Today we're talking basketball, with a little bit of television thrown in ...

After Memphis was knocked off at home by Tennessee Saturday night, BYU is now the proud owner of the longest home winning streak in the nation at 45 straight. That's a tremendous accomplishment for any team, but you have to admit that outside of a few decent Mountain West Conference teams, the Cougars haven't played anyone of real significance during the three-season streak.

Since losing to Loyola Marymount in November 2005, the Cougars have defeated a nonconference slate consisting of Southern Utah (three times), Boise State, Northern Kentucky, Weber State (twice), Eastern Washington, Tulsa, Idaho State (twice), Portland, San Jose State, Western Oregon, Liberty, Oral Roberts, Seton Hall, Jackson State, Hartford, Lamar, Pepperdine as well as Utah State, probably the toughest of the nonleague opponents.

I'm sure some Cougar fans will howl, "but no one will come and play us at the Marriott Center." That may be true. But I still wonder how Utah was able to get the likes of Wake Forest, Texas, Oregon State (in addition to their share of Azusa Pacifics and Ripons) during its 54-home-game winning streak in the late '90s.

Also, since then they've played Alabama, LSU, Louisville and Arizona at home and next year, the Utes have Gonzaga, Oregon and California coming to the Huntsman Center ...

The BYU basketball team got a taste of what Utah was feeling three nights earlier when the Cougars watched San Diego State get 30 free throws to their six on Saturday. That was almost the same margin as the 32-10 edge the Cougars enjoyed against the Utes on Wednesday. Of course, in both cases, the home team won close games that came down to the final minute ...

So I hear that the Mountain West Conference has finally inked a deal with DirecTV and that MWC games will be on the satellite system this football season, two years after the MWC left ESPN for its own TV deal. I haven't paid a lot of attention because I, like a lot of others, have had access to The Mtn., Versus and CSTV on Comcast. I am happy for all those DirecTV subscribers who have missed out the past two seasons. Now we'll only have to listen to the complaints of the Dish Network subscribers until they get a deal ...

You'd think one of these days, the Utah basketball team would look for a different option at the end of a close game. In four losses this year, Tyler Kepkay has taken the final shot to tie or win the game. Against BYU, he had a chance to put the Utes ahead with 10 seconds left and another chance to tie with a 3-pointer at the buzzer. At New Mexico, he missed a 3-pointer to win the game in regulation. Against Wyoming, he missed a 3-pointer try to tie the game. The topper came Saturday when he chose to forgo a 3-point attempt in favor of a 2-pointer with his team down by three in the final seconds. It seems Johnnie Bryant, Shaun Green or Lawrence Borha, all great 3-point shooters, should at least get a chance at the end of close games ...

When former Ute great Keith Van Horn was in town 10 days ago to be honored as a member of the U.'s All-Century team, I asked him about the rumors of him being thrown into the Jason Kidd trade. He just laughed, called it "crazy" and insisted he wasn't going to play again. Now of course he's laughing all the way to the bank, collecting $4.3 million just to show up in New Jersey, his original NBA team, for a month ...

So Brent Barry gets traded last week from San Antonio to Seattle, which releases him, and now Barry can re-sign with the Spurs after 30 days, just in time for their playoff push? This is one NBA rule that needs to be changed. A team should have to wait at least 60 days or even better, not be able to re-sign a traded player the same season.

And finally, if you haven't seen Leilani Mitchell by now, you're missing one of the most exciting players ever to play college basketball in the state. Mitchell is the point guard for the Utah women's team and is the main reason the Utes have reeled off a school-record 18 straight victories. The other night against BYU, she finished with 16 points, 12 assists and 7 steals. It's her first year at Utah after transferring from Idaho, but it's also her last, as she's a senior in eligibility. You still have three more chances to see her at home, Wednesday against TCU, Saturday against Wyoming and next week against UNLV.


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