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Utes Looking For First Conference Road Win Of Season Against Stanford

Utah Utes center Branden Carlson (35) lines up for a free throw against the Stanford Cardinal in a Pac-12 basketball game at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah basketball squad is on an 8-game losing streak on the road and have not won away from Salt Lake City in conference play. The Utes will have another chance at their first Pac-12 road win this season when they face the Stanford Cardinal on Wednesday night.

Utah is entering their final regular season road trip with a 15-12 overall record and 6-9 in Pac-12 play. They are currently in 8th place in the conference standings after their win over USC on Sunday.

Stanford is 12-4 on the season and 7-7 in the conference. They are riding a two-game winning streak and are in seventh place in the Pac-12 standings just one and a half games ahead of Utah and a half of a game behind USC for sixth place. Stanford is 12-4 at home.

The Utes lead the all-time series against the Cardinal 18-10 with an 8-6 record since becoming conference foes in 2011. The Utes have won the last four meetings and are just 1-5 at Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto, California.

This will be the second meeting between the two teams with the Utes taking the first matchup with a 64-56 overtime win in Salt Lake City on February 6.

Utes Looking To Build Off USC Win

Utah has received a big boost off the bench from junior college transfer Alfonso Plummer. He had 16 points in their loss to UCLA on Thursday but tied his career-high with 18 points in the Utes’ win over USC on Sunday.

Timmy Allen got back on track for the Utes against the Trojans with his first double-double since January 18. He had 21 points and 10 rebounds in the win over USC. The ball was finally dropping for Utah on Sunday as the team shot 48 percent from the field and 47 percent from downtown.

Mikael Jantunen is starting to get more minutes as he has stepped up and is doing all of the dirty work for Utah. He had 13 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in 34 minutes on Sunday.

When the Utes beat Stanford in the first meeting this season, they outscored the Cardinal 14-6 in overtime. Freshman big man Branden Carlson had a career performance with his first double-double 15 points and 10 rebounds while also blocking 8 shots. He finished the game tied for third in school history for most blocks in a single game. Allen added 15 points and Riley Battin notched a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

The status for freshman standout point guard Rylan Jones is unknown after suffering an injury late in the win over USC.

Utah could get closer to a bid in the NIT with a win over Stanford.

Stanford In Tourney Bubble

It’s a big game for Stanford as they can’t afford to lose anymore games especially at home. According to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, Stanford is listed among the first four out of the tournament. Wins over Utah and Colorado would go a long way for the Cardinal in getting a bid in the NCAA Tournament.

Stanford is on a two-game winning streak after sweeping the Washington schools on the road this past week. Before that streak, they lost four straight that started with the defeat in Utah. The Cardinal will face Utah and Colorado at home before ending the regular season on the road against Oregon State and Oregon.

Junior forward Oscar Da Silva is leading the Cardinal with 16 points and 6.5 rebounds per game average. He is ranked third in the Pac-12 by shooting 58 percent from the field. In the first meeting against the Utes, he was limited due to Utah’s stifling defense. Da Silva had 8 points and 11 rebounds on just 4-12 field goal shooting.

Guard Tyrell Terry has had a tremendous season as a true freshman. Terry is averaging 15 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists per contest while shooting 45 percent from the floor and 40 percent from beyond the arc. He had 14 points in the loss to Utah in January, leading the Cardinal in scoring.

NET 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. 80 in the NET ranking after their win over USC. Stanford is No. 31 in the NET rankings. The Utes are the 10th highest ranked team in the Pac-12 according to the NET rankings, while Stanford is fourth.

Here is where the other metrics have the Utes this week:

  • RPI – 60
  • SOR – 75
  • BPI – 117
  • KenPom – 114
  • Sagarin – 91

For Stanford, here is where the other metrics have them ranked:

  • RPI – 53
  • SOR – 64
  • BPI – 50
  • KenPom – 34
  • Sagarin – 59

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 Stanford, Utah is 2-8 against Quadrant 1 opponents. Their eight losses came against San Diego State, Arizona, Colorado, Oregon (twice), USC, Arizona State and Oregon State, while their two wins were against BYU and Kentucky in Las Vegas.

The Utes are 6-1 against Quadrant 2 teams with wins over Nevada, Minnesota, Washington, Oregon State, Stanford and USC, with their only loss against UCLA. In Quadrant 3, Utah is 3-3 with losses coming against Tulane and Coastal Carolina in the Myrtle Beach Invitational along with their home loss to UCLA. Their three wins were against Ohio, California and Washington State. The Utes are 4-0 in Quadrant 4 with wins over UC Davis, Weber State, Central Arkansas and Mississippi Valley State.

Stanford has a 2-5 record in Quadrant 1, beating Oregon and Washington while losing to Kansas, Arizona, Colorado and Butler. They are 4-3 in Quadrant 2, with wins over Oklahoma, UCLA, Washington and Washington State, while losing to Arizona State, Utah and Oregon State. The Cardinal have a 6-1 record in Quadrant 3 with victories over San Francisco, Washington State, Montana, Santa Clara, California and William & Mary with their lone loss to California. Stanford is 6-0 in Quadrant 4 with wins over San Diego, Cal State Fullerton, San Jose State, Long Beach State, UNCW and UMES.

The Utes and Cardinal will tip-off at 8 p.m. on Wednesday with the game being televised on the Pac-12 Network.

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