Las Vegas sports books have Colorado pegged as a 5½-point underdog in its second-round NCAA Tournament game Thursday against Pittsburgh — even though the Buffs are the higher seed (8 vs. 9).

The bookies aren't the only ones predicting trouble for the Buffs.

Peter Tiernan is, too. Tiernan, who operates the bracketscience.com website and has been studying the NCAA Tournament for 22 years, said his look at the analytics doesn't bode well for a CU team that will be an underdog in any game it plays.

"They commit more turnovers than they generate, which is not a good stat for an underdog seed," Tiernan said. "Successful underdog seeds have kind of a high-risk, high-reward strategy. If you look at teams like (Virginia Commonwealth University) in recent years, they turn people over. They try to buy more possessions. Colorado does not seem to be that kind of a team."

CU's 0.87 assist-to-turnover ratio is the poorest of the four No. 8 seeds in the tournament. Pittsburgh has a 1.48 assist-to-turnover ratio, which is the best of the No. 9 seeds.

Tiernan also sees CU's three-point margin of victory — by far the lowest among No. 8 seeds — as a potential red flag.