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2016 NCAA tournament preview: Colorado Buffaloes

Colorado Buffaloes

Record: 22-11 (10-8 Pac-12)

Head Coach: Tad Boyle (6th season)

Season Recap: The Buffaloes avoided any bad losses in nonconference play, but fell to a pair of ranked foes in Iowa State and Southern Methodist. Colorado lost just one true home game all year, a two-point setback to Utah on Jan. 8. The team has strong home victories against Brigham Young, Oregon, California and Arizona. The Buffaloes were swept on weekend road trips both to the Beaver State by Oregon and Oregon State and to Los Angeles by UCLA and Southern California, and they lost 82-78 to Arizona in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament. 

Senior forward Josh Scott is fifth in the Pac-12 in both scoring at 16.1 points per game and rebounding at 8.7 per game. Colorado shoots lights-out from downtown—George King at 45.6 percent and Dominique Collier at 45.5 percent are the top two 3-point shooters in the conference, and its team mark of 39.2 percent from downtown also tops the league. The Buffaloes also rank among the top free throw-shooting and rebounding teams in the country, but they can be vulnerable defensively, where they allow greater than 70 points per game and a middling 35.5 percent for opponents from beyond the arc.

How they make a run: Colorado continues to fire away and shoots a high percentage from 3-point territory and converts on second-chance opportunities, advancing past Connecticut in its opening game for a chance to knock off top-seeded Kansas in the South region.

How they falter: The Buffaloes can't handle a veteran-laden Connecticut team—one of the hottest teams in the country following a magical run through the American Athletic Conference tournament. Rodney Purvis and Sterling Gibbs get hot from the outside, while Shonn Miller and Daniel Hamilton help expose Colorado's defense in a first-round exit.

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