Colorado still insists it was wronged in last month's loss to Arizona, and the time for revenge is here.
The Buffaloes are one of the hottest teams in the Pac-12 heading into Thursday's home matchup with the ninth-ranked Wildcats.
These teams opened conference play in Tucson on Jan. 3, and Colorado (16-7, 6-5) led by 16 with 12:40 left in regulation of a 92-83 overtime loss.
Arizona (20-3, 8-3) used a 10-2 run over the final 1:35 of the second half to draw even, but the game will be remembered for Sabatino Chen's 3-pointer that banked in as regulation expired and seemingly gave the Buffaloes the victory.
The officials reviewed the play and determined that the ball was still on Chen's fingertips when the lights around the backboard went on. Colorado disagreed at the time, and nothing has changed its opinion.
"We all thought the shot was good," guard Spencer Dinwiddie told the Buffaloes' official website. "That's been said a thousand times over; it's no secret. Those are just our feelings about the game."
It appears that the loss had a hangover effect on Colorado, which started 1-4 in Pac-12 play. Coach Tad Boyle says that was not the case, and his team has recovered to win five of its last six.
"Whether it was (a hangover) or wasn't really doesn't matter," Boyle said. "What matters is we have put it behind us, we have rebounded from it, we've moved forward and we're playing pretty well right now."
Arizona coach Sean Miller admitted that his team deserved to lose. Mark Lyons scored 24 points to lead the Wildcats while Askia Booker paced Colorado with 18.
Chen scored a career-high 15 off the bench in that contest and will be back in a reserve role Thursday, according to Boyle. The senior scored 10 points in a starting assignment in Sunday's 72-68 victory at Oregon State.
"For Sabatino, it was the Arizona game that was his breakout game," Boyle said. "So it gave him a lot of confidence and gave us a lot of confidence in him to take those shots when he's open and be aggressive."
The Wildcats had their four-game win streak snapped with Sunday's 77-69 home loss to California, which shot 58.8 percent - the highest mark against Arizona in four years.
"They played the best against our defense as any team has played all season," Miller said. "That's our team strength."
Arizona would have retained sole possession of first place in the Pac-12 with a victory Sunday ahead of this week's games at Colorado and Utah.
"This next road trip is something that's going to be big for us because we expect more out of ourselves defensively," forward Solomon Hill said. "Colorado and Utah especially are defensive-minded teams and are going to make you play their game."
Wildcats forward Grant Jerrett returned Sunday after missing one game due to foot pain. The reserve was a factor in the first meeting with 10 points and six boards.
Lyons made all 10 of his free throws in that game and tops the Pac-12 at 86.2 percent. He's averaging 17.9 points in seven true road games as Arizona has gone 6-1.
Colorado improved to 6-1 at home in this series with last season's 64-63 victory.
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