Utah Men’s Basketball Finds Out NIT Destination On Selection Sunday

Mar 17, 2024, 7:48 PM | Updated: Mar 18, 2024, 2:43 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The Runnin’ Utes found out their NIT destination on March 17 during Selection Sunday.

The Utes are staying home as a two seed in the NIT and will take on UC Irvine as their first opponent.

This is the first time since 2017 the Utah men have made any kind of postseason play. While not quite the destination the Runnin’ Utes were ultimately hoping for, the NIT is a great steppingstone as head coach Craig Smith continues to build the culture back up.


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2023-24 Runnin’ Utes NIT Team

The 2023-24 Utah Men’s Basketball team finished their regular season with a 18-13 record and no appearances in the AP Top 25.

In conference play alone, the Utes went 9-11 in a Pac-12 that only had two ranked teams in Arizona and Washington State. The Utes were tough at home with a 14-2 record at the Huntsman Center but were a completely different team on the road with a 2-9 record. Utah is also 2-2 in neutral site games.

The Runnin’ Utes did experience a couple of long-term injuries to key players in Wilguens Exacte Jr. and Rollie Worster. Lawson Lovering missed significant time with an injury, while Utah also hung in limbo through the first half of the season with Deivon Smith’s transfer waiver.

Perhaps most important and concerning of all however, is the recent injury to Branden Carlson in the regular season finale with the Ducks.

Carlson did suit up during the Pac-12 Tournament, though with a brace on the injured elbow. In the post-game press conference following Utah’s loss to Colorado, Carlson did indicate he wanted to continue playing with his teammates for as long as possible no matter what tournament the Utes ended up in.

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.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Utah Men’s Basketball Finds Out NIT Destination On Selection Sunday