SALT LAKE CITY — When Utah and No. 9 Arizona square off in the Huntsman Center, it'll be just the second Sunday home game in University of Utah men’s basketball history.
The Utes are no doubt hoping it works out better than the first one. On Jan. 27, they dropped an 87-56 decision to Stanford. A generously announced crowd of 7,769 fans braved a heavy snowstorm that night as a new reality of their Pac-12 membership opened.
“One of the common threads that we talk about all the time is you try to control what you can control. We were aware of the amount of money coming in from TV is going to determine when we play and the decision was made years ago that we were willing to play on Sundays,” said Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak. “I think that was probably one of the questions that was asked. We will lose some of the LDS fans, and it’s unfortunate.”
The turnout for this game, though, may be different. Krytskowiak noted that it’s more user-friendly for kids (tipoff is set for 1 p.m., six hours earlier than the Stanford game). He added that good weather and a ranked opponent may also work into the equation.
“So hopefully that’s a situation that we can still draw,” Krystkowiak said. “But our guys have got to come out ready to play regardless of how many people are here.”
The Stanford setback matched a school record for largest loss at home by the Utes.