Pushed back a day, Buffs set to host Golden Bears

NCAA Men's Basketball

The Colorado Buffaloes were set for a Wednesday night matchup against Pac-12 rival Cal, but in what has become the new normal, the game was moved back 17 hours.

So instead of a primetime slot, the Bears and Buffaloes now have a lunchtime game Thursday. The way Colorado has played of late, however, it doesn’t matter that tipoff is at noon local time, this team is ready to go.

The Buffaloes (9-3, 3-2 Pac-12) are coming off two impressive wins, the first over then-No. 17 Oregon a week ago followed by a road win at Utah on Monday. Colorado rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to beat the Utes, and they did it with leading scorer McKinley Wright IV having a so-so game.

Wright had just nine points — only the third time he failed to score in double figures this season — but got plenty of help from others. D’Shawn Schwartz (15 points, 15 rebounds) and Jabari Walker (15 points, 10 rebounds) had double-doubles, showing that the Buffaloes can get production from other areas.

It was a breakout game for the freshman Walker, and it has been needed with 7-footer Dallas Walton out since late December with a lower leg injury.

“The thing I love about Jabari is he is not scared of anything or anybody. He just plays with such passion and joy. Just got to keep learning,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. “That’s what your freshman year is for, to keep learning from your mistakes and also from your successes. Hopefully the rest of our guys can learn from Jabari as well.”

Cal (6-7, 1-5) hasn’t had much to cheer about yet this season but it did finally get a conference win. The Bears are seeking their second straight win against the Buffaloes — they beat them at home last February — and their first win in Boulder in six years.

Getting that win will be tough if leading scorer Matt Bradley has to miss a third straight game with an ankle injury. Cal may also be without Kuany Kuany, who missed the win over the Washington Huskies last week with an injury.

Andre Kelly stepped up in the win over Washington, and freshman Joel Brown hit a big 3-pointer in the final minutes.

“In the limited offseason we had Joel worked very hard on his shooting,” Bears coach Mark Fox said after the win over the Huskies. “It has paid dividends for us late in games.”

–Field Level Media

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