Utah Sports Ruckus: College football in Utah has the flu

By Nate Gagon

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Feb. 10 2014 12:30 p.m. MST

Local notable stat of the week: Gordon Hayward's box score versus Miami.

Hayward shook off some early missed layups and sluggish play to finish with a near trouble-double versus LeBron and the Heat. He had nine points, nine rebounds, 11 assists and three steals with a plus/minus of +11 in his 38 minutes.

Overall Ruckus rating for the local week in sports: On a scale of 1-to-5.

Rating: 3 — about average. The Jazz’s win over the Heat, the first gold medal of the Olympics and a whole bunch of college basketball home victories for in-state teams highlighted the week.

Eye on the prize: What's on the line this week.

The Jazz play back-to-back on Tuesday/Wednesday this week, beginning at the Lakers and then home versus the 76ers. This weekend is the NBA's All-Star weekend.

The BYU men play a Thursday/Saturday set on the road at Pacific and then at Saint Mary’s on Saturday in the week’s most important upcoming game.

The Utes also play a Thursday/Saturday road set at USC and at UCLA. The Trojans and Bruins will both be looking to avenge losses at the Huntsman Center in mid-January.

What to watch: Best games of the upcoming week.

NCAAM: No. 1 Syracuse at No. 25 Pittsburgh, Wednesday, 5 p.m. on ESPN

NCAAM: No. 11 Duke at North Carolina, Wednesday, 7 p.m. on ESPN

NCAAM: No. 3 Florida at No. 18 Kentucky, Saturday, 7 p.m. on ESPN

NCAAM: BYU at Saint Mary’s, Saturday, 6 p.m. on ESPN 2

NCAAM: Utah at UCLA, Saturday, 3 p.m. on PAC 12 Network

NBA: Thunder at Trail Blazers, Tuesday, 8 p.m. on NBA TV

NBA: Jazz at Lakers, Tuesday, 8:30 p.m. on ROOT

NBA: Heat at Warriors, Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. on NBA TV

NBA: All-Star weekend, Friday through Sunday on TNT

Winter Olympics on NBC

Crystal ball: Predictions for the week.

1. Jazz: 1-1

2. Cougar men: 1-1

3. Ute men: 1-1

4. Aggie men: 1-1

Poll question of the week: What are your thoughts? Poll to the left.

Which do you find the most compelling: NBA All-Star weekend, the Winter Olympics or this weekend’s college basketball games?

Parting thought: I hate goodbyes.

In honor of the Jazz playing the Lakers this week, I leave you with a link to an entertaining 1998 Sports Illustrated article analyzing the Jazz’s sweep of L.A. in the playoffs that year. The article refers to Malone and Stockton as “old geezers.” It's hard to believe it was really that long ago.


Nate Gagon is the author of the weekly sports column, Utah Sports Ruckus, and contributor for the Deseret News. He is also an entrepreneur, shoots roughly 94% from the foul line, and can be reached at nategagon@hotmail.com or @nategagon.

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