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Utes still within reach of a top-four Pac-12 finish after weekend split vs. UCLA and USC

With their win streak snapped and one sport closing within the common season, the Utes will have to flip their consideration to avenging an previous loss to Colorado and probably securing a top-four seed within the Pac-12 event the place they are going to want to win a couple of video games with a purpose to earn an NCAA Tournament berth.

Saturday’s 74-58 loss to USC left Utah wanting a little bit of assist to get into the highest 4 of the Pac-12 Tournament and earn a first-round bye in Las Vegas. Utah (18-10, 10-7) got here into the week controlling its personal fait with 3 directly house video games — two in opposition to groups forward of it within the standings.

“We got punched in the mouth a few times today,” Utes trainer Larry Krystkowiak stated following Saturday’s loss. “It’s a setback. I’ve all the time talked in regards to the season being a marathon. Eighteen video games within the common season, about a mile and a part every. We set out to the remaining 3 miles and we had a tough little stretch. Explainable. It’s now not like we need to ‘Oh, my God. What do we have to fix? How do we need to do this.’ No, it’s simply section of the time table, section of the wounds.

“Now, we’ve got a week to play sooner than we will be able to shut out on Senior Night in opposition to a excellent Colorado crew, finish the marathon off, see who we play in Vegas — when and the place — and see if we will be able to do a little injury there.”

The Utes had received 5 directly video games previous to Saturday, including Thursday night’s win over UCLA, and 8 out of 10 video games. One of the ones two losses got here in opposition to Colorado in Boulder on Feb. 2. They’ll host Colorado on Saturday. The Pac-12 Tournament starts the next week.

Stanford (16-13, 10-6) moved into fourth position forward of Utah with a win on Saturday evening. Stanford has two video games closing in opposition to Arizona and Arizona State, a loss in both sport and a Utah win would put them in a tie with Utah having received the head-to-head assembly.

Washington (19-10, Nine-7) has video games closing in opposition to Oregon and Oregon State. A couple of wins for Washington may transfer into a tie with the Utes — supplied Utah beats Colorado — however the Utes swept the season collection in opposition to Washington. Oregon (10-10, Nine-7) additionally may finally end up with the similar document because the Utes, however the Utes received their best head-to-head sport.

“Every [week] has been a big week for conference,” Utes senior ahead Tyler Rawson stated. “It’s going to be a lot of fun next week preparing for Colorado. It’s going to be fun preparing for them all week. It’ll be nice to get our legs back under us. I’m looking forward to the challenge. We all are. This game could be huge momentum going into the Pac-12 Tournament.”

The Utes may have till Saturday to shake off the loss and probably get more fit. They’ve performed the previous 3 video games with junior guard Sedrick Barefield (ribs) and sophomore heart Jayce Johnson (foot) both unavailable or restricted because of accidents.

Johnson, the crew’s second-leading rebounder (five.five in line with sport), performed simply 10 mins up to now two video games after lacking the sport at Washington State on Feb. 17. Barefield, the third-leading scorer (11.2 issues in line with sport), hasn’t performed up to now two video games. He got here out of the Washington State sport after taking part in 4 mins.

“We’ve definitely missed Sed the last few games,” Rawson stated. “He’s a great addition. Whether he’s coming off the bench or starting for us, he’s a great tool for us. We’ve also missed Jayce. He’s dealing with some injuries as well. Those two guys, we miss and we need them in the rotation. Hopefully we get them back before Friday.”

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