Boulder, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - The fourth-ranked Arizona Wildcats continue their quest for the Pac-12 regular-season title, as they take on the Colorado Buffaloes in a conference clash at the Coors Events Center on Saturday.
Sen Miller's Wildcats are still sitting atop the conference standings, although their lead has been cut to just a single game. Arizona has maintained its positioning with wins in three of its last four games, including a 67-63 overtime win at Utah this week to move to 11-2 in league play, ahead of UCLA (10-3).
Tad Boyle's Buffaloes have spent some time in the Top 25 this season. The team has won two straight and four of its last five games, moving to 20-7 overall and 9-5 in conference play with Wednesday's 61-52 win over Arizona State. The Buffs are an impressive 16-1 in Boulder this season.
Colorado owns an 11-9 series advantage, but it is Arizona seeking the regular- season sweep after posting a 69-57 win in Tucson on Jan. 23.
The Wildcats took on a dangerous Utah squad in Salt Lake City and were able to escape a tough venue with a much-needed win. Nick Johnson and Gabe York led the way with 15 points apiece. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 13 points to the cause, while T.J. McConnell checked in with 11 points, while doling out a team-high six assists.
One of the toughest defensive squads in the country, Arizona ranks fifth in the nation in scoring defense (57.7 ppg) and sixth in field-goal percentage defense (.381). The team also enjoys an impressive +8.9 rebounding margin. Johnson headlines the offensive attack at 15.8 ppg. The team lost Brandon Ashley (11.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg) to injury a few weeks ago, but has more than enough weapons to fill the void, as Aaron Gordon (11.5 ppg. 7.8 rpg), Kaleb Tarczewski (9.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and McConnell (8.0 ppg, 5.4 apg) have all stepped up their games.
Colorado has also had to deal with a major injury this season, as leading scorer Spencer Dinwiddie (14.7 ppg) was lost for the season after 17 games. The Buffaloes have also done well to mask the loss, with players like Askia Booker (14.6 ppg), Josh Scott (14.4 ppg) and Xavier Johnson (12.0 ppg) providing the bulk of the scoring. Scott leads the team in field-goal percentage (.546) and in rebounding (8.7 rpg).
The Buffaloes topped the Sun Devils this week and in the process, reached the 20-win mark for the second straight season and fourth time under Boyle. CU won the game despite shooting just 37 percent from the field overall. Booker led three Buffaloes in double figures with 18 points. Scott recorded a double- double with 13 points and 13 rebounds, while Johnson added 11 points in the win.