While both schools have a rich history in the NCAA Tournament, the Pittsburgh Panthers and Colorado Buffaloes don’t boast winning records in the seminal men’s college basketball tournament and look to improve those marks on Thursday afternoon.
The two schools will meet in the second round of the tournament’s South Region, in Orlando with the No. 9 seed Panthers holding a 23-25 record in 24 appearances all-time and the No. 8 seed Buffaloes 10-14 in 12 trips.
Pitt has made the tournament 11 of the last 12 years, and Colorado has now made the tournament in consecutive seasons for the first time in the program’s history.
The Panthers (25-9, 11-7) finished fifth in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a solid frontcourt of upperclassman. Senior 6-foot-5 forward Lamar Patterson averaged a team-best 17.6 points per game, and 6-foot-9 Nigerian forward Talib Zanna pulled down 8.8 rebounds to go along with his 12.9 points per game.
Behind head coach Jamie Dixon, Pitt started the season 18-2 but struggled against some of the ACC’s top teams. A narrow three-point loss to eventual conference champ Virginia and an upset of North Carolina in the conference tournament earned the Panthers an at-large bid.
One of six Pac-12 teams to make the tournament, Colorado (23-11, 10-8) picked up its tournament spot with an early three-point victory over Kansas, and a nine-point win over Oregon. However, the Buffaloes ended the regular season with a 3-4 mark, including a disappointing 20-point blowout loss to top seeded Arizona in the Pac-12 tournament.
Junior guard Spencer Dinwiddie leads the Buffaloes in scoring and passing with 14.7 points and 3.8 assists, and sophomore forward Josh Scott controls the interior with 14.1 points and 8.5 rebounds.
Many times a tournament win comes down to coaching, and Pittsburgh holds the advantage. Dixon has an 11-9 mark, while Colorado’s Tad Boyle is 1-2.
Pittsburgh enters the game as 6.5 points favorites.
Time: 1:40 p.m. EST
TV Channel: TBS
Online Stream Info: A live online stream can be viewed at NCAA March Madness Live here.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 68, Colorado 60