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Washington State vs. Colorado: Buffs look for second conference win

The Cougars and the Buffaloes meet in a Pac-12 matchup on New Years Eve.

NCAA Basketball: Brooklyn Showcase-Colorado at Miami (FL) Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington State Cougars take on the Colorado Buffaloes in a Pac-12 matchup on Sunday, December 31. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. ET from Boulder. The game will air on Fox.

Washington State (9-3) has lost two of their last three games, falling to Utah and Santa Clara and beating Boise State in that stretch. The Cougars rank 70th at KenPom, and don’t crack the top 50 in adjusted offensive or defensive efficiency. Washington State has faced a fairly light scheduled up to this point in the season, and as conference play begins, they are going to face much bigger challenges.

The Cougars are led by forward Isaac Jones, who leads the team with an average of 15.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. The team struggles with scoring depth on its roster — just two players average in the double digits in points per game. Their 80-58 loss to Utah exposed Wazzu’s weaknesses, as they got beaten badly in every significant stat line except for rebounding. The Cougars rank 21st in the nation in rebounds, with 40.9 per game.

Colorado (10-2) is fresh off a win over Washington. Their only two losses this year have come against Florida State and Colorado State, and both were decided by a margin of six points or less. The Buffaloes have also grabbed wins over Richmond and Miami this season, and they rank 24th overall at KenPom, landing in the top 30 in offense and defense.

The Buffaloes, led by guard KJ Simpson with 20 points per game, rank 16th in the nation with 85.1 points per game. Simpson also averages 2.2 steals and 4.8 rebounds per game, and the team as a whole ranks 39th in rebounds per game with 39.6 on average. The Buffaloes are a significantly stronger team than the Cougars, and should make quick work of Wazzu on their home court to grab their second conference win.

Washington State vs. Colorado odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Colorado -7
Total: 143
Moneyline: Colorado -380, Wazzu +290

Pick: Colorado -7