The Colorado Buffaloes men’s basketball team now holds an overall record of 6-2 after a Wednesday night loss to the No. 5 UCLA Bruins. It was a hard-fought battle for the Buffs, as they came within just four points of UCLA in the second half before their comeback attempt was stifled, resulting in a final score of 73-61.
Colorado’s next challenge comes in the form of the No. 13 Tennessee Volunteers, who they will play in Boulder on Saturday. The Vols are currently riding a three-game win streak, which includes a victory over the No. 18 North Carolina Tar Heels. Their record is currently 5-1, with their only loss coming at the hands of the No. 6 Villanova Wildcats.
For the Buffs, their ability to hang tough in close games has been on full display this season, which will certainly play to their advantage. They’ll need to shut down Tennessee’s offense, which is averaging 82 points per game this year, in order to stay in the game.
The Vols’ offensive output is led by junior guard Santiago Vescovi, hailing from Montevideo, Uruguay. He is currently averaging 15.5 points per game and had 13 in the Vols’ most recent victory. Vescovi will certainly be a player the Buffs need to keep a careful eye on.
The Buffs will also need their top performers to step up and deliver. Evan Battey had a tough outing against UCLA, with only four points and fouling out with 6:30 left to play. Hopefully, it was just a small bump as he’s been averaging a career-best 13.5 points per game.
Sophomore guard Nique Clifford is another player to keep an eye on this weekend as he’s been a pleasant surprise for the Buffs on defense, averaging 5.5 rebounds per game. He’s second only to Jabari Walker in total rebounds for the Buffs this season.
This game will be a big test for Colorado. If the Buffs can bounce back from their Wednesday night loss to No. 5 UCLA and take down the Vols, it would be a huge win over a ranked opponent and put the resiliency of this team on full display.
Tipoff is set for noon MT at the CU Events Center. We’ll see if Buffs fans can fulfill Tad Boyle’s wishes and pack the building.