UTAH UTES

How To Watch Utah Men’s Basketball Vs. Iowa In NIT Second Round

Mar 23, 2024, 7:00 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – The Runnin’ Utes made their first postseason appearance since 2017 as a second seed in the NIT already beating UC Irvine, and now turning their attention to the Iowa Hawkeyes.

While not quite the NCAA Tournament, this is a major step in the right direction for Craig Smith and the Utes in year three of his tenure.

It is also a great opportunity for fans to enjoy one of the greatest Utes to play in the Huntsman Center in recent memory for a second extra time (with the possibility of one more) in Branden Carlson.

How To Watch Utah Vs. Iowa In Round Two Of The NIT

  • WHEN: Sunday, March 24
  • WHERE: Huntsman Center, Salt Lake City
  • TIME: 7:00 pm MT
  • CHANNEL: ESPN2
  • TICKET INFO: Utah Tickets

A Quick Scout Of The Iowa Hawkeyes

After having a rather quick turnaround to prepare for their first-round match against UC Irvine, the Utes have had quite a bit of time to prepare for the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Utah head coach Craig Smith had a Zoom call with media on Friday to discuss the Utes’ preparations for Iowa and the challenges they will bring to the Huntsman Center.

“A lot more time to prepare than UC Irvine,” Smith said. “Iowa is a way different team. We haven’t seen a team like this- they are very different than anybody in the Pac-12. Maybe some similarities to Colorado in terms of stylistic, but definitely different in terms of personnel. I go back all the way to Christmas in non-conference play. They definitely have some similarities to BYU and to Bellarmine. I’d say they are a hybrid of those two teams.”

With that being said, Smith anticipates the Utes will have to put forth a strong defensive effort because the Hawkeyes love to play offense and they are elite in doing so.

“They are an elite offensive team,” Smith said. “Like they are elite on offense. They have five guys on the floor that can all score at any given time. Depending on what you look at, they are anywhere from 14th to 20th in the country in offensive efficiency. They are top 10 in the country in tempo. They really push the ball up the floor at an elite level. Made shots, missed shots- it doesn’t matter. They are so good at pushing with the pass. Obviously, they will push it off the dribble some as well.”

Fans Can Expect To See All Of Their Favorite Players On The Court

There has been a lot of discussion about the postseason in college basketball, the NCAA Transfer Portal opening up during the same time, and players no longer wanting to risk injury in a “meaningless” tournament.

Utah fans can rest assured the Runnin’ Utes do not feel that way and they can count on seeing the big names take the court in the NIT.

 

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“There was never a doubt in my mind as to what we should do,” Smith said. “It’s important to play to help your program, to help your individual players keep getting better- it’s hard to simulate games. There is also a championship to be won. I did talk to all of the guys and a common theme I consistently heard from guys is that they want to play. This is the closest-knit team, most together team I’ve ever experienced. We want to keep this thing rolling and want to play for each other and see what we can do.”

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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How To Watch Utah Men’s Basketball Vs. Iowa In NIT Second Round