The schedule remains in Colorado’s favor. The odds do not.
Unable to secure a split in Washington last week, it is a steeply uphill road but not an impossible one for the Colorado Buffaloes to reach the top four of the Pac-12 Conference standings.
Other teams, however, are well-positioned to beat the Buffs there this week. Washington clinched at least a share of the Pac-12 crown with its win against the Buffs on Saturday. The next three spots, which also receive byes in the first round of the league tournament, still are somewhat up for grabs, but Arizona State, Oregon State, and Utah control their own destinies for spots two through four.
At 10-5, ASU needs just one more win to secure a top-four spot, beginning this week with a two-game trip through Oregon. OSU sits at 9-5 but arguably has the most difficult schedule the rest of the way, with four games to go beginning with the Arizona schools at home this week before finishing with a two-game trip through Washington.
Utah begins the week in fourth-place at 9-6. Not only would the Buffs have to defeat Utah at home Saturday (4 p.m., ESPNU), but in order to jump past the Utes they would need help from the Los Angeles schools when they visit Utah next week. USC and UCLA (both 8-7) also sit between CU and the top four, but the Los Angeles rivals play each other this week and the Buffs have an opportunity to sweep the season series against both teams at home next week.
The defensive genius of Washington senior Matisse Thybulle was recognized on Monday as the Huskies guard was named the Pac-12’s Player of the Week.
Thybulle showed why he is in line for to repeat as the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year during the Huskies’ wins against Utah and Colorado, recording six steals in each game while also collecting nine blocked shots. The senior shot 11-for-22 in the two games and went 4-for-7 on 3-pointers. He grabbed a season-high seven rebounds against Utah and was UW’s leading scorer against the Buffaloes with 17 points.
Not only is Thybulle (301 career steals) on pace to break Hall of Famer Gary Payton’s Pac-12 career steals mark, but with 96 this season he has a shot at Jason Kidd’s Pac-12 single-season record of 110.
According to a report from YahooSports.com published Monday, Arizona coach Sean Miller has been given noticed he will be subpoenaed for the next trial in the NCAA corruption scandal set to begin April 22. According to the report, LSU coach Will Wade received the same notice.
In Oregon State’s win at USC Saturday the Trojans went 0-for-6 at the free throw line, marking the first time in program history the Trojans have failed to make at least one free throw in a game…Arizona’s win against Stanford on Sunday was its 19th in a row against the Cardinal…Washington remains the Pac-12 leader in the latest NET rankings at No. 29. Next in line within the conference is Arizona State (63), Oregon (75), Colorado (76), Oregon State (78), and Arizona (80).