Douglas C. Pizac-USA TODAY Sports
Utah could sweep Colorado with a win tonight.
Utah is probably not making a postseason tournament. Though they're still technically an option for the NCAAs (if they win the Pac-12 tournament ... which isn't happening), CBI and the CIT, with their loss to Arizona, it's pretty much going to take nearly winning out for them to back their way into one of the postseasons. Though it's possible, with their next three coming on the road, I'm highly skeptical.
But if they're going to make a push for it, I guess you can say that run starts tonight against Colorado - a team the Runnin' Utes already defeated earlier this month. That win at the Huntsman Center was pretty big, but also one of the last times the Buffaloes lost (they, like Utah are coming off a defeat to an Arizona school at home - though, theirs was against Arizona State), so, I'm guessing they'll be looking for a bit of revenge. Considering Utah has managed all of one Pac-12 road win this season, that could spell some problems for the team that lost 73-33 in Boulder last year.
Still, this team is improving ... right? And said improvement makes tonight's game possible, only because I don't consider Colorado elite. They're good, they seem to be good enough to make the NCAA Tournament, but this is a 7-6 Pac-12 team that has losses to Utah, Arizona State (twice, somehow), and Washington - not exactly stellar defeats. So, while they're favorites and should win ... I wouldn't be shocked if the Utes somehow pulled out a victory - especially if this game is close and I see no reason why it won't be.
And yet this Utah, a team that has still played fairly inconsistent all season long. Though they're competitive, they're rarely competitive enough to win - which is why they're 3-10 and only a game out of the bottom of the Pac-12. If they want to finish outside of last place, though, it's going to have to happen on this road trip. Three games away from home in a row is not easy, especially when all three opponents are decent to good. Utah has already lost to Cal and Stanford (the latter which was embarrassingly bad) and Colorado is going to be looking for some blood. That sets up for a challenge that could undo a lot of the goodwill established over the last few weeks. It's hard to get excited about the prospects of this team if they limp into the final days of the regular season on a four-game losing streak.
So, I'd like to see a win. That's it. This road trip will be deemed a successful if Utah can get back to the Huntsman Center 12-16.
Maybe we can get a quick start on that first win tonight.