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Runnin’ Utes Hope To Upset No. 25 Colorado In Boulder

(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The University of Utah basketball team has a prime opportunity to get a win over a ranked opponent on the road in a game that could build their tournament resume.

They will face No. 25 Colorado in Boulder on Sunday at 4 p.m. on ESPNU.

The Utes enter the contest with a 10-4 overall record and a 1-1 mark in Pac-12 play. Their last game was eight days ago when they fell to then-No. 4 Oregon, 69-64 last Saturday at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.

Since joining the Pac-12 in 2011, the Utes are 10-6 against Colorado and 3-5 in Boulder. The last meeting between the two schools took place in Colorado with the Buffaloes picking up the 71-63 win on Saturday, March 2, 2019.

Utah’s Leaders

The Utes are led by sophomore forward Timmy Allen, who is leading the Pac-12 in scoring, averaging 21.1 points per game and is pulling down 7.9 rebounds. He was recently named to the Mid-Season Watch List for the Lute Olson Award, which is given to the top college basketball player in the country.

Former Utah basketball legend Josh Grant jumped on the Crimson Corner podcast to talk about the program through 14 games this season and their tough stretch in conference play.

Sophomore guard Both Gach is posting 12.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3 assists per game. He scored a career-high 24 points in Utah’s loss to Oregon last Saturday. True freshman Rylan Jones is the third and final Utah player to average double figures in scoring with 10.9 per game to go with 5 assists, which is No. 5 in the conference.

Earlier this week, Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak rewarded walk-on guard Brooks King a scholarship.

About Colorado

Colorado is 12-3 overall and 1-1 in conference play after splitting their first two Pac-12 games, beating then No. 4 Oregon and falling to Oregon State last week. The loss to the Beavers snapped a five-game winning streak.

Three Colorado players are averaging double figures, starting with McKinley Wright IV with 13.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game. Guard Tyler Bey is recording 13.1 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.5 blocks. Also, D’Shawn Schwartz is posting 11 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists per contest.

In their loss to Oregon State, the Buffs were led by Bey with 20 points and 8 rebounds, while Wright added 14 points and 10 assists. They had a 11-point lead with 7:57 left when the Beavers ended the game on a 24-5 run.

Major Metric Rankings

Part of the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee process is the information compiled from five major metrics, the NET rankings, the three metrics from ESPN, including Strength of Record, BPI and RPI. The final two metrics that are used are the rankings from KenPom and Sagarin.

Utah is ranked No. 53 in the NET ranking after dropping six spots from 47 last week. Colorado is No. 28 in the NET rankings after moving up two spots from No. 28 last week. They are the fourth highest ranked team in the Pac-12 according to the NET rankings, while Utah is sixth.

ESPN has Utah rated No. 49 in RPI, 54 in Strength of Record and 103 in BPI. Colorado is ranked No. 20 in RPI, 41 in Strength of Record and 41 in BPI.

The KenPom rankings has Utah at No. 98, while the Buffs are No. 37.

Finally, Sagarin listed Utah at No. 66 and Colorado at No. 37.

Also, the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee uses the Quadrant system where they put the opponent in a quadrant depending on their five ratings in their major metrics. Entering the game against Colorado, Utah is 1-2 against Quadrant 1 opponents. Their two losses came against Oregon and San Diego State, while their lone win was over Kentucky in Las Vegas.

The Utes are 4-0 against Quadrant 2 teams with wins over BYU, Nevada, Minnesota and Oregon State. The big issue with Utah’s resume is their performances against Quadrant 3 teams, where they are 1-2 with the lone win against Ohio and their two losses coming against Tulane and Coastal Carolina. All three of those games took place in the Myrtle Beach Invitational. The Utes are 4-0 in Quadrant 4 with wins over UC Davis, Weber State, Central Arkansas and Mississippi.

Colorado has a 2-1 record against Quadrant 1 teams with their two wins over Dayton and Oregon, while their only loss coming to Kansas. They are 2-2 in Quadrant two with wins over Arizona State and Clemson but losing to Northern Iowa and Oregon State. The Buffs are 3-0 in Quadrant 3 with victories over UC Irvine, Sacramento State and Colorado State. In Quadrant 4, Colorado is 5-0 with wins over Prairie View A&M, Loyola Marymount, San Diego, Wyoming and Iona.

The Crimson Corner podcast is the one-stop for all things University of Utah Athletics hosted by Utah insider Trevor Allen. Ute fans will find interviews with current players, coaches, and staff alongside expert analysis of every game, story and angle coming out of the University of Utah.

You can download and listen to the podcast,Β here.