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Arizona vs. Colorado: Wildcats looking for seventh straight win

What will this episode of CU/UA give us?

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

After a week off, the red-hot Arizona Wildcats are embarking on their final true road trip of the season. Arizona, winners of six straight, head to the Rocky Mountains to take on the Colorado Buffaloes on Wednesday night.

In the short time Colorado has been in the Pac-12, the Buffs have established quite the rivalry with Arizona, meeting them in the Pac-12 tournament three-straight seasons from 2012 to 2014. The last two years, though, Arizona has swept all five meetings between the two teams, including the last two on Colorado's home turf, the Coors Event Center. On Wednesday night, Arizona will look to make it three in a row in the Buffs' building, and seven overall, as the two meet for the only time this season.

Who to watch:

For Arizona fans, it may feel like Colorado big man, Josh Scott, has been wearing gold and black for what seems like forever. The four-year starter is entering his final few games as a Buffalo and he's looking to make his mark. Thus far, his senior season has not disappointed. He's averaging 16.4 points per game on 55% shooting along with 8.9 rebounds per game. The Buffs go as Scott goes. Colorado, much like Arizona, will focus on getting the ball into the paint. If Colorado can get Scott going, he can score with the best of them inside.

Shooting has not been Colorado's strong suit this season. Scott is one of seven Colorado players to average at least 20 minutes a game, but he's the only one of the seven to average better than 45% from the floor. As a team, Colorado is shooting 42.5%, which ranks 235th in the nation.

With those misses, though, come plenty of opportunities for rebounds, something Colorado does very well. Colorado ranks second in the Pac-12 in rebound rate, collecting 55.8% of rebounds this season. Colorado averages 13.3 offensive rebounds per game and have found that second chance points have kept them in games all season long.

Look for Scott and junior forward Wesley Gordon to be crashing the boards all night. And if there's one shooting threat to look out for, it's sophomore guard George King. He's coming off one of his worst games of the season against UCLA, but he shoots 45% from deep and when he catches fire, he can be lethal.

What to watch:

Arizona is a superior basketball team and they appear to be playing their best basketball all season. However, winning on the road hasn't been easy for anyone in the Pac-12 this season. Winning in Colorado is no different. The Buffaloes currently sit in the middle of the pack in the conference at 8-7, but they're 6-1 in conference at home. Their lone home loss was to Utah back in early January. Since then, they've beaten teams like Cal and Oregon on their trips to Boulder.

The key to this game, in my eyes, will be rebounding. Colorado is the second-best rebounding team in the conference based on rebound rate, and they rank 11th in the nation. Care to guess who's ranked 1st in that category? Arizona. After out-rebounding ASU by an outrageous 25 rebounds, the Wildcats have collected over 58% of rebounds this season. Ryan Anderson has been churning out double-doubles and Kaleb Tarczewski has set his career-high in rebounds in each of the last two weeks. Behind those two, Arizona has set themselves apart as the best rebounding team in the nation.

But, what Wildcat fans have seen far too often this season is opposing teams getting long rebounds because the defense didn't rotate and the guards didn't box out. That's been Arizona's only rebounding weakness. Colorado loves second chances and is one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the country. If Arizona limits Colorado's second chances, barring one of the Buffaloes catching fire, it should be a much simpler night for the Wildcats.

This is a difficult road trip, perhaps the most difficult in the conference. It's very important for Arizona to come out and get a win before venturing to Utah on Saturday afternoon. All the signs of a win are there; Arizona is coming off of its best performance and appear to be hitting their stride, as a unit. But Colorado is an NCAA tournament bubble team and has something to prove. They would love a marquee victory over a major opponent.

The Pac-12 clash tips off at 7 PM on ESPN2.