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Utes Bulletin: Things Happening In Utah Athletics (Week Of 3/13/23)

Mar 13, 2023, 11:47 AM

SALT LAKE CITY โ€“ย We are a week out from spring football at the U and several of the smaller sports are in full-swing and having success, making a one-stop-shop for little tidbits of Utah Athletics information necessary with the Utes Bulletin.

If you missed any of the highlights from the previous week, you can review that here.

Without further ado, here is this weekโ€™s Utes Bulletin that includes ranking updates, upcoming events for the week, and important dates to keep track of among other items of interest concerning Utah Athletics for the week of 3/13/23.

Utah Women’s Basketball Goes Dancing

Utah women’s basketball will be dancing for the second year in a row after making it to March Madness last season for the first time since 2011. As a second seed in the NCAA Tournament this year, the Utes will get to play host in the first two rounds at the Huntsman Center.

 

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Who, What, When, Where

Utah’s first game in the NCAA Tournament will take place on Friday, March 17 with a 5:30 p.m. MT tip time. The No. 8 ranked Utes will play the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs- a first-time meeting between the two programs.

If Utah advances, they will be set to play on Sunday, March 19 with opponent (either be North Carolina State or Princeton) and time yet to be determined. Tickets are already for sale and can be purchased here.

Utah Ski Team Are 4-Peat National Champions

The Skiing Utes had a big week taking home their fourth-straight National Championship and 16th in program history on Saturday.

Madison Hoffman became a double national champion in the Alpine event as Utah skiers won all four title races in New York.

Novie McCabe swept the womenโ€™s Nordic races and Sophia Laukli (third place) and Sydney Palmer-Leger (fifth place) werenโ€™t far behind. They helped contribute 103.0 points to the Utesโ€™ total.

Final Results

  1. Utah (526.0 points)
  2. Colorado (491.5 points)
  3. Denver (416.5 points)

โ€œItโ€™s an incredible feeling to pull this one off,โ€ Utah director of skiing Fredrik Landstedt said. โ€œIt was probably the hardest one in my five years at Utah. Colorado came out and they really performed at a higher level than they have all winter, and it ended up coming down to the wire. Iโ€™m very proud of our whole team.โ€

Utah Gymnastics

The Red Rocks had another mixed-bag weekend. They came up short to Oregon State in the final regular season meet of the 2023 season, 197.950-197.700.

Despite the loss, Utah did improve their NQS road scores and earned a fourth of the Pac-12 Regular Season Title. Unfortunately, while the Red Rocks did improve their NQS road scores, they will drop down to No. 5 in this week’s rankings.

Pac-12 Honors For The Utah Utes

Utah Super Senior Cristal Isa had a “perfecting ending” to her career in the Huntsman Center earning a 10 on her beam routine against Arizona and being named the Pac-12’s Specialist of the Week.

Who, What, When, Where

The Red Rocks will have one more opportunity to improve their road NQS scores for final positioning ahead of post-season play this weekend during the Pac-12 Championship Meet.

All eight Pac-12 gymnastics teams will compete in West Valley City, Utah at the Maverik Center on Saturday, March 18. Times are still pending for the two quad-meets, but all of the action can be caught on Pac-12 Networks.

Utah Basketball

The Runnin’ Utes didn’t have the outcome they would have liked in Las Vegas last week for the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament, exiting early against Stanford.

Utah saw some good improvement in Craig Smith’s second year at the helm but will now be turning their attention to making further improvements for year three. Part of that movement started today with guard Mike Saunders Jr. hitting the NCAA Transfer Portal.

Saunders Jr. transferred into the Utes last summer from Cincinnati but was used very sparingly through the 2022-23 season. His biggest minutes came against UCLA and USC when starter Rollie Worster was out with an injury.ย 

Postseason Love

While the ending to Utah’s season didn’t pan out the way they would have liked, two players, Branden Carlson and Marco Anthony, walked away with Pac-12 Postseason Awards.

Carlson was also named to the AP’s All-Pac-12 Team.ย ย 

Utah Softball

The Utes swept Oregon State over the weekend, overcoming some late deficits to do so. Utah has now crept into the Top 25 for softball at No. 23 after being the only Pac-12 team to get through the weekend without a loss to open conference play.

Utah Baseball

Utah baseball also opened up Pac-12 play this past weekend against Washington. The Utes finished 1-2 against the Huskies, getting a win on Sunday to close their first Pac-12 series out.

Utah Football

Utah football is a week out from their 2023 spring practices which will start next Tuesday, March 21 and run through April 22 with the “22 Forever” Spring Game. Practices are not open to the public, but KSL Sports will be on the scene with updates and information from each availability.

Kenneth Scott Takes Over The Saturday Show

Former Utah football player Kenneth Scott is in town and spent Saturday in-studio at KSL on the Saturday Show talking about life, football, life after football, and the things he’s doing to give back to the Salt Lake Community and University of Utah.

International Women’s Day

Utah Athletics has been crushing it with their women’s sports as of late which made highlighting some of the greatness last Wednesday for International Women’s Day very fun.

Abby Paulson, Abby Brenner, and Jillian Hoffman talked about the importance of using their platforms to help promote and encourage other women to go out an accomplish great things.

We also went through some of the best accomplishments from Utah’s female student-athletes we’ve covered over the past year and put them in one place…there were a lot.

Finally, with Black History Month in the review mirror, Women’s History Month on deck, and several other minority and marginalized history months coming down the pipeline, we talked with former Utah football player and current Executive Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Operations/Associate A.D. for EDI and Student Belonging for the Utes, Keith Embray about the importance of taking time to understand each other and how to better accomplish that.

Pac-12 Media Negotiations

The rumors have continued to swirl around what will happen to the Pac-12 and the Utes concerning their open media rights negotiations. A lot of the press has been very negative, but KSL Sports has been hard at work trying to get a better idea of what is going on.

While it is just an opinion and always subject to change as new information becomes available, in the here and now, things don’t appear as dire as some reports want to make the Pac-12’s situation out to be.

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.โ€“12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

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Utes Bulletin: Things Happening In Utah Athletics (Week Of 3/13/23)