The Bruins have a chance to clinch the Pac-12 regular season title outright with a road win over the Buffaloes on Sunday.
A Sunday matinee showdown between the Bruins and Buffaloes could help decide the 2022-2023 Pac-12 champion, as well as who gets the No. 1 seed in March’s conference tournament.
WHO: UCLA vs. Colorado
DATE: Sunday, Feb. 26
TIME: 1:10 p.m. PT
LOCATION: CU Events Center, Boulder, CO
TV: CBS – Spero Dedes (play-by-play), Bill Raftery (analyst)
STREAMING: fuboTV (Start your free trial)
RADIO: AM 1150, Sirius Ch. 83, SXM App 83 – Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)
SPREAD: UCLA -7 (-118), Colorado +7 (-110)*
MONEY LINE: UCLA -333, Colorado, +240*
OVER/UNDER: O 134.5 (-110), U 134.5 (-118)*
UCLA came in at No. 4 in the most recent AP Poll and No. 3 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, and is currently No. 4 in the NET Rankings, No. 2 in the KenPom, No. 3 in the T-Rank and No. 4 in the BPI. Colorado did not appear in either the AP Poll or Coaches Poll, and is currently No. 74 in the NET, No. 60 in the KenPom, No. 80 in the T-Rank and No. 80 in the BPI.
According to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, UCLA is projected to be the No. 2 seed in the West Region for the NCAA tournament, while Colorado is not in his field.
The Bruins were the heavy favorite to win the Pac-12 this season, earning the No. 1 spot in the preseason media poll with 26 first-place votes. The Buffaloes, on the other hand, came in at No. 6. UCLA has already clinched a share of the regular season conference title, and the T-Rank WinMatrix gives them a 99.5% chance of winning it outright – they need just one win in their final three games to do so.
UCLA is led by coach Mick Cronin, who is in his fourth season with the program. Cronin boasts an 92-34 record since arriving in Westwood and a 457-205 record as a head coach overall, including his previous stints at Murray State and Cincinnati.
The Bruins are currently 24-4, including an 15-2 record in Pac-12 play. Following a winless weekend in Las Vegas in November, UCLA rattled off 14 wins in a row, including victories over Maryland, Kentucky, USC, Arizona State, and Colorado. The streak came to an end with back-to-back road losses against Arizona and USC, but the Bruins have since recovered by winning seven in a row over Washington, Washington State, Oregon State, Oregon, Stanford, Cal and Utah.
UCLA is averaging 74.2 points per game while allowing 59.8 points per game, which rank No. 122 and No. 7 in the country, respectively. The Bruins have the No. 21 adjusted offense and No. 2 adjusted defense in the KenPom. Their 16.4 turnovers forced per game and their 10.3 turnovers per game both rank inside the top 20 in the country.
Guard/forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. leads UCLA with 17.0 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Guard Jaylen Clark is averaging 13.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game, while point guard Tyger Campbell is averaging 12.4 points and 4.8 assists per game. Freshmen Amari Bailey, Adem Bona and Dylan Andrews, meanwhile, have each emerged as secondary options alongside veteran sharpshooter David Singleton.
Coloado is led by coach Tad Boyle, who is in his 13th season with the Buffaloes. Boyle has gone to five NCAA tournaments across his 16 seasons as a head coach at the Division I level, and he has a 321-211 career record including his previous stint at Colorado State.
After opening the season with a loss to Grambling State and a win over Tennessee, Colorado’s year has continued to be filled with high highs and low lows. The Buffaloes won five straight games in December, then became the first high major team to lose to California all year. Outside of a three-game losing streak in January, Colorado has mostly been trading wins for losses en route to an inconsistent 15-14 record overall and a 7-11 mark in conference play.
Colorado is averaging 70.4 points per game while allowing 66.7 points per game, which rank No. 209 and No. 85 in the country, respectively. The Buffaloes have the No. 100 adjusted offense and No. 34 adjusted defense in the KenPom. Colorado ranks No. 326 in the country in 3-point percentage, as well as No. 255 in overall field goal percentage.
The Buffaloes’ offense runs almost entirely through forward Tristan da Silva and guard KJ Simpson, who average 16.1 and 15.9 points per game, respectively. The duo also accounts for a combined 8.4 attempts from beyond the arc per game, with the former shooting 39.8% and the latter shooting 28.2%. No one else on Colorado averages more than 8.0 points per game or takes more than 2.8 triples per game.
UCLA is 17-7 against Colorado all-time, and 13-6 since they joined the Pac-12 back in 2011. Since Cronin took over in Westwood, the Bruins are 6-1 against the Buffaloes.
Colorado is still 11-3 at home this year, though, and UCLA is just 2-3 in its last five trips to the CU Events Center.
*Odds via SI Sportsbook
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