Utah only has three road games left and their trip to Colorado State is the easiest of the bunch. Which means if they want to keep their at-large hopes alive, this is a game they can't afford to lose.
Yes, I'm becoming a broken record here, since this is what I've been saying for like three weeks now, but it's the truth. A loss to CSU this late in the game might not kill their tournament prospects, but it could damage them greatly, especially if Utah struggles down the stretch. This is because the Rams aren't very good. They enter tonight's game with only 3 conference wins and an overall record of 8-17. That poor play, balanced at home and on the road, has kept Colorado State from making much noise in conference play this season, even though they own a victory over UNLV.
Since that victory over the Rebels at the beginning of conference play, CSU is 2-6, a stretch that includes an 82-66 loss to the Utes. That game is important to look at, because the Rams did hang tough with Utah for a half and with this game being played on the road, a slow start only benefits the home team. The Utes can't allow them to get out in front early, forcing a close game.
A victory tonight would give Utah 19 wins on the season, the most since they won 29 in 2005.