Yet another exciting chapter in the Utah-BYU rivalry was written Saturday night under interesting circumstances.
The first round of The Basketball Tournament, the annual 64-team, $2 million prize competition played in venues across the country, pitted the West Region's 7-seeded Team Utah (comprised primarily of former Runnin' Utes) against 10-seeded Team Fredette (featuring many former BYU Cougars) at Desert Oasis High School in Las Vegas, and, naturally, had a crazy finish.
With the game tied at 97, Team Utah's Tim Drisdom hit an off-balance 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds left to lift his squad to the 100-97 win and a spot in the second round.
Team Fredette's Jordon Crawford got a good look at a 3-pointer to tie at the buzzer, but it bounced off the rim.
Team Utah has had a great deal of success in the annual tournament, making the final eight in 2016 and the final 16 the year before.
The squad, coached by Olympus High boys hoops coach Matt Barnes, almost didn't make it out of the first game Saturday, however, as Team Fredette (coached by Jimmer Fredette) charged back after a 10-point halftime deficit to tie things up at 76 with 8:39 left.
It stayed close for the next five minutes until Team Utah took a 92-87 lead with 3:03 left. Team Fredette rallied back with a 5-0 run to tie it with 1:35 remaining, however, and the teams went back and forth from there.
Team Utah will next play a Gonzaga alumni squad called Few Good Men, which beat a team comprised of sports podcasters called Mostly Sports Delco on Saturday night, 89-47.
A few hours after Team Utah's win, a squad comprised of mostly Weber State alums called Team Wasatch Front fell to Team Challenge ALS, 97-81.
The West's 11-seed, Wasatch Front jumped out to an 11-2 lead thanks to former Wildcat Scott Bamforth's hot shooting. Six-seeded Challenge ALS came back quickly, however, and the game was tight until the middle of the second half when Challenge ALS took control.
That team, which is named in honor of former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates who made famous the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, will face the winner of the matchup between The Stickmen and Air Force Bomb Squad.