Runnin' Utes host BYU Saturday

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Utah basketball looks for its first victory over BYU since the 2009 season.

It's been a while since Utah beat BYU. In fact, the Cougars' current streak, which dates back to the 2009 season, is one of the longest against the Utes in the rivalry's history. In each of those years, Utah has been relegated to the basketball wilderness and the hope is that, today, they'll be able to crawl back to a bit of relevance.

Last year, down in Provo, the Utes played tough, and had their chances to win, but couldn't pull it out - losing 58-61. But now the game is at the Huntsman Center, Utah looks improved and, with a bit of confidence after their 8-1 start, are in position to record, arguably, the biggest win of the Larry Krystkowiak era.

Of course, with that improvement and supposed turnaround comes expectations. The Utes got away with barely losing last season, I don't know if any moral victories tonight will amount to much. Instead, as it has been at the height of this basketball rivalry, I think it's important to anticipate a victory.

Let's be honest: Utah has been dominated by the Cougars in basketball. A great deal of the games have not been close, and through that span, during which the team bottomed out under Jim Boylen, they not only fell behind the Cougars locally, they took a step behind both Utah State and, yes, even Weber State.

But that can change with a win Saturday.

Hopefully, the Utes can do something no Utah team has been able to do in five years - beat the Cougars on the hardwood.

I pray it happens and that we celebrate a huge victory.

Utah and BYU tip at 8:00 Salt Lake time and the game will air on the Pac-12 Network.


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