Colorado faces Washington to kickoff the Pac-12 Tournament. Colorado is coming off a home win against Utah, while Washington is coming off a loss at home to Washington State. My prediction in this game is Colorado to cover the -3.5-point spread. They should be healthy and have showed more this season. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this game!
Colorado vs. Washington Prediction
Colorado had some potential this year, especially on defense, where they were ranked 4th in the Pac-12 in points allowed at 66.3 PPG. The offense was where they had issues this year, but might be able to solve some of those in Las Vegas.
Tristan da Silva is the standout for the Buffaloes, and he should be available after suffering a leg injury two weeks ago against UCLA. He’s tied for leading the Buffaloes in points per game at 16. If Colorado needs anything on offense, they would go to Da Silva and let him work. KJ Simpson is Colorado’s next best player, who’s tied with da Silva in scoring at 16 PPG and then also leads the Buffaloes in assists at 4 per game and 1.5 steals per game. He’s been ruled out of the Pac-12 Tournament due to mono though, which is a huge blow. Look for J’Vonne Hadley and Nique Clifford to be the two that step up more without Simpson. Hadley averages 8 PPG and Clifford averages 6.3 PPG.
The Buffaloes are very good defensively, by allowing 66.3 PPG and are 37th in college basketball in rebounding at 37.6. With Simpson, out the offense could struggle however.
On the other side, Washington has been a big letdown due to their talent-level. They’ve been inconsistent on both offense and defense this season.
Keion Brooks is the one player for the Huskies that can get hot and is capable of carrying them if they need it. He leads the team in scoring at 18 PPG and also is second in rebounding at 6.9 per game. Keyon Menifield is the only other player that averages double digits for the Huskies. He averages 10 PPG and then leads the Huskies in assists per game at 3. Braxton Meah and Franck Kepnang are both solid down low too. Meah averages 9 PPG and then leads the team in 7.2 rebounds per game, while Kepnang also averages 9 PPG and leads the Huskies in blocks per game at 1.9.
The Huskies have struggled to excel at any one side of the court this year. They score 69 PPG and allow 70 PPG, so they need to find more offense and play better defense to advance.
Colorado should win this game ugly due to their defense. The absence of KJ Simpson is going to hurt on offense, but they can survive against Washington and get enough offense out of Tristan Da Silva to advance to play UCLA.
Colorado vs. Washington Prediction: Colorad0 -3.5
Colorado vs. Washington Odds
Colorado is a 3.5-point favorite against Washington in Vegas. The over/under is also at 138. It makes sense that Colorado is favored because you can count on them to at least be consistent on defense, even without Simpson. The over/under also makes sense, but might be a little high based on how inconsistent each team has been statistically on defense. This spread should also stay where it’s at before tip-off.
Colorado vs. Washington Key Matchups
Can Tristan da Silva matchup with Keion Brooks? Can Keyon Menifield matchup with Nique Clifford?
Tristan da Silva vs Keion Brooks
Tristan da Silva has been the best source of offense for Colorado this season. He averages 16 points, 1 assist, and 5 rebounds per game for the season. He’ll be matched up against Keion Brooks, who averages 18 points, 1 assist, and 7 rebounds per game for the season. Keion Brooks is the best way for the Huskies to generate offense, so this matchup is between each team’s best player. Whoever can gain the advantage, their team has the best chance of winning because of how important each player is to their team.
Keyon Menifield vs Nique Clifford
Keyon Menifield is a solid point guard for Washington this year as a freshman. He averages 10 points, 3 assists, and 3 rebounds per game for the season. He’ll be matched up against Nique Clifford, who averages 6 points, 2 assists, and 4 rebounds per game for the season. Clifford is a big guard that plays good defense, but he has a tough matchup against here. Keyon Menifield is the engine behind Washington’s offense, so this matchup will be huge to see how Clifford does against him.