Three things you can count on: death, taxes and a sellout at Coors Event Center when the Colorado Buffaloes host the Kansas Jayhawks. This year is no different, and through the first three games of the conference season, this looked to have the makings of an epic battle in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains.
While the game still might live up to those expectations, with CU having lost two straight and KU collapsing against Texas on Saturday, the game will no longer pit two undefeated teams, as was once thought.
The Buffs are coming off losses at Nebraska and at Oklahoma. Though these two teams are in the bottom half of the conference rankings, the road has been a weary place for CU this season. Of the Golden Buffaloes' six losses, none have come in the mile high air of Boulder, Colo.
Kansas, meanwhile, was destined for a loss. They hadn't been playing up to Jayhawk ball Big 12 fans have come to rely on over the past decade. Although they entered Saturday's game undefeated, they had won some sloppy games, and hadn't put teams away like usual.
Despite the current losing streaks, Coors Event Center will still be rocking tonight. Alec Burks, Cory Higgins, Marcus Relphorde and Levi Knutson still deliver a fun brand of basketball. Expect the Buffs to get up and down the floor, trying to use the altitude and their athletic ability to their advantage. But it's not like KU lacks athletes on their squad. Tyshawn Taylor and Josh Selby provide enough athleticism to fill two teams themselves.
On the perimeter the talent is a wash. So this one will come down to the Morris twins, Markieff and Marcus. CU's gap is down low. Austin Dufault and Andre Roberson do a sufficient job on the interior, but they have struggled against bigger, more physical post men. The Morris twins are bigger, more physical post men.
For CU to win, they need to contain the Morrises and keep the ball at the top of the key. If they can accomplish this difficult task, the raucous Boulder crowd should be able to celebrate on the Hill following the game. If they can't, the Buffs will drop to 3-3 in the conference and face an uphill battle as they are embarking on the most brutal stretch of their schedule.
The game tips at 6:00 p.m. MT and can be seen on ESPN3.com.
NOTE: KU will be short a man, as guard Thomas Robinson will miss the game after the passing of his mother on Friday. This comes shortly after Robinson lost his maternal grandmother and paternal grandfather. This cannot be an easy time for the young man so keep Thomas in your thoughts and prayers.