Five To Watch: Pitt-Colorado

Pitt is looking to end an 0-10 stretch when facing the higher-seeded team, a stretch that dates all the way back to 1981.

* Starting with Colorado, the Buffaloes have a powerful big man in the middle, in sophomore Josh Scott. Fittingly, the 6-10, 245-pounder is from a town called Monument, Colorado. He's big enough, like a monument. He averages over 14 points a game. Off the court, he benches 267 pounds, squats 433.

Colorado has a physical presence inside that may cause matchup problems for Pitt. Talib Zanna played, arguably, his two best games of the season in the first two games of the ACC Tournament. While he did more than hold his own against one of the nation's best in James Michael McAdoo, going against Scott is a whole different type of matchup. Scott is an immovable object inside. The Panthers may have to escort to a similar gameplan as they did in games like Syracuse, with a similar matchup in Rakeem Christmas--isolate him, and try to make plays that require him to move, then make the extra pass.

* This game might come down to something as simple as Pitt outshooting Colorado. The Buffaloes ranked 9th the PAC-12 in overall shooting (42.9%) and 11th in three-point shooting (31.8%). It almost looks likea similar team to Pitt--a focus on playing defense and being physical, less of a focus on the offensive end. Still, the Buffaloes finished third in the PAC-12 overall, making the NCAA Tournament for a third year in a row and tying for the second-most wins in a season in school history.

* Pitt will once again look to have a big game from both Talib Zanna and Lamar Patterson. Going back to last week, Zanna had 17 points and nine rebounds against Wake Forest, then topped that with 19 points and 21 rebounds against North Carolina. Patterson put up 24 points against Wake, and while he finished with only 12 against North Carolina, the buckets he did score hurt Carolina at key points in the game.

* If the fifth-year seniors lead the way, Pitt can supplement anything from James Robinson, Cameron Wright and Josh Newkirk. If it's those three leading the way, and doing the most damage, that's probably not a good sign for Pitt. These three have to supplement what Patterson and Zanna do, not replace.

* Lastly, this game comes down to history. For Colorado, a win Thursday ties the school-record for most wins in a season. Pitt is looking for its first win over a higher-seeded team since 1981, where as a No. 10 seed, they beat No. 7 seed Idaho, 70-69. Since then, Pitt is 0-10 when playing a higher-seeded team.


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