Commentary: What BYU, Utah, Utah State, WSU, UVU and SUU need to do to make the NCAA Tournament

Published: Thursday, Jan. 23 2014 1:03 p.m. MST

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Current Record: 1-14

Current RPI: 342

Current Status: Needs an unprecedented miracle and win the Big Sky Conference Tournament

SUU's chances of making the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history are too small to approximate, but the Thunderbirds still have a chance.

Consider, for a moment, this possibility: All season long SUU has secretly hidden all of its talent and ability to win and will continue to do so until the Big Sky Tournament. Then, after everyone has written the Thunderbirds off, SUU suddenly unleashes all of its pent-up ability and stuns everyone on its way to becoming the first team in NCAA history to make the Big Dance with just one regular-season win.

Likely? No. The odds of winning the lottery and getting struck by lightning on the same day are probably greater than SUU making the tournament. Nonetheless, it's still a possibility.
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Marked it Down
Park City, UT

#40 BYU is the only Utah team with a legitimate chance of getting an at-large bid. BYU will have to win all of their remaining home games and not lose any road games except to Gonzaga and perhaps Saint Mary's, otherwise BYU will have to win the WCC tournament.

#121 Utah would have to go on an incredible road winning streak to get an at-large bid, and for a team that's only won 1 of 19 road games in the PAC 12, that's an almost impossible expectation. With ASU, Arizona, Colorado, USC (which just beat California), UCLA, California, and Stanford all on the road, the Utes would have to get extremely lucky to pick up more than a couple of wins. With 2 roads, and a likely maximum of no more than 3 more home wins, the Utes would only have a 19-11 record with 9 of those wins coming against teams ranked in the bottom 100 or non-Div 1 teams.

UVU and Weber St have legitimate chances of winning their conference tournaments to secure auto-bids.

USU has little chance of winning the MWC tournament. SUU no chance.

Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA

Dixie State has the best opportunity of all the Utah schools in going to an NCAA tournament. They are 14-2 right now, 5-2 in conference on the road, 2-0 in conference at home. They have 6 more home conference games and 3 more road conference games. The conference tournament will be at Point Loma, where they play Saturday night. They beat UNLV in the Thomas and Mack Center.

If one Utah team goes to a big dance, my money would be on Dixie State.

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