No. 10 Arizona Basketball faces tough test with Colorado

Dec 31, 2023; Boulder, Colorado, USA; Colorado Buffaloes guard KJ Simpson (2) reacts in the first
Dec 31, 2023; Boulder, Colorado, USA; Colorado Buffaloes guard KJ Simpson (2) reacts in the first / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

TUCSON, AZ – Looking to bounce back after an embarrassing loss to Stanford, No. 10 Arizona Basketball (10-3, 1-1) returns home for a tough test against Colorado (11-2, 2-0). 

Despite a convincing win against Cal last Friday evening, Arizona Basketball has come crashing back down to reality with a resounding thud after losing to lowly Stanford.

And returning to the friendly confines of McKale Center for the first time in nearly a month, perhaps we will see that there is no place like home.

Coming in, Arizona is the considerable favorite; however, the Buffaloes are a talented team, and as we have seen, the Wildcats are clearly beatable this year, so there is no overlooking anyone.

Hopefully, we see our Wildcats return a bit to form and give a better effort than what we saw on Sunday afternoon. Should they take care of business, getting to 2-1 in conference play is doable.

Getting to know the details about Arizona Basketball’s opponent, the Colorado Buffaloes.

Team: Colorado Buffaloes

Conference: Pac-12 Conference

Current Record: 11–2 (2–0)

Head Coach: Tad Boyle. Entering his 18th season as a head coach (14th with Colorado), Boyle is 283–174 (128–112) with the Buffaloes with 11 postseason appearances (five NCAA Tournament appearances) with two round-of-32 finishes.

Before he arrived at Colorado, Tad was at Northern from 2006-10 where he was 56–66 (28–36) with a CIT Quarterfinal finish in 2009-10. Overall, he is 339–240 (156–148) as a head coach.

2022-23 Record: Finishing the 2022-23 season with an 18–17 (8–12) record, the Buffaloes ended its year with a second-round NIT loss to Utah Valley.

So with Arizona Basketball taking on Colorado, here is how you can watch and follow our Wildcats!

Arizona Basketball vs Colorado Information and Details:

Date: Thursday, January 4, 2024

Time: 7:30 P.M. MST / 6:30 P.M. PST

Television: ESPN

Location: McKale Center – Tucson, AZ (14,545)

Spread: -11.0 Arizona (Don’t forget to sign up with Caesars Sportsbook or DraftKings to enhance your overall betting experience)

Overall Series Record: 22-15 Arizona. This is a head-to-head series that has picked up the over years with Colorado coming to the Pac-12, and since their arrival, the Wildcats have gained control of this matchup, winning 18 of the last 26 meetings, including its last two straight.

Last Meeting: Squaring off in Tucson last February, Arizona came away with the win, beating the visiting Buffaloes by a 78-68 final.

Arizona Basketball Game Preview:

After cruising to a convincing win over conference foe Cal on Friday evening, Arizona came crashing back to reality in a humbling way, losing at the hands of lowly Stanford by a 100-82 final.  

And coming in, the Wildcats will need to bring the focus this week as Colorado is a solid team!

As we have learned, Arizona is not unbeatable (even against mediocre teams), and with Colorado out to prove itself, we anticipate this one being a dogfight.

Beyond that, even though Cody Williams and Tristan da Silva did not play last week, I expect both to be back and ready to play against the Wildcats.

And if Arizona is to win, the defense will need to have a better performance than they did on Sunday and not let the Buffaloes get hot. Additionally, beating Colorado means neutralizing one-time Arizona commit KJ Simpson along with da Silva, Williams, and Colorado big man Eddie Lampkin.

Overall, Colorado is a talented offensive team, averaging a combined 84.2 points per game on 51.8 percent shooting from the field, including 40.8 percent from three. Additionally, Colorado does a great job at limiting its opponents' rebounds, holding opposing teams to an average of 27.6 rebounds per game.

Winning won't be easy by any means, but if the Wildcats hope to be victorious, they will need to bring a better effort from the tip than they showed on Sunday. Another lackadaisical showing and Arizona will lose this one.

Hopefully, the Wildcats will be ready to go in this one and will bounce back in a big way. Thursday's game against the Buffaloes is set for 7:30 P.M. Tucson time with the game being broadcast on ESPN.

Next. Arizona Basketball falls to No. 10 in the latest AP Poll. Arizona Basketball falls to No. 10 in the latest AP Poll. dark

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