The Runnin Utes got outran last night in Corvallis suffering a discouraging 92-85 loss to Oregon State.

No one needs to explain that losses are discouraging, maddening, disappointing to the players, coaches and the fans.

That being said, if a loss is a sucker punch to the gut, this one was followed up with a nice knee to the face for Ute nation.

The beating at the hands of the Beavers fits into many categories that fans will find unenjoyable.

  1. Utah just lost to the worse team in the PAC-12.

Being the “worst” team is a subjective term I understand.

But even if one was to argue Oregon State over USC or Stanford, the record alone would give away that no one has won less games in the PAC-12 this year (5-14) than Oregon State, including the win over Utah.

That’s a full two games behind anyone else in the PAC, and by definition makes the Beavers, the worst team in the conference.

That’s the easy explanation, if you dig a little deeper one would find that Oregon State has been playing their worst ball of the season since February.

In 9 games, the Beavers had one win (Stanford) prior to the Utah matchup.

Utah needed a win and Oregon State was as vulnerable as they’ve been all year.

From a pure points perspective, Oregon State was averaging a cool 64.2 PPG in that 9-game span, and only putting up 69.7 on the year, 2nd worst in the PAC.

Utah gave up 92, the first time the Beavers have surpassed the 90-point barrier.

  1. Utah’s road woes are nearing unexplainable

If we are going to be prudes about Oregon State being the worst team in the PAC-12 by record alone, then one must consider Utah the worst road team.

After tumbling in Corvallis, Utah’s 2-8 road record is officially the 2nd worst mark in conference, only ahead of…… Oregon State’s 1-9 road record.

The PAC-12 can be an unforgiving conference, and a tough road record are understandable, only three teams have an above .500 road record in the PAC. (Arizona, Washington State and Oregon.)

That being said, 2 wins isn’t acceptable for this team. To have a worse record than Arizona State, Stanford, USC and Cal, all with three wins apiece isn’t the right way to stand out.

The Utes one conference road win came in Los Angeles VS UCLA in mid-February by one point.

It was a game in which some fans may label “controversial.”

The other was at Saint Mary’s, currently #23, early on in the season. That win proves the Utes have mettle, and are capable, making every other effort away from the Huntsman that much more baffling.

And yes, as mentioned, road games aren’t set up to your benefit, but its not as if Utah has had to play in Rupp, Allen or Cameron.

For example, Gill Coliseum, the scene of last nights defeat seats 9,301 people per Oregon State.

The recorded capacity of last nights contest was 3,362 people.

It takes no mathematician to realize that place was pretty empty.

And unless empty stadium chairs or student section that would make a small High School blush are Utah’s kryptonite, its hard to explain a chunk of the team’s road woes.

  1. All that aside, this loss tanked Utah’s hopes to go dancing.

If the loss didn’t hurt enough, Utah needed this win.

The Utes have been a “will they, wont they” team for a bit now, and already on shaky ground, had to do all they could to be a part of March Madness.

After dropping this one with the season in flux, here’s the reality Utah now faces:

44 Percent seems rather generous in Eugene tomorrow, with the Ducks being 12-3, but if there’s any life left for Utah’s postseason play, its only chances of surviving the night will be a dreaded road win.

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