The Colorado Buffaloes are a very good team and the Arizona Wildcats cannot afford to start out slowly if they hope to win on the road. While a victory is certainly possible on Saturday afternoon, the UA needs to execute and block out the sellout crowd that is expected in Boulder. Here is our breakdown of the Buffs:
Nate Tomlinson is a steady senior point guard, although his stats will not blow you away. He averages six points and three assists, although he does a solid job not turning the ball over. He is the floor general for CU and will not be asked to score a chunk of points. Shooting guard Spencer Dinwiddie is one of the better freshmen in the conference and will be matched up with Kyle Fogg. It will be interesting to see how a guy with a handful of starts performs against the veteran in Fogg, who will be making his 89th start this weekend.
Carlos Brown will likely be the best player on the floor on Saturday and the small forward leads his team with nearly 14 points a night. His matchup with Nick Johnson will be interesting to watch, especially at the start, when Colorado will likely look to exploit the size advantage.
Austin Dufault is making the most of his senior season and is one of the more underrated players in the Pac-12. He shoots the ball well, attacks the rim, plays solid defense and could give the UA problems. Look for Solomon Hill to start the game guarding Dufault. Andre Roberson is undersized for a prototypical center, but the 6'7 sophomore averages a double-double, with a little more than 11 points and 11 rebounds most nights. Keeping him off the offensive boards is absolutely imperative for the Wildcats if they hope to win.
The Buffaloes are not an incredibly deep team but freshman guard Askia Booker can provide a big boost from the bench. And while he typically will not play more than a handful of minutes, 6'10 sophomore Shane Harris-Tunks could cause matchup problems in the paint with his size. Jeremy Adams will also get a bit of playing time, but he is not much of a scoring threat.
Final Prediction: I really want to think the Wildcats will continue their second half play from Thursday night and translate it over to Saturday in Boulder, but I just can't. It seems like this UA team has taken the motto of 'one step forward, one step back' for most of the season and Colorado plays very well at home. I expect the team to come out motivated and it will likely stay close throughout the game, but the Buffaloes are too much to handle as they win 69-60.