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Top-ranked Wildcats play host to Buffaloes

Tucson, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - The top-ranked Arizona Wildcats put their perfect record on the line on Thursday night, as they play host to the Colorado Buffaloes in a Pac-12 showdown at the McKale Center.

Off to the best start in school history, Sean Miller's Wildcats moved to a flawless 18-0 with last week's rout of instate rival Arizona State, 91-68. The victory also pushed the team to 5-0 in conference play.

Tad Boyle's Buffaloes came out of the gate firing this season, earning a spot in the Top 25 with wins in 10 of their first 11 games. CU did suffer back-to- back conference losses to Washington (71-54) and UCLA (69-56), but was able to get back into the win column this past weekend with an 83-62 blasting of USC.

Colorado holds an 11-8 series edge against Arizona. The Wildcats won two of three meetings a year ago, including a 10-point win in last year's Pac-12 Tournament (79-69).

Colorado put on a strong offensive showing in the win over USC last weekend, shooting .509 from the floor and an impressive 19-of-22 from the free-throw line. Josh Scott led the way with a game-high 20 points. Askia Booker and Xavier Johnson provided some offense as well, with 13 and 10 points, respectively.

The offensive display against the Trojans was a welcome sight, considering Colorado has had to deal with the recent loss of leading scorer and distributor Spencer Dinwiddie (14.7 ppg, 3.8 apg). With Dinwiddie done for the year with a torn ACL, others will need to step up and fill the void for Colorado. The likely candidates are Scott and Booker. Scott has been a force up front, as the sophomore averages a near double-double with 14.3 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. Booker provides perimeter balance with 13.5 ppg.

Arizona is as healthy as any team in the country and that doesn't bode well for the rest of the Pac-12 as the Wildcats head into the home stretch. The team has dominated in just about every facet of the game, and enjoys a +19.2 scoring margin, as well as a +10.6 rebounding margin. The play at the defensive end has been stellar, with Arizona ranking fifth in the nation in scoring defense (56.7 ppg) and field-goal percentage defense (.370). Guard Nick Johnson leads the way in the scoring column with 16.3 ppg. A potent frontcourt gives the team balance, with Aaron Gordon (12.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg), Brandon Ashley (12.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and Kaleb Tarczewski (9.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg) making things tough on the competition down low. Point guard T.J. McConnell rounds out the starting five and although he isn't much of a scorer (7.4 ppg), he does distribute the ball quite well (6.2 apg).

Arizona shot the ball extremely well in routing the Sun Devils last week, converting 55.7 percent from the floor overall, including 53.3 percent from behind the arc. ASU was overwhelmed by Arizona's balance, as seven Wildcats finished in double figures. Johnson led the way with 17 points. Gordon poured in 16, followed by Tarczewski (12 pts), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (11 pts), Ashley (10 pts), McConnell (10 pts) and Gabe York (10 pts).

01/23 10:27:04 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 9
DUR 1
 
Final
MIA 101
CHA 97
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR
 
Final
ATL 3
MIA 1
Final
CHC 5
ARI 7
Final
COL 10
SFG 12
Final
OAK 0
TEX 3
Final
SEA 5
HOU 3
Final
PIT 2
CIN 5
Final
CLE 5
KAN 3
Final
WAS 5
ANA 4
Final
TOR 8
BAL 10
Final
DET 4
CWS 6
Final
TAM 4
MIN 6
Final
BOS 5
NYY 1
Final
NYM 3
STL 2
Final
MIL 5
SDP 2
Final
LOS 5
PHI 2
12:05pm Today
CLE
KAN
 
12:35pm Today
PIT
CIN
 
1:08pm Today
DET
CWS
 
1:10pm Today
TAM
MIN
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
STL
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
ARI
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
SDP
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
BAL
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
NYY
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
 
Final
MIA 101
CHA 97
Final
SAN 92
DAL 113
Final
HOU 105
POR 112
7:00pm Tonight
ATL
IND
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
OKC
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
LAC
Final
CLB 4
PIT 3
Final
DAL 4
ANA 2
Final
CHI 4
STL 3
8:00pm Tonight
DET
BOS
9:30pm Tonight
MIN
COL
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
SJS
Final
CHR 9
DUR 1
 
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR