Dick Harmon: BYU, Utah have big opportunities to shine this week

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  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Feb. 19, 2014 6:03 p.m.

    Approaching March Maddness!

    When was the last time two ranked teams lost games in Utah in one weekend?

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    Feb. 19, 2014 7:21 a.m.


    You are spot on; as ususal.


    One loss by Weber State in the conference tournament and they are toast. Utah and BYU can get away with one or maybe two loses from here on out; Weber can't

  • Monumental Orem, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 10:04 p.m.

    BYU and Utes fighting for the tournament invitation while the Wildcats sitting and eating cafe rio stake salad in a chair watching BYU Utes and asking themselves who really get invitation...

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 18, 2014 5:44 p.m.

    @But seriously folks!

    U will not make it to the NIT but maybe the CIT or the WCI due to their stellar preseason schedule. Yes people reward a tough schedule.


    You sure Utah won't make the NIT?

    NIT Bracketology: Feb. 17, 2014

    1. Oregon (Pac-12)
    8. UNLV (Mountain West)
    4. Boise State (Mountain West)
    5. Saint Mary’s (West Coast)
    3. Marquette (Big East)
    6. Texas Tech (Big 12)
    2. BYU (West Coast)
    7. Utah (Pac-12)

    So if BYU's bubble pops then look for a possible Utah vs BYU rematch at the Marriott Center.

  • Cougar Blue 1 Henderson , NV
    Feb. 18, 2014 5:06 p.m.

    I am just wondering why the Utes are even mentioned in this article? Their whole season is irrelevant. At least BYU has a chance to be an at-large selection with a victory against Gonzaga and a good showing in the WCC Tourney. Utah has no chance to make the NCAA Tourney unless they win the PAC 12 Tourney. Chances of that??...Well, I'll just leave it there.

  • CougOrUte..Naah Nibley, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 4:26 p.m.

    @Who Am I Sir: Like Tators says, the Aggies are used to being snubbed by the Deseret News, not a big deal. Good luck to both the Cougs and the Utes in their upcoming games. My personal perspective is that none of the teams in the state have a great chance of being in the NCAA tourney. It would be nice to get one in to root for, but unlikely. I hope the Ags play their best game of the year at San Diego State. It will take that for them to win.

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 3:22 p.m.

    This is the second time within the past week or so I found fault in the heading of an article. (The last time I had a few responses critical of my comments yet the Deseret News changed the wording of the title.) This time there have been a couple of comments critical of my posting. If the article was about teams HOSTING a ranked opponent then I stand corrected. If not, then in my opinion USU should have been included in the title and the body of the article. Just one man's opinion.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 1:06 p.m.

    @ Spokane Ute:

    Forgive a few of my fellow BYU fans who misread your comment. For clarification, you stated that the U had a good chance of getting into the NIT, not the NCAA tournament. And I agree. Considering they have beaten a ranked team, have a winning record and could finish in the middle of the PAC12, there is every indication they should merit an invite to the NIT this season.

    @ Who am I sir:

    You are getting your feelings hurt and taking offense way too easily.

    First of all, USU is not hosting a ranked team this week like BYU and Utah are doing. Thus, they don't fit that parameter of this article.

    Secondly, (and though I love my Aggies) BYU and Utah have a much bigger readership in the DN than USU does. Consequently, they probably won't get included in as many articles.

    On the same token, The Cache Valley local paper, The Herald Journal has many more articles on the Aggies than they do about Utah or BYU and for the same reason... more of their readers follow them. It's not meant as a slam against anyone. It's just common sense business.

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    Feb. 18, 2014 12:57 p.m.

    I don't recall ever stating that Utah is sitting in a better position than BYU to make the NCAA tournament? I simply stated what they have to do, the BPI rankings, and that they have a great shot at the NIT. Also, Utah cerainly doesn't need to win out. With the final 5 games against NCAA tournament teams; going 4-1, then 1-1 in the PAC 12 tourney would certainly put them in a good position. They need to get into the top 6 in the conferernce. Finish 22-8 (5-2 or better from here on out), and they are in. Anything less, then it's NIT time unless the wheels totally come off. As far as BYU goes, I think they will have to beat Gonzaga, and get to the championship of the WCC tournament. They can't afford any more bad loses. This week is critical for both schools and I hope both make the NCAA. If not, an NIT first round matchup would be entertaining. I think that's a pretty resonable take on both schools.

  • Ufan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 12:30 p.m.

    Blame our AD and coach if the Utes finish strong but don't make the NCAAs.

    The Utes have little chance of sweeping their five remaining games, which is what it would take to get an at-large bid.

    No, Utah's only realistic chance of getting into the NCAA tourney is to win the PAC 12 tourney, which is just about as unlikely.

    BYU and Boise State were the only legitimate teams the Utes played in the first two months of the season. Maybe next season, we could start building our NCAA tourney resume in November, instead of waiting until January.

  • SportsFan Orem, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 12:22 p.m.

    The 2014 Bracket Matrix (80 separate brackets including ESPN, CBS, NBC, etc.)

    BYU is listed IN the tournament in 24 brackets, First Four Out overall

    Utah is listed in ZERO of 80 brackets

  • TrueBlue Orem, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 12:12 p.m.

    When it comes to Bracketology

    #44 RPI BYU > #39 BPI Utah

    ESPN Bracketology:
    BYU is a bubble team (First Four Out)
    Utah isn't even mentioned

    NBC Bracketology:
    BYU is in the Last Five IN
    Utah isn't even mentioned

    TeamRankings Bracketology:
    BYU is listed as the #47th seed overall IN the tournament
    Utah is only given a 7% chance of making the tournament

    At this point in the season, it's clear that BYU has a MUCH better chance of securing an at-large NCAA bid.

  • anti BCS Anaheim, CA
    Feb. 18, 2014 11:50 a.m.

    Spokane Ute

    When it comes to NCAA Selection Sunday, RPI is much more important.

    Bottom line, according to most experts:

    BYU is IN the NCAA tourney picture
    Utah is on the OUTSIDE looking in

    According to TeamRankings, BYU has a 64% chance of making the tournament; Utah only has a 7% chance.

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    Feb. 18, 2014 10:33 a.m.

    @ Truth Machine

    You should include BPI ranking when looking at both schools, the selection comitee certalinly will. Utah's BPI is #39, and BYU's is #50. No matter what ranking or index you look at, both schools have a lot of work to do to make the NCAA tournament. The NIT is more likely, but I'm hopeful both schools will finish strong. It would be nice to see 3-4 Utah schools make the tournament, but's is not likely at this point.

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    Feb. 18, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    at Seriously

    Considering Utah currently has a BPI ranking of #39, and they are tied for 7th in the PAC 12, they would make the NIT. Especially if the top 6 PAC 12 teams make the NCAA as projected. No way the NIT over looks Utah and Washington. However, Utah can not lay an egg from here on out. I can see them going 3-2 to finish conference play and 1-1 in the PAC 12 tournament. No way does a 21-9 PAC 12 team, with a top 50 BPI get left out of the NIT. The next 3 home games are critical: Arizona, ASU and Colorado

  • Levin Reno, NV
    Feb. 18, 2014 10:00 a.m.

    @Who am I sir? If the Aggies were hosting the Aztecs, I'd like to think they would be included in the article.

  • Truth Machine Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 9:31 a.m.


    #44 BYU(18-10), 6-6 vs RPI Top 100, including a road/neutral win over #19/#17 Texas

    can certainly make a lot of noise by winning their 2nd game against a ranked team and solidifying an NCAA at-large berth

    #92 Utah(17-8), 4-7 vs RPI Top 100, including a home win over #23/#25 UCLA

    still has a long way to go to get into the NCAA tourney picture even with another home win over a ranked team

    so much for "noise"

  • But seriously folks! Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 9:09 a.m.

    BYU beat Texas away from home. U beat UCLA at home. Texas is ranked higher that UCLA.
    U lost to lowly WSU and didn't even score 45 points, for the whole game. What's your point?

    The pac may get get 6 teams if they are lucky and the WCC will get two teams. U will NOT be one of those 6, Mark it down.

    U will not make it to the NIT but maybe the CIT or the WCI due to their stellar preseason schedule. Yes people reward a tough schedule

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    Mr. Harmon, Utah plays the number 4 (both polls) ranked team, Arizona. Utah State plays the number 6 (or 7) ranked team, San Diego State. BYU plays the number 22 (or 25) ranked Gonzaga. Yet only Utah and your BYU have a "big opportunity to shine this week". Typical.

  • oddman ,
    Feb. 18, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    Good possibility neither team will dance this year but "hope springs eternal". The fascinating thing is watching the individual progress over a season by both teams. Changing roles and adjustment to those roles. Austin has won my fanship as has Carlino and Hollingsworth. Give someone the chance to build confidence and they ususally don't disappoint. Definitely a week to look forward to.

  • Wiscougarfan River Falls, WI
    Feb. 18, 2014 7:56 a.m.

    Kudos to Uncle Rico for admitting he does what most of us do from time to time... get carried away. Two tough contests this week, it would be great to see both teams win.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 7:52 a.m.

    The Utes are a better team this year. The coaching staff has recruited and led a very nice come back. I will be cheering for both the Utes and my Cougs!

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    Feb. 18, 2014 7:23 a.m.

    BYU needs to beat Gonzaga. Utah needs to beat Arizona. On top of that, neither can afford another bad loss. As much as I would like to see both teams get NCAA bids: Utah vs. BYU = First Round of NIT

  • Cletus from Coalville Coalville, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 6:48 a.m.

    We for sure will win Arizona because they are better than Gonzaga and that makes us better than byu.

    Go Utes!

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 11:03 p.m.

    @ Deseret Pete

    You bring up a good point, sometimes I just shoot from the hip.

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 11:01 p.m.

    @ Tom

    You are absolutely right. Sometimes I just get carried away.

  • deseret pete robertson, Wy
    Feb. 17, 2014 10:52 p.m.

    Uncle Rico : Harmon said the utes have the most difficult task -- Indicating that Arizona was the better team -- His comparison was they both were leaders in their conference. Arizona is no. 4 and the Zags are 25 --

  • esodije ALBUQUERQUE, NM
    Feb. 17, 2014 9:40 p.m.

    The Cougs have to do better blocking out, as well--it's maddening to watch them give up two and three shots per possession. St. Mary's happened to miss most of those second and third chances in the second half, but Gonzaga won't.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Feb. 17, 2014 8:19 p.m.

    Uncle Rico -

    Way too sensitive, dude.

    Harmon stated a couple of facts, and you put the failed spin on it. I'll predict a loss on the hill and a win in Provo.

  • LouisD Las Vegas, NV
    Feb. 17, 2014 7:23 p.m.

    The difference between shooting 40% and 36% from the 3 point line in a single game is really insignificant. Suppose each side launches 1 such attempts. Both are then statistically likely to his 4 each in which case the actually points scored off 3's will be exactly the same. When BYU hits or exceeds that average it seems to have a much better opportunity to win.

    As for Free Throws, BYU has been just uncharacteristically dismal this year. There really is no excuse for this. Hitting free throws is a matter of consistent form,stroke and follow through..a mental game more than anything.How has this team NOT progressed in this area? It shows an inexcusable lack of concentration and determination either by the players or the coaching staff. There is simply no excuse for any player to shoot below 70% from the charity stripe. Only when player's tell themselves "T can't!" Do that fail to improve in this area.

    Shoot >36% from the 3-line and >70% from the FT line and BYU will win by half a dozen or more at home against any team 99% of the time.

  • Uncle Rico Provo, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 6:43 p.m.

    Re: BYU Dude

    Right from the article:
    Arizona is 2-2 in its last four; Gonzaga has lost only twice in its last 11 games — at Portland on Jan. 9 and at No. 22 Memphis on Feb. 8.

    BYU dude fails

  • DEW Cougars Sandy, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 6:41 p.m.

    Would Dave Rose read this, NOT! Why all the talk? Funny D Harmon "where they generally are better at the free-throw line?" Maybe! Right now forget all the talk and the playing do the job the rest of the way, Please.

  • BYU DUDE Provo, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 6:31 p.m.

    Uncle Rico,

    Reading Fail.

  • souptwins Lindon, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 6:10 p.m.

    I didn't really see a comparison of AZ and GU other than that both currently lead their respective conferences. That's true no matter whom you cheer for. There was no attempt to say which of the two was the better team-- probably because everyone would agree it's AZ. These just happen to be the two conference leaders coming to Utah for games this week. Why must people try to find a fight no matter what's said?

  • Uncle Rico Provo, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 5:55 p.m.

    You can count on Harmon to compare Gonzaga with Arizona.

    Arizona is way better. They are projected to be a #1 seed, Gonzaga is predicted to be a #8 seed.

    Arizona is #4 in the AP poll, Gonzaga is #25.
    Utah already beat UCLA who is currently ranked #23 (even after they lost to Utah).

    Pac-12 will have 6 teams in the big dance. WCC will have 1 team in the big dance, same number as the Big Sky.