Oklahoma St.-Colorado Preview
The last time Colorado defeated a pair of top-10 teams in the same season was during its final year as a member of the Big 12 in 2010-11. It's been much longer since the program beat one on a neutral court.
Looking for an 11th consecutive victory, the No. 20 Buffaloes face a difficult test while attempting to do it again Saturday night against former league foe and seventh-ranked Oklahoma State in the MGM Grand Showcase in Las Vegas.
Colorado (10-1) cracked the Top 25 after a buzzer-beating 75-72 home win over former Big 12 rival and then-No. 6 Kansas on Dec. 7. Despite trailing midway through the first half on Dec. 13 against Elon, the Buffaloes won 80-63 to record the program's first 10-game win streak since the 1961-62 team won 12 in a row.
"It's another milestone this program has reached and we are going to celebrate it in time, and other milestones," coach Tad Boyle said. "But at the end of the day it's all about beating Oklahoma State on the 21st."
The Buffaloes beat former Big 12 members Missouri and Texas when both were ranked in the top 10 three seasons ago during the school's last before leaving for the Pac-12. However, Colorado's most recent victory over a top-10 opponent on a neutral court came during the 1990 Big Eight tournament, 92-88 in overtime over the No. 6 Tigers.
"We're excited to play against a storied program, and certainly a Top 25 team like Oklahoma State," Boyle told the school's official website. "It's going to be a great opportunity for us."
Long-time members together in the Big Eight and Big 12, Colorado and Oklahoma State (10-1) haven't met since the Buffaloes snapped a three-game series skid with a 75-71 home victory Jan. 15, 2011. The teams have split the 12 they've played on a neutral floor.
The Cowboys, meanwhile, have dropped three straight and 14 of 16 when facing a ranked opponent on a neutral court.
"This is a great matchup between two top 20 teams, and we're going to have to play better than we have of late and bring our 'A' effort," Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said.
"It's a good team for us to be playing right now for us to continue to learn about ourselves and prepare for later on."
Oklahoma State has allowed an average of 50.0 points while beating South Carolina, Louisiana Tech and Delaware State by an average of 24.7 points since losing 73-68 to then-No. 21 Memphis in the finals of the Old Spice Classic on Dec. 1. The Cowboys overcame some early struggles against Delaware State's deliberate pace to hold the Hornets to 28.6 percent shooting during Tuesday's 75-43 victory.
Oklahoma State has managed to regroup while not solely leaning on star guard Marcus Smart, who is averaging a team-leading 18.0 points but 11.5 in the last four contests. He scored all of his season-low eight points in the final 20 minutes Tuesday, sparking an early second-half run by recording two of his three steals.
Teammate Le'Bryan Nash has averaged 17.3 points on 19-of-33 shooting in the last three games.
Colorado guard Spencer Dinwiddie is averaging a team-leading 15.5 points, and 20.0 in the last three contests. He went 5 of 7 from the field to finish with 17 points, seven assists and six rebounds versus Elon.