The Colorado Buffaloes and Stanford Cardinal are hovering around .500 in the Pac-12 this season, and are in the bottom half of the league standings going into the weekend. Here, they’ll look to pick up an important win over one another, as they look to improve their stock in the conference as the Pac-12 tournament draws closer. In order to do that, both teams will need to elevate their games on the offensive end of the floor. Follow along to see our expert picks and predictions

Buffaloes Hope To Continue Hot Streak On The Road

The Colorado Buffaloes will play in their third straight road game on Saturday against the Stanford Cardinal. Prior to this matchup, Colorado has gone on the road to face the Oregon State Beavers and California Golden Bears, as they look to continue their recent hot streak to climb the Pac-12 standings. For Colorado to win this game, they’ve got to continue to play effective offense.

Over a recent three-game stretch where the Buffalo played Oregon State twice and Utah once, Colorado scored over 80 points in all three games. They won all three of those contests, proving what they’re capable of when they’re more efficient offensively. Against Stanford, the Buffaloes have an opportunity to continue that recent trend.

Jabari Walker will be the key to this game for the Buffaloes, as he’s the team’s leading scorer and rebounder. He’s putting up over 14 points and nine rebounds per contest and will need to continue to be effective at scoring and rebounding to help the Buffaloes get to where they want to be. But he’ll need some help as well, which hasn’t been a given for Colorado over the course of this season.

Cardinal Looking To Give Fanbase Win In Final Home Game

The Cardinal comes into this game against Colorado after playing a home game against Utah. This is the final home game of the year for the Cardinal, who’ll go on the road to face California, Arizona, and Arizona State to close out the season. In order to take advantage of their final chance to win at home on the year, the Cardinal will need to do a better job of moving the ball.

Stanford averages around 13 assists per game this season, which puts them in the 200s nationally in terms of their average number of assists. They need to move the ball better in order to get defenses off-balance and will look to start doing so against Colorado at home. Failure to do so could see Stanford fall behind Colorado in the standings, and move the team closer to the bottom-five in the league standings.

This game is particularly significant for Stanford, as seeding in the Pac-12 tournament is on the line. The winner of this game will move closer to the top half of the standings, which will give them a more favorable matchup in the first round of the tournament. A loss, however, will move that team closer to the group of teams with sub-.500 records in the league, making their road to the NCAA Tournament more difficult.

Colorado Overwhelms The Cardinal To Spoil Stanford’s Final Home Game

The Buffaloes have had the more explosive offense over the last couple of weeks, which should give them an advantage when they take on the Stanford Cardinal on Saturday night.

While Stanford has home-court advantage in this game, they lack the weapons to put points on the board on a consistent basis. Jabari Walker is the best player on the floor in this matchup and will give Colorado everything they need to both win and cover the spread on the road to help with their seeding before the conference tournament arrives.