Breakdown: Arizona vs. Colorado

Arizona is moving on in the Pac-12 tournament and will be looking for a third straight win over Colorado. Read on for the breakdown of Friday's contest.

Arizona vs. Colorado
Mar. 14 at 6 pm
TV: Pac-12 Network
MGM Grand


Overall Record 29-3 (.935) 23-10 (.697)
Location Record 3-0 (1.000) on neutral court 2-2 (.500) on neutral court
Scoring/G: PF&PA(Rank) 73.5 (95) 58.7 (6) 72.5 (135) 68.9 (143)
Rebound Margin/G: RM(Rank) 8.3 (5) 6.7 (13)
5.8 (214) 6.3 (148)
Assists/G: A(Rank)
15.1 (42) 11.9 (236)
Field-Goal Percentage: FG%(Rank) 46.7 (60) 44 (184)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 3FG%(Rank) 35.3 (133) 32 (259)
Field-Goal Percentage Against: FG%(Rank) 38.5 (9) 42.9 (138)
Ranking: Coaches' Poll #4 N/A
AP Poll
#4 N/A


1 (.6711) 31 (.5998)
Point Guard

PG: T.J. McConnell (6-1, 195, Jr.) vs. Askia Booker (6-2, 170, Jr.)

Arizona basically has the recipe for containing Booker, as he is 8-27 in his two games against the Wildcats this season. McConnell is able to guard him by himself by giving him no room to shoot and having others rotate on him quickly if necessary. Booker has not been able to figure out what Arizona is doing defensively and is hoping the third time is the charm. McConnell's first game against CU wasn't good, but he had 10 assists and four steals in the second and controlled the pace. Defense is a big part of the game and so is efficiency, which is why we take McConnell.

Shooting Guard

SG: Gabe York ( 6-3, 180, So.) vs. Xavier Talton (6-2, 180, So.)

Talton had a strong game against California, but generally is not a big scorer. York should be able to handle Talton defensively and is probably more of a threat to have an offensive impact. Against Utah, York's shot was struggling, but he had decent looks. As long as he plays within himself, York should be fine.

Small Forward

SF: Nick Johnson (6-3, 200, Jr.) vs. Xavier Johnson (6-7, 220, So.)

Our guess is that Aaron Gordon gets this defensive matchup, but it will be interesting to see how Arizona approaches it. Xavier Johnson does not play any defense at all, which has been a big problem against Arizona. He has plenty of offensive skills, but can force things if his shot is not falling, which is a big reason why he was 1-10 in a previous meeting. Nick is the Pac-12 Player of the Year for a reason, but if Arizona can hold Xavier Johnson to 1-10 shooting or something similar, Colorado has no chance.

Power Forward

PF: Aaron Gordon (6-9, 225, Fr.) vs. Wesley Gordon (6-9, 225, Fr.)

Colorado has a major problem when it comes to guarding Aaron Gordon. For starters, Xavier Johnson does not play defense, so that makes it difficult to have him guard Gordon. Then you have Wesley Gordon, who is not nearly quick or athletic enough to guard Aaron. It makes sense that Aaron Gordon dominated Colorado the last time out and had a relatively strong game in the first meeting. The Buffs have to find a way to at least contain Gordon, but you get the feeling that is easier said than done.


C: Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, 235, So.) vs. Josh Scott (6-10, 245, So.)

Scott has been known to give Tarczewski some problems, but Tarczewski usually responds pretty well. In the previous meeting Scott struggled from the field, but made up for it by going to the line ten times. Arizona likely does not mind if that is what happens this time out, because it means that Scott is having difficulty getting into any rhythm. Tarczewski has played well, but not dominant in both meetings. Scott is not the type of player to shut him down and if Tarczewski can come close to matching Scott's production, that is a major benefit for the Wildcats.


Bench: Again, depth does not necessarily mean quality. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is easily better than anything Colorado has coming off the bench and Pitts and Mayes are probably good for a few minutes. The Buffs will use Jaron Hopkins, who is not very good, and then a few players who won't have a major impact.


Coaching: Sean Miller vs. Tad Boyle

Tad Boyle has Colorado playing some of its best basketball of the season at the perfect time. He has been able to find the right combinations and has his squad in the tournament. However, Miller also has Arizona playing well and the Wildcats won the conference title.


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Prediction: Yes, we still believe it is hard to beat a good team three times in a season. Colorado's offense is not that great and you have to assume it will be tired going into its third game in three days. Not to mention the fact that Arizona takes a great effort from the opposing offense in order to score consistently. We can see this game being close at the half, but Arizona is going to wear Colorado out late.

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