FORT COLLINS, Colo. — The University of Utah officially closed the book on its regular-season road record in Mountain West Conference play. Wednesday's 78-65 loss to Colorado State was the Utes' finale. Their next conference road trip (aside from the upcoming MWC Tournament in "neutral" Las Vegas) will be next season in the Pac-12.
"That actually didn't hit any of us until we got here," said sophomore center Jason Washburn. "We didn't let that factor into the game."
The Utes, however, were aware of it.
"We love the Mountain West. They've been good to us and we're going to miss it," Washburn said. "Obviously we don't really have any control over where the school sends us. They're sending us to the Pac-12 and we're looking forward to it."
Utah's 12-year tenure in the MWC ends with a 39-51 road record. The Utes haven't had a winning conference mark away from the Huntsman Center since 2004-05 when they went 6-1.
The lack of success in recent years led to Utah posting winning marks at only two places — Air Force (7-5) and TCU (4-2). The Utes went 6-6 against Colorado State and San Diego State and they were below .500 at the other four schools — UNLV (5-7), Wyoming (5-7), BYU (3-9) and New Mexico (3-9).
RAM-TOUGH CROWD: The attendance was 5,581. It lowered CSU's home average over 15 games to 8,041 — a huge increase from the 4,880 the Rams drew per outing last season.
RED SHOES: The Utes wore red shoes for the first time this season. They broke them out for shoot-around earlier in the day and made their public debut in the game.
"Adidas sent them to us. They wanted us to wear them for these next few games," Washburn said. "I don't know. I thought they kind of looked flashy."