Buffs come in at 9-5 (2-0) with Josh Scott practicing today and expected to play. Utah comes in at 12-2 (2-0), ranked #9 in the nation, and with Loveridge making a healthy return over the weekend. Huge game in the Pac-12 standings, as a CU win would put the Buffs one up while owning the tiebreaker. If Utah wins, they're holding serve on the home court but will have dodged one of the main bullets on their conference schedule. Last season, both match ups with Utah were post-Spencer. Buffs won in OT at the Keg, 79-75. Utah won in SLC, 75-64. Starters match up very well in terms of roles and defensive assignments. G: Brandon Taylor (5'10" 167 - 9.4 ppg) vs. Askia Booker (6'2" 175 - 15.8 ppg) G: Delon Wright (6'5" 190 - 15.1 ppg) vs. Jaron Hopkins (6'6" 200 - 6.0 ppg) G/F: Jordan Loveridge (6'6" 222 - 12.0 ppg) vs. Xavier Johnson (6'7" 230 - 13.8 ppg) F: Chris Reyes (6'7" 230 - 4.5 ppg) vs. Wesley Gordon (6'9" 225 7.6 ppg) C: Jakob Poelti (7'0" 235 - 9.8 ppg) vs. Josh Scott (6'10" 245 14.8 ppg) Starter scoring: Utah - 50.8 / CU 58.0 Big key is the bench. Utah gets over 20 ppg from the trio of Tucker, Chapman and Ogbe, who all play over 15 minutes a night. Bachynski is a veteran 7 footer (and former starter) coming off the bench and giving them about 12 minutes a night. For the Buffs, Thomas-Fletcher-Talton-Collier combine to give about 13 ppg. Utah can also shoot the rock, averaging over 50% from the field and just short of 40% from 3pt range. Buffs shoot a little over 45% from the field and just under 37% from 3pt range. Advantage for the Buffs at the line where they are just under 75% while Utah is at 66%. Rebounding is going to be a battle. Utah's a bit better on offensive rebound rate (33.3%) than CU (32.2%). Utah is also giving opponents fewer offensive rebounds per game (8.2 vs 8.9). Keys to the game: This is a very good match up. Similar styles and emphasis. CU's got the more explosive starting lineup, but Utah can overwhelm with its bench. If the Utah 5 outscore the CU 5, it's almost certainly a Utah win. Buffs cannot let Loveridge and/or Taylor get off from 3pt range. CU also needs a monumental defensive effort on Wright to keep him out of the lane and make him settle for jump shots. Also, whichever team wins the glass is likely to win the game. It's a point of emphasis for both teams and in this one it's kind of like the team that wins the battle of the trenches in football. Free throw shooting is big. CU needs to get to the line as much as Utah despite the normal home cooking from officials so that CU's better FT shooting can lead to a points advantage. When you take rebounding and FT attempts together, it points to the importance of which team plays the role of aggressor in this one. Last, CU absolutely must share the ball and value the ball. A/T for Utah is 15/13. A/T for CU is 12/13. If that plays out, it's 3 extra possessions for Utah. Very hard to beat good teams on the road when they get extra possessions. Beyond that, both Utah and CU are too good on defense for the opponent to win without good ball movement. Utah probably has the advantage in a sloppy offensive game, though, due to Wright's ability to create out of the muck for himself and his teammates. Another way to look at this is: CU has the front court advantage (including bench) while Utah has the back court advantage (including bench). Which team can best neutralize the disadvantage while capitalizing on its advantage?