The Colorado Buffaloes were certainly not predicted to be the top team in the Pac-12. Yet right now they're 3-0 in the conference. Will they stay on top?
The odds are against them. But there are things that work in their favor.
There's no doubt Tad Boyle has proven he can coach. The Buffaloes are pretty good at balancing the minutes and the possessions between each player, which is crucial to getting the offense going.
Colorado is really good at getting to the free throw line and they're really good at keeping the other team off of it. The Buffs have had +8, +12, and +4 free throws in their three conference matchups, and they shoot an average of 24 free throws a game. Colorado managed their best effort against the best team they faced (Washington) by shooting lights out from the line. This is a crucial element of winning any contest, particularly when they go on the road and face strong opponents in Cal and Stanford.
Colorado is also the second best three point shooting team in the conference. And when you can nail threes, you can beat anyone. And the Buffs went over their heads against Utah, Washington and Washington State, nailing 48%, 57% and 39%, going just under 50% on the season so far.
The Buffaloes will definitely pull off some upsets because of how well they shoot and how good they are at getting to the line. But can they replicate those stats on the road? Colorado has played only twice this season in a true road environment, and while remaining proficient from beyond the arc, they're not quite as lucky as getting their free throws. Also, a beast like Andre Roberson dominating down low and grabbing rebounds could help swing games in their advantage against smaller opponents.
Colorado is expected to probably lose at least one of these two games when they trip to the Bay Area. Both Cal and Stanford are looking like the most capable teams of the bunch. Just don't think they'll go down quietly.