Sure, Arizona won 57-47 in their weekend tilt against UCLA, but they sure as heck didn’t make it easy on themselves. The Wildcats have proven to be quite dominant on their home turf, but turover troubles almost doomed them to the visiting Bruins. With the win however–their fourth straight–Arizona can focus on the final stretch of the schedule in their pursuit of a Pac-12 title as they travel to Denver to do battle with Colorado, before their rematch next weekend with No. 13 Utah.
This is the ‘Cats second meetup on the season with the Buffaloes, with the first resulting in a 68-54 victory for home team Arizona back on January 15. Colorado on a whole, has gone 5-9 in conference play, are hanging out on a lower rung of the Pac-12 ladder. In last weekend’s loss, Oregon State’s defense held CU to 18-52 in field goals. While out-scoring OSU in the second, the slow start doomed the Buffaloes to their fifth loss in their last six games.
Allowing the opposition to take control early is exactly the type of trap that Colorado could fall into against Arizona, who–as we have discussed over the last several games–are successful when they gain control of the game tempo early on and take advantage of the oppositions mistakes. They are currently averaging 7.3 steals a game and are leading the conference with a +8.5 rebound margin, with Stanley Johnson and T.J. McConnell leading the way in both categories.
Perhaps UA’s achiles heel is that they aren’t always dominant when playing at Boulder. While leading the overall series against the Buffaloes 12-11, the Wildcats are a mere 2-7 when teams play each other at Coors Event Center.
Tip off for No.7 Arizona’s matchup at Colorado is scheduled for 7:05pm Mountain time.
*Section Photo credit to Christian Petersen, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Casey Sapio, USA Today Sports