CU Buffs set to open Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament vs. Washington on Wednesday

A trip to Sin City is on the horizon for the Colorado Buffaloes, as they’ll begin their quest for a Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament title on Wednesday afternoon against Washington in Las Vegas.

The No. 9 seed Buffs (16-15, 8-12 Pac-12) come into their matchup against the No. 8 Huskies (16-15, 8-12) needing to go on an impressive run in order to continue their season beyond these next few days in Las Vegas.

Colorado will have to do it without point guard KJ Simpson, who will be out for the tournament due to an illness.

Because of that, expect for Julian Hammond III and Ethan Wright to shoulder more of the load for the Buffs on Wednesday.

Even though Simpson will be sidelined, Colorado will still get help from the ever-reliable Tristan da Silva and Lawson Lovering — the latter has been impressive defensively in a bigger role this season.

For Washington, inconsistency has also been an issue this season. The Huskies tallied an impressive win over Saint Mary’s in November, had a five-game losing streak in late December and into January and ended the regular season with losses against  Stanford and Washington State.

Offensively, they’re rather limited, with senior forward Keion Brooks responsible for a team-leading 17.8 points per game. Beyond him, Keyon Menifield puts up 10 per contest is the only other Huskies player averaging double figures.

Jamal Bey is another name to look out for on Washington, as he can be explosive at times and is a good mid-range shooter as well.

Ultimately, it could prove difficult for the undermanned Buffs to beat a Washington squad that they’ve lost to twice this season, but they do still have the talent to keep it close and potentially pull off a win.

Tipoff is at 1:00 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network.

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Story originally appeared on Buffaloes Wire