We interrupt this regularly scheduled golf blogram to bring you some college basketball. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to send my best wishes to the my University of Utah Runnin’ Utes basketball team. The Utes, under coach Larry Krystkowiak have had a hell of a season. The team has been ranked as high as 8th and spent much of the season ranked in the top 25, including a very tough schedule with many teams played in the top 15. This is amazing considering that four short years ago the program was at perhaps its lowest point in history, ranked somewhere near 310th out of around 315 teams.
The Utes made the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009. In the first round they beat a “pesky” Stephen F. Austin team to advance to the round of 32. In their next game the Utes faced Georgetown, who had some big players including one center who tipped the scales at 350 pounds! That game was tied at 32 at the half, but the Utes pulled away to win by 11.
In the attached photo you can see the two star Ute guards (Delon Wright left, Brandon Taylor right) just after time ran out in the Georgetown game, both realizing they’d just made it into the Sweet Sixteen. Credit goes to my pal Scott Sommerdorf, a Salt Lake Tribune photographer, for capturing such a cool moment.
Delon Wright has been so much fun to watch the last two years. He is an amazing player and has been a big part of the Utes’ success. Taylor, the shorter of the two, is 5-feet-9-inches of stud. When he’s on and draining 3-pointers, the Utes are nearly impossible to beat.
The Utes face one of the most storied programs in the history of college basketball, the Duke Blue Devils. Not too many give the Utes a chance at winning this game. The Utes have a much better chance than most realize, provided their offense clicks and they don’t have some of those bad offensive droughts which have popped up in the few bad games they had this season. One thing we can count on is a solid Ute defense, which will hopefully cause Duke some fits.
I’m greatly looking forward to Friday’s game. Regardless of the outcome, it has been a fantastic season for my Utes and it is great to see this once-great program back where it should be.