CU men’s basketball preview: Arizona
MATCHUP: No. 5 seed Colorado Buffaloes (22-10) vs. No. 4 Arizona (24-7).
GAME TIME: 3:40 p.m. MST, MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas.
BROADCAST: Radio — 760 AM; TV — Pac-12 Networks.
COACHES: Colorado — Tad Boyle, sixth season (130-78, 186-144 overall). Arizona — Sean Miller, seventh season (187-59, 307-106 overall).
LEADERS: Colorado — Scoring: F/C Josh Scott, Sr., 16.1 ppg; Rebounding: Scott, 8.6 rpg; Assists: G Dom Collier, So., 2.8 apg. Arizona — Scoring: F Ryan Anderson, Sr., 15.8 ppg; Rebounding: Anderson, 10.2 rpg; Assists: G Kadeem Anderson, Jr., 3.6 apg.
NOTABLE: The Buffs have collided with Arizona three previous times in the Pac-12 tourney. CU won the matchup in the 2012 championship game, but the Wildcats won in the 2013 quarterfinals and 2014 semifinals…The Buffs made 10 3-pointers in Wednesday’s win against Washington State. It was the seventh time this year they have made at least 10 in a game.
LAS VEGAS — In order to pick up another win in a rematch the Arizona Wildcats have eagerly awaited, Josh Scott knows the Colorado Buffaloes will have to don their proverbial boxing gloves.
The fifth-seeded Buffs take on fourth-seeded Arizona, also ranked 15th in the nation, on Thursday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Conference tournament. CU knocked off the then-No. 9 Wildcats two weeks ago at home, and Scott expects the rematch to be a rugged affair.
“It’s going to be a physical, tough game,” Scott said. “We’ve got to play to the level to the game. It’s just about making plays. There’s going to be a lot of Arizona fans. That’s how it always is at the Pac-12 tournament. Their fans really come out for their team. It’s just how it is.”
The Buffs’ focus will be on Arizona’s inside tandem of Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski. Anderson, like Scott a first team All-Pac-12 selection, produced a double-double in the previous showdown in Boulder with 19 points and 10 rebounds, but CU limited Tarczewski to eight points and seven rebounds.
Scott paced the Buffs that night with a season-high 26 points and surely will be the focus of the Arizona defense. Yet that was an approach taken by Washington State during CU’s first-round victory on Wednesday. Scott responded by matching a career-high with five assists, while George King knocked down five of his first six shots en route to a game-high 21 points.