Colorado vs. Kansas State
The #6 seeded Buffaloes take on the #11 seeded Wildcats on at 7:20 pm on ESPN2. This will be the late game in the Big XII tournament. I expect the game to be a low scoring, defensive battle between two hard nosed teams. With each team having won a game on their own floor during the season, the keys to winning this game will be turnovers and rebounding.
In their last meeting in Manhattan, CU had 18 turnovers to KSU's 12. Kansas State is a veteran team that spreads the scoring out evenly among the starters. Inside they are a bit on the small side but seem to make up for it with experience and hustle.
Kansas State is going to need big games out of post players Matt Siebrandt and Pervis Pasco on both ends of the floor. Quentin Buchanan (SR.) has a hyper-extended knee and isn't expected to give the Wildcats much help.
Mookie Wright is going to be the key for the Buffaloes in this game. If he provides good leadership against the KSU pressure, and makes smart decisions, CU turnovers will be limited. Colorado needs to keep feeding the ball to Stephane Pelle and David Harrison in the paint on offense. Once they are established I'd look for Blair Wilson open up and get good looks from outside.
Michel Morandais has stated that he's moving better on his ankle than in the Nebraska game, but that isn't saying much. Don't look for him to play too much in a tight game. Lamar Harris and Chris Copeland will need to play quality minutes off the bench and help beat Kansas State on the boards.
Colorado should be hungry for postseason play, and will advance to play Oklahoma on Friday night. I look for the game to be close and relatively low scoring, with Colorado winning by less than 10 points.