The Colorado Buffaloes have lost three straight; the Baylor Bears have lost three of their past four games. So when the two meet today in Waco, TX one set of fans will finally have a reason to celebrate. And if this season has told us anything, it will probably be the students in the Bear Pit.
Colorado (14-7, 3-3 Big 12) is a highly skilled team with a potential NBA Lottery pick in Alec Burks and a senior leader in guard Cory Higgins. But the Buffaloes have the darndest time winning on the road. Of their seven losses, six have come away from Boulder, compared to only three wins in road uniforms. And while Baylor is far from meeting their preseason expectations, they have only dropped one game at the Ferrell Center, a 20-point defeat to the then-undefeated Kansas Jayhawks.
While the Buff guards are arguably the best in the conference, their porous interior play is what allows teams to feast inside. For CU to win they need to shore up the inside and take the game out of the paint.
The problem with this game is that Baylor has one of the top freshmen in the country and a potential top three pick in the 2011 NBA draft, Perry Jones III. Jones is still learning the college game, but in averaging 13.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, his impact is surely felt. The Bears also have the inside presence of Quincy Acy, who at 7.7 rpg is ranked fourth in the Big 12 in that category.
Baylor also can boast the conference's leading scorer, LaceDarius Dunn, whose 20.8 ppg in a point more than the conference's second leading scorer, Burks. And even though the CU guards have better name recognition, BU guard A.J. Walton is handing out 5.3 assists per game, good for second in conference.
This will sound like a broken record, but for CU to win they need Burks, Higgins and Levi Knutson to continue doing what they do. They also need Austin Dufault and Andre Roberson to step up and protect the paint. If they can keep Jones and Acy out of the middle, they have a punchers chance of winning their fourth road game of the season.
The game tips at 11:30 a.m. MT and can be viewed on Altitude on online at ESPN3.com.