Tomlinson does what Colorado asks him to do, which really is not much. As long as he is running the offense, the Buffs won't ask him to score or even shoot that much. Turner, on the other hand, is asked to be a little more aggressive. If Jordin Mayes does not play, Turner is going to have plenty of pressure on him. The good part about that is that he is certainly the better player and will likely show it on Thursday.
Dinwiddie scored 13 points in the first meeting and while Fogg outscored him, he did so on a lower shooting percentage. In addition, Fogg missed a crucial free throw and you get the feeling that Fogg is going to have a bit of retribution on his mind. Fogg is the better player and played well in the Bay Area. It would not be a surprise to see this matchup turn out to be even, but we are going to give the advantage to Fogg because we have the confidence that he will come out firing.
Johnson struggled in a big way in the first meeting while Brown hurt the Wildcats throughout the night. Brown may not score 19 points again, but Johnson is going to have to step up if he wants to be able to match him. Arizona would not necessarily mind Johnson stepping up defensively and losing some offense if it means stopping Brown. This is definitely one of the most important matchups to watch, as Miller fully recognizes Arizona needs to contain Brown in order to be successful.
Dufault outscored Hill in the first meeting and that is simply something that can't happen if Arizona is going to win this game. Hill needs to be more aggressive and realize that he is a matchup problem when he is. The fact that Hill finished with 10 rebounds in the first meeting is a great sign, but his defense will need to be better and Arizona is definitely going to rely on him more with Parrom and likely Mayes being out. This game will mean a lot for Hill and it will be interesting to see how he responds.
Perry's effort in the first meeting surprised some, as he finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 8-11 from the free throw line. On the other hand, Roberson only finished with seven rebounds and did not score. The guess here is that things even out, but Perry did a fantastic job in the first game and if he can come close to doing that again, Arizona's chances of winning increase dramatically. Roberson is not a major threat to score points, but Arizona needs to keep him off the glass.
Bench: We are under the impression that Jordin Mayes will not play on Thursday, thus Arizona's bench will consistent of two players. Brendon Lavender will be Arizona's main option off the bench and there will obviously be Angelo Chol as well. Chol is emerging as a major player and you can make an argument for him being a starter. For Colorado, Askia Booker is the main option and while the Buffs have size off the bench, it is not that effective. Arizona does not have a deep bench, but the Wildcats have two talented players compared to one for Colorado.
Coaches: Sean Miller vs. Tad Boyle
Boyle is doing a good job of coaching Colorado this season, but has yet to figure out the road. We have a lot of respect for Boyle, but Miller has his team playing well and has lost key players while having others simply not live up to expectations. Yet Arizona is still contending for a tournament spot and is coming off a huge week.
Prediction: Arizona shot 34 percent against Colorado in the first meeting and yet had a chance to win. The guess here is that the Wildcats shoot better and use the momentum from this past week to keep it rolling. Colorado is certainly dangerous, but is such a different team on the road that we would be legitimately surprised if Arizona lost.
Arizona 73, Colorado 68