Four Utah Division 1 Schools entered yesterday with a conference tournament game to play and a goal of making or advancing their spot for the big dance.

After a jam-packed day full of elite college hoops, 3 of those teams still have that goal and another game to play.

Wait, someone’s missing, you said four, now there’s three. Who was dismissed?

In the WAC, #5 Utah Valley has joined the dearly departed after falling to the #8 California Baptist Lancers, 74-63.

The Wolverines had won the conference series 2-0, including a 69-46 drubbing at CBU, but on a neutral floor, UVU experienced a rejuvenated opponent.

This game was down to the wire, with 8 lead changes, 7 moments in which the game was tied up, and the cherry on top, overtime.

Credit the Lancer defense or question Utah Valley’s offense, something was off. The Wolverines shot under 40 percent from the field and went 2/12 from downtown.

The Lancers would outgun Utah Valley 14-3 in the extra period, ending the Wolverines season at 16-16 on the year.

Ethan Potter would lead the Wolverines with 23 points on 10/15 shooting. Drake Allen would chip in 17 points.

Bummer deal, what’s it look like for those still standing?

Let’s jump into it, shall we?


Who’d they get?

#5 BYU would beat the #12 UCF Knights for the third time this season with a 87-73 dismissal in Kansas City for the Big 12 conference Tournament.

BYU got out to a blitzing hot start, leading by as much as 18, before UCF scratched all the way back to within three.

The Cougars showed some mettle by withstanding the momentum, and hitting some big-time clutch shots of their own as multiple players stepped up.

4 Cougars scored in double digits whereas 8 BYU hoopers had at least 8 points or more for an incredibly balanced attack that UCF couldn’t overcome.

Fousseyni Traore led the squad with 14 points as a big time inside threat.

Dallin Hall and Richie Saunders poured in 13, including some timely buckets down the stretch as they combined for six three pointers.

Trevin Knell chipped in 12 with two tiples.

The three ball was a common occurrence as the Cougars went 14/30 from downtown AKA 46.7 percent.

Who they got?

With sharpshooting and clutch play already with the Cougars in the tournament they turn their attention to #4 Texas Tech for a quarterfinal showdown.

These teams only squared off once in conference play throughout the regular season creating a very unique matchup.

That one game took place in Lubbock on the 20th of January where BYU was knocked off 85-78.

The Red Raiders aren’t only a Big 12 rival, but a fellow team that sits in the Top 25 of the AP polls.

Clocking in at that #25 spot, Texas Tech is more than a capable opponent.

In the last matchup, Aly Khalifa paced the Cougars with 21 points, but BYU only got to the free throw line 5 times the entire game, Texas Tech got their 18 times and hit 17.

BYU shot 29 free throws in the win over UCF, and will likely need to get half of that to triumph over Texas Tech this go round.

This game tips at 10:30 AM Utah time.


Who’d they get?

It was a tough end to the season as Utah finished the regular season on a two-game slide, but the Utes prior work was good enough to nab the #6 seed in the PAC-12.

That #6 seed earned them a dance with #11 Arizona State for a first-round meeting in Las Vegas.

Despite the Utes finishing the year at 18-13 and ASU going 14-18, there were some major red flags coming into this contest for the higher seed.

Utah star, Branden Carlson, was a game-time decision with his averages of 17.5 PPG and 6.9 RPG.

If that wasn’t enough of a concern, Utah had been swept by ASU in their previous two matchups losing by 12 in Tempe and 8 in Salt Lake City.

All that worry and fear, was eradicated quickly as Utah but the hurt on the Sun Devils right from the tip as Utah rumble to a 47-22 halftime lead and never looked back, winning 90-57.

The Runnin Utes looked as clean and as crisp as they have all season. Scoring 90 points isn’t new to Utah this year, as impressive as it is.

But holding ASU to 57 was a big-time deal. On the biggest stage of the year, Utah had their second-best defensive effort against a PAC-12 tea.

The Utes held the Sun Devils to 31.4 shooting and only gave up three triples.

On the flip side the offense, led by Cole Bajema’s 22 points (6 triples made), shot nearly 60 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from downtown on 12/26 numbers.

Deivon Smith netted 15 points and Gabe Madsen went for ten in the victory.

Who they got?

Utah steps into a heated contest with #3 Colorado (22-9, 13-7) for Round #2.

Unlike ASU, Utah has taken down the Buffaloes prior to the conference tournament, splitting the season series 1-1.

Utah won in SLC; Colorado won in Boulder.

On a neutral floor we can only wait and see what happens.

Colorado finished the year as the hottest team in the PAC-12, ripping off six straight victories, Utah included in the destruction.

The good news is that Branden Carlson played less than 20 minutes in the round 1 win, and may be a bit better off for this matchup.

The win that Utah posted over Colorado back in February saw Gabe Madsen dominate with 21 points.

Utah’s defense held Colorado to 68 in that one, their 4th worst offensive output of the year, and will need to have the same tenacity they displayed last night VS ASU.

This game tips at 9:30 PM Utah time.


Who’d they get?

No one.

The Champions of the Mountain West don’t concern themselves with such first round matchups.

The #1 seeded Aggies, #18 in the AP, diligently waited on the winner of Wyoming-Fresno State.

Who they got?

When the dust settled, USU found themselves gearing up for #9 Fresno State.

Gearing up may be a loose term as these teams have become fairly familiar with one another, playing their second game in a couple of weeks’ time.

The Aggies shouldn’t fear anyone as the #1 seed, but we know conference play can get a bit whacky.

USU dispatched Fresno State in their two contest this year winning by 21 in Logan, and winning by a lot less in Fresno.

The last game was a 77-73 grind it out Overtime win on February 27th for the Aggies.

So, despite a 2-0 shiny record VS Fresno State, you can almost guarantee the Aggies won’t be overlooking this Bulldogs team.

USU shot 10 percent better from the field in that overtime win and 15 percent from deep, but turned it over 8 more times, making ball control a key aspect of todays battle.

Great Osobor led USU with 21 points, Darius Brown, Josh Uduje and Mason Falslev all had 15 points apiece as Utah State needed every point they could get.

Expect a focused, battle tested and confident Utah State team in their first conference tournament game.

This game will tip at 1 PM, Utah time.

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