Utes basketball: Ducks aren't overlooking Utah in Pac-12 semifinal
LAS VEGAS — When it comes to playing 10th-seeded Utah in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals, third-seeded Oregon is expressing plenty of respect.
The Ducks discussed the unexpected matchup after edging Washington 80-77 late Thursday night. Utah advanced earlier in the evening with a 79-69 overtime upset of California.
“They are playing really well,” said Oregon coach Dana Altman. “They’ve got a lot of guys that can score, and they’re running stuff.”
“We’re going to have a tough game,” Altman said. “They’ve got big bodies and they’ve got depth. So we are going to have to play awfully well.”
The Ducks (24-8) and Utes (15-17) split a pair of regular-season meetings this season. Oregon prevailed 73-64 in Eugene on Feb. 9, while the Utes took a 72-62 decision in Salt Lake City on March 9.
“Utah has now won four-in-a-row. You can forget their record,” Altman continued. “Confidence is one game away, and they’ve got four of them.”
The Utes, he continued, have guards that can motor and toughness inside with center Jason Washburn.
“We’re going to have to play really well because they are playing really well,” Altman said. “It wasn’t that Cal played bad today. I just thought Utah played really good.”
Oregon forward Arsalan Kazemi noted that the Ducks will need to bring great energy from the first minute on Friday. The recent Huntsman Center loss cost them a share of the Pac-12 regular season title.
“That was a game that really hurt our whole team,” Kazemi said. “But that game is gone and this is just a new life for every team. We’ve just got to go out there and play against Utah.”
Oregon center Tony Woods also believes the Ducks have put last week’s costly setback behind them.
“We had a quick turnaround to come to Vegas and get ready,” he said. “We are excited to play them tomorrow, though. They’re playing well.”
Woods predicted that it could come down to the wire.
Email: email@example.com; Twitter: @DirkFacer
- The 1996 NBA Draft redone: How did the Jazz...
- 5 things to look for as BYU heads into fall camp
- Dick Harmon: Hanging with legacy players of...
- 5 things Utah football needs for coming season
- 5 things to watch for as BYU, Utah and USU...
- Randy Hollis: Utah's Perrins is one of the...
- Brad Rock: Hill, Keeton, Booker not the best...
- High school football: Hunter Wolverines 2015...
- Dick Harmon: Big 12 expansion talk... 113
- Ute football team picked to finish 5th... 54
- Morning links: BYU, Utah and Utah State... 44
- 4-star basketball recruit Connor... 32
- Whittingham dishes on stadium... 27
- 5 things to look for as BYU heads into... 27
- Mendenhall: BYU's 2015 schedule... 22
- Whittingham says Hatfield is still... 21