over Texas Southern
2011    NIT        Second Round win over California
2011    NIT        Quarterfinal win over Kent State
2011    NIT        Semifinal loss to Alabama
2006    NIT        First Round loss to Old Dominion
2004    NIT        First Round loss to Oregon
2003    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Michigan State
2000    NIT        First Round loss to Southern Illinois

*all team stats through 3/9


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules