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19.03.2024

Colorado vs. Boise State Game Preview and Pick: Lampkin Keeps Buffaloes Alive

March Madness is all about surviving, and after Boise State and Colorado survived the bubble, they now need to fight for their seasons again on Wednesday night to determine which team will be playing in the Round of 64. The Buffaloes were a few bounces away from being Pac-12 champions and not having to play in this game, but now that they’re here, I think Eddie Lampkin Jr. will do everything in his power to keep the Buffs dancing.

Game Preview

The NCAA Selection Committee did not have a lot of respect for the Mountain West Conference when making the bracket. While historically, the conference has dropped the ball in the tournament, the MWC had some of the most entertaining teams and games this season. One of those teams is the Boise State Broncos, who are 22-9 overall but were bounced in the first round of the conference tournament by New Mexico.

According to Bart Torvik, the Broncos rank 46th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency (114), but in their matchup with New Mexico, they would shoot just 29% from the field and from three. Tyson Degenhart, who led the Broncos in scoring this season, finished the game with a team-high 23 points, but that came on 7-20 shooting from the field.

Boise State fans, or college basketball fans in general, have not seen many poor shooting nights from Degenhart throughout his career. Even with that tough shooting night, the junior is still shooting 51.6% from the field over his last ten games. Aside from Degenhart, the Broncos have three guys averaging between 12.5 and 13.6 points per game, but even with that scoring depth, Boise State will have their work cut out for them on that end of the floor.

All the attention this year has been on Colorado's football team's defense, but in reality, the basketball team had the best defense on campus, ranking 38th in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency (98), per Bart Torvik. Before their 75-68 loss in the Pac-12 Title game, Colorado held its first two opponents in the tournament under 60 points.

Overall, the Buffaloes are well-balanced. With scoring threats like KJ Simpson, Tristan Da Silva, and Cody Williams, the team ranks 20th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency (117.7), per Haslametrics.

Pick for the Game

Whoever wins this matchup has the chance to make some noise in the tournament, as both teams are very well-rounded. Boise State also has some strong defensive metrics heading into this matchup; however, there is one area they struggle with that could hurt them against the Buffaloes. The Broncos are not a good interior defensive team, which I think will lead to Eddie Lampkin Jr. going over his point total of 10.5 (+100) on BetMGM.

In-state Boise State fans will be unable to fade this pick due to Idaho sports betting legislation, but after I go over some metrics, I’m not sure why they would want to. According to Haslametrics and Bart Torvik, the Broncos rank 227th in near-proximity field goal percentage and 256th in opponent two-point percentage.

Boise State just does not have anyone who matches up well with Lampkin Jr., who is shooting 62.7% from the field over his last ten games. The Colorado big man is second on the team in usage rate at 22%, and he plays in an offensive system that ranks 2nd in the country in near-proximity field goal attempts per 100 trips upcourt. Lampkin Jr. did not see a ton of action against Oregon due to a tough defensive matchup, but I don’t think that will be the case in this first-four showdown.

Recap

  • Eddie Lampkin Jr. Over 10.5 Points (+100) on BetMGM

*odds subject to change

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