Feb 13, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA Utah Utes coach Larry Krystkowiak reacts in the first half against the Southern California Trojans at Galen Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Utah Basketball: The Road Ahead…


Feb 19, 2014; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Utes guard Delon Wright (55) shoots a 3-point shot against the Arizona Wildcats during the first half at Jon M. Huntsman Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

After whatever happened last night, it’s time to look at where the Utes stand and where they are going.

Utah stands at 17-9, with 15 Division 1 wins.  We’re not part of the NCAA tournament discussion and likely lost our last chance to get into it unless we make a massive run.  15 D-1 wins also likely doesn’t have us in the NIT yet, so we’ve got work to do there as well.  My guess would be we need three more wins to lock down that NIT bid.

Here is how our schedule looks

  • Arizona St.- Sunday, Feb 23rd
  • Colorado- Saturday, March 1st
  • Cal- Wednesday, March 5th
  • Stanford- Saturday, March 8th

Here are some concerns.

First, Arizona St. played Colorado on Wednesday and then gets until Sunday to play Utah.  That seems to negate the advantage that the Colorado-Utah road trip provides.

Second, a lot of road wins have come in the one game weeks and Colorado is the one team who will not be bothered by altitude.

Third, Utah finishes with three games in eight days, two of them on the road.

I’m sure the Utes don’t want to leave themselves with a bunch of work to do in the Pac-12 tournament, as we’re likely to draw someone like Oregon in the first round, who seems to have played their way back into the NCAA tournament conversation.  But at the same time Colorado and Arizona St. are both capable of beating us in the Huntsman Center, and then we have a tough road trip.

In short, the Utes find themselves in a difficult position.

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