Arizona suffered through its worst scoring effort and defensive field-goal percentage performance in its first Pac-12 loss.
Colorado was also outplayed on both ends of the floor in its first conference defeat.
The 10th-ranked Wildcats seem to be better poised to bounce back since they have won 30 straight at home heading into Thursday night’s matchup with a Buffaloes team unsure of the statuses of two of its top players.
Arizona (14-2, 2-1) fell 58-56 at Oregon State on Sunday, shooting 37.8 percent while allowing the Beavers to connect at 51.3 – the worst in two seasons surrendered by the Wildcats. That last figure ballooned to 64.7 percent after halftime.
Coach Sean Miller said that his team "got what we deserved."
"We did not play with the consistent effort especially in the second half on defense that we need to be successful," Miller said. "That’s disappointing."
Colorado (9-6, 2-1) fell to 0-4 on the road with last Wednesday’s 74-49 defeat to then-No. 9 Utah. The Buffaloes shot 39.5 percent in their second-lowest scoring effort of the season and surrendered their second-most points.
"I told our players, they came to Colorado to get an education; we got an education about what a top-10 team looks like," coach Tad Boyle said.
The Wildcats captured last season’s three meetings by an average of 19.7 points, though that team featured top scorers in Nick Johnson and Aaron Gordon – who are now in the NBA.
The Buffaloes’ top three scorers all returned, though Josh Scott and fellow forward Xavier Johnson are questionable. Johnson suffered a high ankle sprain last week and Scott returned from a two-game absence due to back spasms, but he may need more rest.
Scott is second on the team with 13.8 points per game and Johnson is third at 12.8. Askia Booker leads with 15.5 points though he managed to shoot 29.3 percent and average 11.0 last season against the Wildcats.
Arizona averages 27.2 free throws to rank among the nation’s leaders while Colorado yields an average of 15.8 for the conference’s lowest mark.
The Wildcats have made six of their last 28 3-point attempts and struggled from the perimeter Sunday when the Beavers went to a zone defense. They expect to see more of the same.
"It seemed as if Oregon State had a lot of success with it so we definitely expect for teams to bring zone on and to attack us with that but at the same time, I don’t think it’s something that we’re going to struggle with," forward Brandon Ashley said.
Colorado has not beaten a top-10 team on the road since 1973, and Arizona hasn’t fallen at home since a 77-69 loss to California on Feb. 10, 2013.
"I expect them to be (ticked) off," Boyle told the Buffaloes’ official website. "Oregon State shot 51 percent, but Arizona is gonna be tough no matter when you play them, where you play them."