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Colorado Vs. Baylor: Buffs Face Formidable Bears

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The Colorado Buffaloes are still breathing, which is an accomplishment in and of itself. But beating the Baylor Bears is a whole different animal altogether (no pun intended).

Let's face it, Colorado has beaten a lot of teams that they weren't expected to beat to get to the Round of 32. Of the remaining teams in the field, only the two 15 seeds that knocked off Duke and Missouri are ranked lower by Pomeroy. Their success against UNLV is probably the third most remarkable story of the tournament, a trend that brings us back to their original surge to get to the Dance to begin with.

It seems like the Bears would be the logical candidate to end their run, right?

Baylor possesses all the matchups that would neutralize a squad like Colorado. They have the rebounding inside with Perry Jones, Quincy Acy and Quincy Miller, who should do more than enough to counter the burgeoning force that is Andre Roberson. They have a shooting dynamo in Brady Heslip, someone who should be able to hit open threes if given the chance. They have a solid point in Pierre Jackson who knows how to find his players in the right places. Colorado's guards have played well, but Spencer Dinwiddie and Carlon Brown have been playing over their heads for quite some time. The Buff guards are ultimately still a weakness (as we've seen at the end of games) and steal-demons like Jackson and A.J. Walton should have their opportunities to wreak havoc.

Baylor is far more patient with working it inside, which could be Colorado's downfall--the only team to really frustrate them in Pac-12 play was Stanford, and the Cardinal love to get the ball inside and in the basket and work that ball all over the place with its athletes. Baylor is the ultimate Stanford, with forwards everywhere dominating the ball and guards doing their best to manage the game as it came to them.

There are no inefficiencies it seems either side can take care of. Baylor is the best offense Colorado has faced since Oregon. The Bears are an excellent shooting team that grabs a lot of offensive rebounds to create second shots, and are generally good at keeping opponents outside the paint. Colorado loves to get to the free throw line, grabs the hell out of the defensive boards. In many ways, Baylor and Colorado are mirror opposites, except Baylor has just the defense to halt Colorado's sudden offensive advances.

Ultimately, Colorado has been rolling sixes for four games straight.. The Buffaloes have used all those games to take leads and hold them until the final minutes with their defense despite long bouts of offensive ineptitude. they're going to have to hope for multiple sixes against Baylor if they plan on getting to the Sweet 16.

And what's even more crazy? If Colorado scores the upset, the Elite Eight probably becomes unbelievably likely.